NC State
  • Researchpp 6395-6416McGavin, R. L., Bailleres, H., Fehrmann, J., and Ozarska, B. (2015). "Stiffness and density analysis of rotary veneer recovered from six species of Australian plantation hardwoods," BioRes. 10(4), 6395-6416.AbstractArticlePDF

    Commercial interest in Australian hardwood plantations is increasing. The timber industry is investigating alternative supplies of forest resources, and the plantation growing industry is eager to explore alternative markets to maximize financial returns. Identifying suitable processing strategies and high-value products that suit young, plantation-grown hardwoods have proven challenging; however, recent veneer processing trials using simple veneer technology have demonstrated more acceptable recoveries of marketable products. The recovered veneers have visual qualities that are suitable for structurally-based products; however, the mechanical properties of the veneer are largely unknown. Veneers resulting from processing trials of six commercially important Australian hardwood species were used to determine key wood properties (i.e., density, dynamic modulus of elasticity (MoE), and specific MoE). The study revealed that a wide variation of properties existed between species and also within species. Simple mathematical modeling, using sigmoidal curves, was demonstrated to be an effective method to model the evolution of key wood properties across the billet radius and along the resulting veneer ribbon with benefits for tree breeders and processors.

  • Researchpp 6417-6427Liu, H., Gao, J., and Chen, Y. (2015). "Effects of pre-freezing prior to drying upon some physical and mechanical properties of Eucalyptus urophylla x Eucalyptus grandis wood," BioRes. 10(4), 6417-6427.AbstractArticlePDF

    To investigate the effect of pre-freezing treatment on the shrinkage properties and discoloration of Eucalyptus urophylla × Eucalyptus grandis wood, E. urophylla × E. grandis wood samples were treated by pre-freezing at -20 and -40 °C for 72 h and then dried to reach equilibrium moisture content at 12% and 8%, respectively. Color changes were measured by colorimeter and evaluated by diffuse reflectance visible (DRV) spectrometry; mechanical properties were also tested. The results showed that the shrinkage of Eucalyptus wood samples decreased after being pre-frozen, and the overall color change ΔE* increased by 6.11 when the treatment temperature changed from minus 20 to -40 °C. Absorption (ΔK/S) spectra in the range of 450 to 740 nm of the treatment samples exhibited flat-lined, which suggests that the color of wood stabilizes after being pre-frozen and dried. The tensile, compression and bending strengths decreased 4.74, 6.05, 1.18 after pre-freezing treatment at -40 °C, respectively. Pre-freezing treatment at -20 °C is better than that at -40 °C for improving the drying properties of E. urophylla × E. grandis wood.

  • Researchpp 6428-6441Bumbudsanpharoke, N., and Ko, S. (2015). "In-situ green synthesis of gold nanoparticles using unbleached kraft pulp," BioRes. 10(4), 6428-6441.AbstractArticlePDF

    Facile green synthesis of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) on cellulose fiber was successfully achieved by reducing chloroauric acid (HAuCl4·3H2O) by means of unbleached kraft pulp. A significant color change in pulp fiber indicating the in-situ formation of gold was observed with one-step synthesis in an autoclave. As-prepared AuNP-cellulose fiber nanocomposites were thoroughly characterized by UV–Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Gold nanoparticles were uniformly dispersed on the surface of the fiber by the bio-reduction of Au3+ from metal salt to Au0 with the α-carbonyl group and conjugated carbonyl of phenolic groups of lignin. The AuNPs formed on cellulose fibers were estimated to have average sizes of approximately 12.5, 12.4, 16.4, and 21.0 nm, depending on the concentration of Au3+ involved in the synthesis.

  • Researchpp 6442-6456Ferrer, A., Vargas, F., Jameel, H., and Rojas, O. J. (2015). "Influence of operating variables and model to minimize the use of anthraquinone in the soda-anthraquinone pulping of barley straw," BioRes. 10(4), 6442-6456.AbstractArticlePDF

    Soda-anthraquinone (soda-AQ) pulping of barley straw was used to obtain cellulosic pulps for papermaking purposes. The identified parameters, or variables to be optimized, were operating time, anthraquinone concentration, and PFI refiner revolutions, and the influence of these operating variables on pulp properties was studied. A polynomial model that reproduced the experimental results with errors less than 6% was developed. Operating variables were found (46 min of processing time, 0.4 wt.% of anthraquinone concentration, and 3000 rpm of PFI revolution) that yielded competitive pulp properties (82 °SR beating grade number, 870 mL/g of viscosity, Kappa number of 13, 77 Nm/g of tensile index, and 30% ISO brightness) at reasonable chemical and energy costs. On the other hand, this study highlights the usefulness of this polynomial model as a method to minimize the use of anthraquinone in these pulping processes and to be able to predict what the pulp properties will be. For comparison purposes, new operating conditions were found, and the pulp properties still remain at a very good level for this cereal straw.

  • Researchpp 6457-6478Mohammed, I. Y., Abakr, Y. A., Kazi, F. K., Yusuf, S., Alshareef, I., and Chin, S. A. (2015). "Pyrolysis of Napier grass in a fixed bed reactor: Effect of operating conditions on product yields and characteristics," BioRes. 10(4), 6457-6478.AbstractArticlePDF

    This study presents a report on pyrolysis of Napier grass stem in a fixed bed reactor. The effects of nitrogen flow (20 to 60 mL/min), and reaction temperature (450 to 650 °C) were investigated. Increasing the nitrogen flow from 20 to 30 mL/min increased the bio-oil yield and decreased both bio-char and non-condensable gas. 30 mL/min nitrogen flow resulted in optimum bio-oil yield and was used in the subsequent experiments. Reaction temperatures between 450 and 600 °C increased the bio-oil yield, with maximum yield of 32.26 wt% at 600 oC and a decrease in the corresponding bio-char and non-condensable gas. At 650 °C, reductions in the bio-oil and bio-char yields were recorded while the non-condensable gas increased. Water content of the bio-oil decreased with increasing reaction temperature, while density and viscosity increased. The observed pH and higher heating values were between 2.43 to 2.97, and 25.25 to 28.88 MJ/kg, respectively. GC-MS analysis revealed that the oil was made up of highly oxygenated compounds and requires upgrading. The bio-char and non-condensable gas were characterized, and the effect of reaction temperature on the properties was evaluated. Napier grass represents a good source of renewable energy when all pyrolysis products are efficiently utilized.

  • Researchpp 6479-6495Liu, Y., Chen, Y., Zhao, Y., Tong, Z., and Chen, S. (2015). "Superabsorbent sponge and membrane prepared by polyelectrolyte complexation of carboxymethyl cellulose/hydroxyethyl cellulose-Al3+," BioRes. 10(4), 6479-6495.AbstractArticlePDF

    A novel carboxymethyl cellulose/ hydroxyethyl cellulose-Al3+ (CMC/HEC-Al3+) hydrogel was prepared through electrostatic complexing between the anionic polyelectrolyte CMC and cationic cross-linking agent Al3+. The structure and properties of the hydrogel were characterized using FTIR, TGA, and SEM. The viscoelasticities of the swollen hydrogel were measured using the rheology test. The results indicated that a porous network structure was formed in the hydrogel. The content of CMC, HEC, and Al3+ can significantly affect its structure and characteristics. A sponge and membrane were prepared from the CMC/HEC-Al3+ hydrogel by freeze-drying and oven drying, respectively. Their swelling behaviors were investigated in water and saline solutions, and quantified with a swelling kinetic simulation. The results indicated that electrostatic effects, physical entanglement, and intra- and intermolecular hydrogen bonds contributed to the cross-linking network structure, with the electrostatic effect acting as the dominant force. In all, both superabsorbent sponge and membrane prepared from CMC/HEC-Al3+ hydrogel showed excellent swelling behavior and could be used in dressing wounds.

  • Researchpp 6496-6511Şahin Kol, H., and Yalçın, I. (2015). "Predicting wood strength using dielectric parameters," BioRes. 10(4), 6496-6511.AbstractArticlePDF

    There are various methods for nondestructive imaging of the internal structure of wood. A microwave nondestructive method based on the dielectric properties of a medium is an area of great interest for predicting wood strength in the worldwide wood industry, but the reliable prediction of strength in wood still has not been solved in a satisfying manner. Hence, answering the question of how dielectric properties of the wood are related to strength may improve the efficiency of models for predicting structural performance of wood by microwaves. Relationships were evaluated in this work between dielectric parameters (dielectric constant, loss factor, and loss tangent) and the strength properties of wood. Samples were prepared from fir and oak wood. Dielectric measurement was performed at a frequency of 9.8 GHz using Von Hippel’s Transmission Line Method. Wood density and some mechanical properties were then determined according to related ISO standards. The results showed that there were good relationships between the dielectric parameters and the MOR, MOE, IBS, and CS, especially for oak wood. The dielectric parameters were promising to predict wood strength with a high accuracy for oak but not fir, and the dielectric constant had a higher precision degree than the loss tangent and loss factor.

  • Researchpp 6512-6521Kvietková, M., Gaff, M., Gašparík, M., Kaplan, L., and Barcík, S. (2015). "Surface quality of milled birch wood after thermal treatment at various temperatures," BioRes. 10(4), 6512-6521.AbstractArticlePDF

    The surface quality of thermally modified birch wood was examined after plane milling. The surface quality was assessed based on the arithmetic mean deviation of the assessed profile Ra. Plane milling was carried out at various cutting speeds of 20, 40, and 60 m/s and feed speeds 4, 8, and 11 m/min. Based on the results, it was concluded that thermal treatment reduced the surface roughness of milled birch wood, but the decrease was not statistically significant. The cutting speed and feed had the greatest impact on all monitored factors. Increases in cutting speed reduced the average roughness, while increases in feed speed had the opposite effect. The highest roughness was achieved after plane milling with a feed speed of 11 m/min.

  • Researchpp 6522-6537Bensah, E. C., Kádár, Z., and Mensah, M. Y. (2015). "Ethanol production from hydrothermally-treated biomass from West Africa," BioRes. 10(4), 6522-6537.AbstractArticlePDF

    Despite the abundance of diverse biomass resources in Africa, they have received little research and development focus. This study presents compositional analysis, sugar, and ethanol yields of hydrothermal pretreated (195 °C, 10 min) biomass from West Africa, including bamboo wood, rubber wood, elephant grass, Siam weed, and coconut husk, benchmarked against those of wheat straw. The elephant grass exhibited the highest glucose and ethanol yields at 57.8% and 65.1% of the theoretical maximums, respectively. The results show that the glucose yield of pretreated elephant grass was 3.5 times that of the untreated material, while the ethanol yield was nearly 2 times higher. Moreover, the sugar released by the elephant grass (30.8 g/100 g TS) was only slightly lower than by the wheat straw (33.1 g/100 g TS), while the ethanol yield (16.1 g/100 g TS) was higher than that of the straw (15.26 g/100 g TS). All other local biomass types studied exhibited sugar and ethanol yields below 33% and 35% of the theoretical maximum, respectively. Thus, elephant grass is a highly promising biomass source for ethanol production in Africa.

  • Researchpp 6538-6547Santos, R. B., Gomide, J. L., and Hart, P. W. (2015). "Kraft pulping of reduced metal content eucalyptus wood: Process impacts," BioRes. 10(4), 6538-6547.AbstractArticlePDF

    The effect of using acid pretreated eucalyptus wood chips in the Lo-Solids® pulping process was evaluated in the laboratory. Lo-Solids® cooking technology was chosen to evaluate the impact of acid pretreatments on the cooking performance, brown stock chemical composition, and black liquor heating value. The acid leaching stage reduced the contents of transition metals and other non-process elements in the wood chips and in the pulps produced. Benefits were detected in terms of the reduction in white liquor charge, increase in pulp yield, as well as pulp viscosity and black liquor heating value. Carbohydrate content and other wood/pulp constituents were not affected by the acid leaching pretreatments.