NC State
  • Researchpp 4884-4896Li, Y., Wang, X., Song, H., Shao, J., Ma, H., and Chen, H. (2018). "Phenols production from online catalytic conversion of corn stalk pyrolysis vapors using char in-situ," BioRes. 13(3), 4884-4896.AbstractArticlePDF

    Char in-situ (char[is]) obtained from corn stalk pyrolysis was evaluated as a catalyst to upgrade corn stalk pyrolysis vapors. A catalyst evaluation device was introduced to conduct the experiments. The effects of reaction temperature and char[is] dose on catalytic performances in biomass pyrolysis were evaluated. The results showed that the char in-situ had a remarkable effect on the pyrolysis products. Under the action of char[is], the primary compounds of pyrolysis vapors were catalytically converted into phenolic products, such as phenol and 4-ethyl-phenol, while the acetic acid content was evidently reduced. The product selectivity was not dependent on the polar functional groups on the char[is]’s surface according to the Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) results, but might have been dependent on the mesoporous structure and the basicity sites of the charis as well as the metallic species in the char[is]. A possible reaction mechanism for phenols production and acetic acid inhibition was proposed.

  • Researchpp 4897-4915Xiao, K., Zhou, W., Geng, M., Feng, W., Wang, Y., Xiao, N., Zhu, D., Zhu, F., and Liu, G. (2018). "Comparative evaluation of enzymatic hydrolysis potential of Eichhornia crassipes and sugarcane bagasse for fermentable sugar production," BioRes. 13(3), 4897-4915.AbstractArticlePDF

    In the production of biofuel from biomass, the enzymatic hydrolysis potential (EHP) of feedstock plays a critical role in determining the process’s saccharification efficiency (SE) and economic feasibility. In this study, the artificial biomass of Eichhornia crassipes (EC) and sugarcane bagasse (SB), as well as the actual biomass of EC and SB pretreated by four different chemical methods, were subjected to enzymatic hydrolysis. A binary linear-regression equation (BLE), y=β1χ1+β2χ2, was derived to illustrate the relationship between the sugar yield (y) and the proportions of key components (cellulose and hemicellulose) (χ1, χ2) with different compositional contributions (β1 and β2) to y. The EC cellulose was found to make a greater contribution than SB cellulose, resulting in higher SE of EC. Furthermore, the SE of pretreated actual biomasses exhibited similar trends and positive correlation with the predictions, indicating good applicability of the BLE model and highlighting the superior EHP of EC. This study advances the understanding of roles played by key biomass components in the enzymatic hydrolysis process, which informs decisions on the EHP of different types of biomass, facilitating the screening of suitable biomass for enhanced SE and cost-effective biomass-to-energy conversion.

  • Researchpp 4916-4930Gao, X., Yu, Y., Jiang, Z., Liu, Y., Zhang, W., and Zhang, L. (2018). "Direct dissolution and spinning of the agricultural waste of corn straw pulp," BioRes. 13(3), 4916-4930.AbstractArticlePDF

    Agricultural waste of corn straw pulp was successfully prepared into fibers using a tetrabutylammonium acetate (TBAA) and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) solvent system via a dry-jet wet spinning process at 35 °C. The dissolving process of cellulose in TBAA/DMSO was observed through a polarization microscope, and the rheological behavior of the cellulose/ TBAA/DMSO solution was also studied. The crystalline and microstructure of the regenerated cellulose fibers prepared from corn straw were investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). In addition, the morphology was characterized with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The thermal stability of corn straw pulp and the regenerated cellulose was also explored. Due to the presence of residual lignin, a longer time was needed for the complete dissolution of corn straw compared with pure wood pulp. In addition, the degree of polymerization and the elongation-at-break of the regenerated fiber had a small amount of attenuation. Despite the deficiencies, a good spinnability of corn straw cellulose solution could still be achieved. Fibers with a round and compact structure as well as a smooth surface were obtained.

  • Researchpp 4931-4945Ashraf, M. A., Arshad, M. I., Rahman, S., and Khan, A. (2018). "Characterization of moderately thermostable α-amylase-producing Bacillus licheniformis from decaying potatoes and sweet potatoes," BioRes. 13(3), 4931-4945.AbstractArticlePDF

    Bacillus licheniformis is an endospore-forming bacterium that is commonly present in soil. The aim of the present study was to isolate and characterize local strains of α-amylase producing B. licheniformis. Soil samples were collected from the decaying surfaces of potatoes and sweet potatoes. The samples were identified by Gram staining, spore staining, and motility testing under aerobic conditions. Twenty-three isolates were found to be from the Bacillus genus and six of those (26%) were found to be B. licheniformis. Two representative samples were run on API 20E and API 50 CH biochemical kits, and 16S rDNA polymerase chain reaction. The isolates were confirmed to be B. licheniformis by the API-web program and molecular detection. Partially purified α-amylase was characterized to determine the effect of the incubation period, temperature tolerance, and pH stability. The activity peaked at 740 mU/mL after 42 h of culturing. The relative activity reached a maximum at 55 °C and a pH of 8.0. The decaying surfaces of potatoes and sweet potatoes are promising sources of α-amylase-producing strains of B. licheniformis that can tolerate both a high temperature and drastic pH level.

  • Researchpp 4946-4963Geng, W., Venditti, R. A., Pawlak, J. J., and Chang, H. (2018). "Effect of delignification on hemicellulose extraction from switchgrass, poplar, and pine and its effect on enzymatic convertibility of cellulose-rich residues," BioRes. 13(3), 4946-4963.AbstractArticlePDF

    Hemicellulose is an abundant and underutilized carbohydrate polymer in plants. The objective of this study was to understand the effect of delignification on hemicellulose extraction efficiency with different types of lignocellulosic biomass. In the case of pine, with a prior sodium chlorite or peracetic acid delignification, more than 50% of the original hemicellulose in the biomass could be extracted using a 10% sodium hydroxide solution; without delignification, only 3.4% of hemicellulose could be extracted from pine. In contrast, without prior delignification, acceptable hemicellulose extraction efficiencies (55.5% and 50.7%, respectively) were achieved from switchgrass and poplar. In addition, the effect of hemicellulose extraction processes on the enzymatic convertibility of the cellulose-rich residues after extraction was determined. The cellulose-rich residues from switchgrass after hemicellulose alkali extraction showed high glucose recovery with enzyme hydrolysis with or without prior delignification. For pine and poplar, high glucose recovery with enzyme hydrolysis of the cellulose-rich residues only occurred if the sample had a delignification step prior to hemicellulose extraction. This information on commercially available biomass feedstocks is useful for those considering isolating hemicellulose within a biorefinery concept.

  • Researchpp 4964-4972Lopes, D. J. V., Benigno Paes, J., and dos Santos Bobadilha, G. (2018). "Resistance of Eucalyptus and Corymbia treated woods against three fungal species," BioRes. 13(3), 4964-4972.AbstractArticlePDF

    The genera Eucalyptus and Corymbia are widely used in Brazil. Although they present remarkable applicability, they manifest substantial end-splitting and surface checks, which allows wood decay organisms to penetrate the wood. Thereby, the resistance of Eucalyptus grandis x Eucalyptus urophylla (EU) and Corymbia citriodora (CT) treated with chromated copper arsenate type-C (CCA-C) against fungi decay was evaluated. Seventy-two fence posts were assessed; for each species, there were 18 posts treated with CCA-C and 18 non-treated posts. The posts were 2.20 m long and classified into three classes of diameter. The 2% active ingredient was used with a vacuum-pressure cycle. On each fence, disks measuring 2.0 cm thick were cut at the outcrop zone. Two sets of depths were analyzed: the edge at 0 cm to 1.5 cm as well as the inner part at 1.5 cm to 3.0 cm. The samples were subjected to Postia placenta, Gloeophyllum trabeum, and Trametes versicolor attack. The treatment was effective against all fungi, but for CT, the diameter range of 8 cm to 12 cm was optimal. The treated wood from EU samples reached the lowest weight loss for all fungi. Heartwood-sapwood ratio played a major role. By comparing the non-treated woods, EU yielded the highest mass loss.

  • Researchpp 4973-4985Chen, K., Liu, D., Chen, X., and Fan, Z. (2018). "Kinetic analysis of Fe(II)-promoted ethanol preparation from cornstalks," BioRes. 13(3), 4973-4985.AbstractArticlePDF

    This paper presents a kinetic study of fuel grade ethanol production by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation from Fe(II)-catalyzed cornstalks. The study observed the optimal conditions of ethanol production as: inoculation proportion (ratio of Pachysolen tannophilus to Saccharomyces cerevisiae) 2:1, fermentation temperature 32 °C, inoculation quantity 20%, addition amount of Fe2+ 4 mg/g (substrate), and cellulase dosage 30 U/g (substrate). An ethanol yield of 0.335 mg/g was obtained from cornstalks pretreated using liquefaction under optimum conditions. A 30.4% increase in the yield was observed when compared with the control group without the addition of Fe2+. The relationship between ethanol yield and fermentation time could be described through a Langmuir isotherm model. The findings of this study will help researchers better understand and describe the complex characteristics of ethanol production from cornstalks with Fe2+ promoter, which will be very useful in improving production yields.

  • Researchpp 4986-4997Bátori, V., Jabbari, M., Srivastava, R. K., Åkesson, D., Lennartsson, P. R., Zamani, A., and Taherzadeh, M. J. (2018). "Synthesis and characterization of maleic anhydride-grafted orange waste for potential use in biocomposites," BioRes. 13(3), 4986-4997.AbstractArticlePDF

    The purpose of the study was to develop a less hydrophilic, and therefore more useful, material from orange waste produced in large quantities by the food industry. A new derivative of industrial orange waste was synthesized via esterification with maleic anhydride. The reaction was confirmed via Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and the degree of substitution of the hydroxyl groups was 0.39 ± 0.01, as determined by a back-titration method. A major change in physical structure was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The flake-like structure of orange waste changed to a sponge-like structure after the reaction, which involved an increased volume and a reduced density by approximately 40%. The sponge-like structure was represented as an agglomeration of particles with a low specific surface area of 2.18 m2/g and a mean pore diameter of 10.7 nm. Interestingly, the grafted orange waste seemed to become more hydrophobic, which was confirmed by a contact angle test; however, the material absorbed more water vapor. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) confirmed a thermally more uniform, though, less heat-resistant material. This work suggests a possible way of utilizing orange waste via synthesizing a renewable material with possible applications as a filler in biocomposites.

  • Researchpp 4998-5012Che Hamzah, N. H., Yahya, A., Che Man, H., and Samsu Baharuddin, A. (2018). "Effect of pretreatments on compost production from shredded oil palm empty fruit bunch with palm oil mill effluent anaerobic sludge and chicken manure," BioRes. 13(3), 4998-5012.AbstractArticlePDF

    Rapid co-composting of lignocellulosic oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) and palm oil mill effluent (POME) is a cost-effective and sustainable way to eliminate biomass residues. In this study, suitable pre-treatments and co-substrates for an accelerated composting treatment process were investigated. A steam pre-treatment was performed prior to composting. The composting mixtures were placed in plastic drums under a roofed area. They were regularly turned for aeration and measured for temperature, oxygen, moisture content, bulk density, carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratio, and fiber tensile strength. C/N ratio is the main parameter measured as a maturity indicator for the compost. The compost temperature was above 60 °C during the thermophilic phase after the steam pre-treatment, based on the heat produced by the microbes. Steam-treated OPEFB and untreated OPEFB co-composted with chicken manure achieved the same maximum temperature of 62 °C and C/N ratios of 8.76 and 9.58, respectively. Steam pretreatment did not have significant effect when the treated OPEFB was co-composted with POME anaerobic sludge due to insufficient steam pressure at 40 psi and 140 °C. Steam-treated OPEFB and untreated OPEFB co-composted with POME anaerobic sludge achieved 54 °C and 60 °C, respectively, while the C/N ratios were 12.41 and 10.14, respectively.


  • Researchpp 5013-5031Asadollahzadeh, M., Ghasemian, A., Saraeian, A., Resalati, H., and Taherzadeh, M. J. (2018). "Production of fungal biomass protein by filamentous fungi cultivation on liquid waste streams from pulping process," BioRes. 13(3), 5013-5031.AbstractArticlePDF

    The aim of this study was to convert the spent liquors obtained from acidic sulfite and neutral sulfite semi-chemical (NSSC) pulping processes into protein-rich fungal biomass. Three filamentous fungi, Aspergillus oryzae, Mucor indicus, and Rhizopus oryzae, were cultivated on the diluted spent liquors in an airlift bioreactor with airflow of 0.85 vvm at 35 °C and pH 5.5. Maximum values of 10.17 g, 6.14 g, and 5.47 g of biomass per liter of spent liquor were achieved in the cultivation of A. oryzae, M. indicus, and R. oryzae on the spent sulfite liquor (SSL) diluted to 60%, respectively, while A. oryzae cultivation on the spent NSSC liquor (SNL) diluted to 50% resulted in the production of 3.27 g biomass per liter SNL. The fungal biomasses contained 407 g to 477 g of protein, 31 g to 114 g of fat, 56 g to 89 g of ash, and 297 g to 384 g of alkali-insoluble material (AIM) per kg of dry biomass. The amino acids, fatty acids, and mineral elements composition of the fungal biomasses corresponded to the composition of commercial protein sources especially soybean meal. Among the fungi examined, A. oryzae showed better performance to produce protein-rich fungal biomass during cultivation in the spent liquors.