NC State
  • Researchpp 3922-3933Wu, C., Zhou, H., Yang, F., Zhang, Y., and Gao, F. (2015). "Microwave pretreatments of switchgrass leaf and stem fractions to increase methane production," BioRes. 10(3), 3922-3933.AbstractArticlePDF

    The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of microwave pretreatments on methane production from two switchgrass tissues (leaf vs. stem). The methane production from the leaf fraction was significantly affected by the microwave final temperature, while production from the stem fraction was affected by the combination of the microwave final temperature and heating rate. Thus, the highest methane yield from the leaf (134.81 mL CH4/g of volatile solids (VS)) was obtained at 100 °C, while the highest yield from the stem (99.35 mL CH4/g VS) was obtained at 150 °C, with a heating rate of 10 °C/min. Although methane production from the leaf fraction was merely enhanced by 9.1% after microwave pretreatments, the time required to reach 80% of ultimate methane production was reduced by 12 days. For the stem fraction, methane production was improved by 5.2% after microwave pretreatment, and the time to obtain 80% of ultimate methane production increased.

  • Researchpp 3934-3947Kvarnlöf, N., and Germgård, U. (2015). "Oxygen delignification of acid sulfite and bisulfite softwood pulps," BioRes. 10(3), 3934-3947.AbstractArticlePDF

    This study discusses alternatives for the production of sulfite pulps cooked to high kappa numbers, and a subsequent oxygen treatment by using the same cation in the cooking and in the oxygen stages. Magnesium was used as a cation during both the cooking and oxygen delignification stages. By using the same cation in the cook and in oxygen delignification, it is theoretically possible to recover filtrates and send them to the chemical recovery system, meaning that the discharge of pollutants will be very low. Acid sulfite and bisulfite pulps at yields between 56 and 57% (kappa number between 50 and 55) were produced and then delignified with oxygen and magnesium hydroxide to a kappa number between 25 to 30. It was found that the delignification process time was shorter and the yield and viscosity increased, compared with delignification to the same kappa number (25 to 30) for a single cooking stage. The tear and tensile strengths were however unchanged, regardless of delignification process used.

  • Researchpp 3948-3962Du, X., Li, S., Li, G., Feng, H., and Chen, S. (2015). "Stress wave tomography of wood internal defects using ellipse-based spatial interpolation and velocity compensation," BioRes. 10(3), 3948-3962.AbstractArticlePDF

    In this paper, a novel stress wave tomography method, using spatial interpolation and velocity compensation, is proposed for the detection of internal defects in wood, based on the measured time of flight data and the assumption that stress waves propagate in straight lines in the cross-sectional area of wood. First, an improved ellipse-based spatial interpolation method is proposed, which could be used to estimate the velocity value of a grid cell by the elliptic affected zones corresponding to the nearby velocity rays. Second, because of the anisotropic property of wood, a velocity compensation method was applied to obtain more accurate input data for spatial interpolation. Then, the internal graph of the cross-section of a wood trunk could be reconstructed by the proposed algorithm. Four wood samples, with different defects, were used to test the proposed tomography method in the experiment. The results showed that the proposed method performed well and was able to resist signal interference caused by the density variation of the defective area.

  • Researchpp 3963-3978Percin, O., Sofuoglu, S. D., and Uzun, O. (2015). "Effects of boron impregnation and heat treatment on some mechanical properties of oak (Quercus petraea Liebl.) wood," BioRes. 10(3), 3963-3978.AbstractArticlePDF

    Heat treatment changes some physical, mechanical, and chemical properties of wood. Inorganic borates have been used as wood preservatives for many years. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of impregnation chemicals on some mechanical properties (bending strength (MOR), modulus of elasticity (MOE), tensile strength parallel to the grain (TS), compression strength parallel to the grain (CS), and shear strength parallel to the grain (SS)) of heat-treated oak (Quercus petraea Liebl.). For this purpose, the oak wood specimens were impregnated with 5% aqueous solution of boric acid (BA) and borax (BX). Then specimens were heat-treated at 160, 190, and 220 °C for 2 and 4 h. According to the results of the study, borax retention value was higher than boric acid. The bending strength, modulus of elasticity in bending, tensile strength parallel to the grain, and shear strength parallel to the grain decreased due to heat treatment. The highest mechanical strength losses were determined in samples heat treated at 220 °C for 4 h. Generally the mechanical strength losses of samples impregnated with borax were lower than non-impregnated controls and specimens impregnated with boric acid.

  • Researchpp 3979-3986Zhang, L., Liu, S., Wang, B., Wang, Q., Yang, G., and Chen, J. (2015). "Effect of residence time on hydrothermal carbonization of corn cob residual," BioRes. 10(3), 3979-3986.AbstractArticlePDF

    Hydrothermal carbonization is a promising technique for conversion of industrial waste into valuable products. Producing hydrochar from corn cob residual (CCR) in a cost-effective way is key, from an economic standpoint. For this purpose, the effect of residence time in the range of 0.5 to 6 h was studied under the optimal temperature of 250 °C. Results showed that the higher heating value (HHV) of hydrochar increased approximately 40% in comparison to that of the raw material; however, prolonging the residence time beyond 0.5 h had a negligible effect on the HHV increase. Chemical compositions and H/C and O/C ratios of hydrochars revealed a minimal effect of longer residence time. Furthermore, thermogravimetric and derivative thermogravimetric analysis (TG/DTG), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of hydrochars also verified that the pyrolysis behavior and chemical structure of hydrochars with various residence times were similar.

  • Researchpp 3987-3998Wang, Y., Wang, X., Hu, Z., Li, Y., Deng, S., Niu, B., and Tan, H. (2015). "NO emissions and combustion efficiency during biomass co-firing and air-staging," BioRes. 10(3), 3987-3998.AbstractArticlePDF

    Experiments were carried out in a drop tube furnace to investigate the effects of biomass/coal co-firing and air staging on NO emission and combustion efficiency. NO and CO emissions along the height of the furnace were monitored by a gas analyzer, and the content of unburned carbon (UBC) in fly ash was also tested. Results showed that NO emission from straw or wood combustion only account for 1/3 or 1/2 that from coal combustion, respectively. Under the conditions of biomass co-firing, the increase in blending ratio had a positive effect on the reduction of NO emission and combustion efficiency. Moreover, results of air-staging combustion showed that for coal combustion, air staging notably reduced NO emission and combustion efficiency. For biomass combustion, the effect was slight. Synergetic analysis indicated that there was an optimum biomass co-firing ratio around 0.4, when the positive synergetic effects on reducing NO emission and UBC were the most significant. When the co-firing ratio exceeded this optimum value, further increasing the co-firing ratio had little influence on NO emission and combustion efficiency. After air staging was adopted, the degree of synergetic effect on NO emissions was reduced while that of UBC was increased.

  • Researchpp 3999-4010Šedivka, P., Bomba, J., Böhm, M., and Boška, P. (2015). "Influence of temperature on the strength of bonded joints," BioRes. 10(3), 3999-4010.AbstractArticlePDF

    The objective of this study was to assess the influence of varying temperature on the strength characteristics of joints bonded using three types of one-component PVAc adhesives (i.e., Rakoll Express D3, Titebond II Premium, and Rhenocoll 3W, 4B Plus) that belong to the group of thermoplastic wood adhesives intended for non-construction bonding applications. The measuring procedure was a transverse tensile test for estimation of joint strength. As documented by the test results, a higher joint strength achieved at a higher temperature was achieved again after a gradual increase in the joint temperature from 20 °C to 140 °C and subsequent cooling to the starting temperature. After cooling the joint to the starting temperature, all tested adhesives complied with the minimum strength, namely 10 MPa. The results obtained in this study indicated that the resistance and thus the strength of joints bonded using contemporary PVAc adhesives increases with time.

  • Researchpp 4011-4025Wagner, L., Bos, C., Bader, T. K., and de Borst, K. (2015). "Effect of water on the mechanical properties of wood cell walls - Results of a nanoindentation study," BioRes. 10(3), 4011-4025.AbstractArticlePDF

    The paper presents a nanoindentation study on five different wood species in which the elastic and creep properties of the S2 cell wall layer and the middle lamella were determined. Measurements were carried out at relative humidities (RH) ranging from 10 to 80% as well as underwater. Indentation moduli were found to decrease by about a third in the S2 layer and by about half in the middle lamella between RH of 10 and 80%. Hardness dropped by 50 to 60% in this humidity range in both the S2 layer and the middle lamella. Creep parameters were almost constant up to a relative humidity of 40%, but they increased considerably at higher RH. The most pronounced change of reduced moduli and creep properties occurred between 60 and 80% RH, which is consistent with the expected softening of hemicellulose and amorphous parts of cellulose in this humidity region. Immersion into water resulted in a further decrease of the reduced moduli to about 20 to 30% of their values at 10% RH and to only about 10 to 20% for the hardness. This can be explained by additional softening of the less ordered regions of cellulose.

  • Researchpp 4026-4037Sarto, C., Segura, T. E. S., and da Silva Júnior, F. G. (2015). "Performance of Schizolobium amazonicum wood in bleached kraft pulp production," BioRes. 10(3), 4026-4037.AbstractArticlePDF

    This study aimed to evaluate the characteristics of Schizolobium amazonicum wood, specifically its performance in bleached kraft pulp production and the characteristics of its pulp. Chips of Schizolobium amazonicum and Eucalyptus grandis x Eucalyptus urophylla (reference) were used. The following parameters were evaluated in the wood: basic density, total extractives, total lignin, holocellulose, and fiber morphology. The pulping simulations were carried out in a laboratory digester, with parameters set to obtain pulp with kappa number 19 ± 0.5. Both pulps were bleached in a PFI mill and submitted to physical-mechanical tests. The results showed that S. amazonicum wood has low basic density and higher content of extractives when compared to E. grandis x E. urophylla wood. For pulping, S. amazonicum required higher alkali charge and H factor to achieve the same delignification level of E. grandis x E. urophylla, resulting in a lower yield, pulp with lower viscosity, and higher wood specific consumption. During bleaching, the brightness gain and final viscosity of S. amazonicum pulp were lower than E. grandis x E. urophylla pulp. Moreover, S. amazonicum pulp had worse physical-mechanical characteristics than E. grandis x E. urophylla.

  • Researchpp 4038-4047Xiao, W., Zhang, X., Wang, X., Niu, W., and Han, L. (2015). "Rapid liquefaction of corn stover with microwave heating," BioRes. 10(3), 4038-4047.AbstractArticlePDF

    Microwave heating was applied in the liquefaction of corn stover with polyhydric alcohol to establish a rapid process for converting corn stover into polyols. With ethylene glycol (EG) as liquefacient and 3.5% sulfuric acid as a catalyst, the residue content was reduced to 4.7% after 20 min of microwave liquefaction at 160 °C. Effects of liquefaction parameters on the residue content were investigated. It was found that the reaction temperature had a greater influence on the residue content than the sulfuric acid concentration and reaction time. The liquefied mixture was characterized as complexes of ester and ether type polyols by means of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. 3-(2-Methyl-1,3-dioxolan-2-yl) propanoic acid was characterized as the main degradation product of corn stover, besides the large amount of condensation product of EG.