NC State
  • Researchpp 700-713Seeta Uthaya Kumar, U., Paridah, M. T., Owolabi, F. A. T., Gopakumar, D. A., Rizal, S., Amirul, A. A., Rahman, A. A., Alfatah, T., Mistar, E. M., Sri Aprilia, N. A., and Abdul Khalil, H. P. S. (2019). "Neem leaves extract based seaweed bio-degradable composite films with excellent antimicrobial activity for sustainable packaging material," BioRes. 14(1), 700-713.AbstractArticlePDF

    Seaweed-based biodegradable films were studied with incorporation of different concentrations of neem (Azadirachta indica) leaf extract. The films were fabricated via a hot casting method and were subjected to physical, mechanical, and morphological examinations to investigate the effect of the neem extract reinforcement in the edible film. There was moderate improvement in the tensile strength, contact angle values, and elongation at break values, while the water vapour permeability was reduced with the addition of neem leaves extract beyond 5 w/w %. Analysis of the morphology of the fabricated films confirmed that there was good dispersion of the neem leaves extract in the seaweed matrix films, which resulted in the enhanced mechanical strength of the fabricated films. Moreover, the fabricated composite films showed excellent antimicrobial activity towards both Gram-positive bacterium subclasses (coccus and bacillus), which is highly desirable for the packaging material in the current scenario. So far, this is the first report on neem leave based seaweed films with enhanced antimicrobial activity, which makes them suitable for sustainable packaging application. The experiments showed that the seaweed-based film incorporated with neem leaves extract has potential application as an active packaging material due to its enhanced mechanical properties and antimicrobial activity.

  • Researchpp 714-724Xing, J., Liu, Q., Zheng, K., Ma, J., Liu, X., Yang, H., Peng, X., Nie, S., and Wang, K. (2019). "Synergistic effect of Fenton-like treatment on the adsorption of organic dye on bamboo magnetic biochar," BioRes. 14(1), 714-724.AbstractArticlePDF

    Magnetic bamboo charcoal was one-pot synthesized and employed in the removal of methylene blue. The data indicated that three different oxidation states of iron (Fe3O4, FeO, and zero-valent iron) were generated under different pyrolytic temperatures, and the maximum specific surface area was 484.6 m2/g. Both physical adsorption and catalytic degradation of MBC with zero-valent iron exhibited more effective capability to decontaminate organic pollution, as the zero-valent iron acted as a Fenton-like catalyst under aerobic conditions. In addition, the obtained magnetic bamboo charcoal manifested the maximum absorption-degradation capacity of methylene blue which was 73.6 mg/g under the weakly acidic (pH=5) and high temperature (60 °C) conditions, which broadened the applications as compared with the classic Fenton catalyst.

  • Researchpp 725-736Ji, H., Dong, C., Yang, G., and Pang, Z. (2019). "Production of levulinic acid from lignocellulosic biomass with a recyclable aromatic acid and its kinetic study," BioRes. 14(1), 725-736.AbstractArticlePDF

    Levulinic acid (LA), a renewable and valuable platform chemical from lignocellulosic biomass, has exhibited major potential in the production of biomaterials and biofuels. This study reports the production of LA from lignocellulose using a recyclable aromatic acid, toluene sulfonic acid (p-TsOH), and its reaction kinetics were investigated. The adoption of p-TsOH, which has a special hydrophobic and hydrophilic structure, dramatically improved the yield of LA to a competitive level (57.9±4.1%) at the optimum conditions (reaction temperature = 162 °C, catalyst concentration = 0.95 mol/L, and reaction time = 64 min). Meanwhile, the kinetics involving the simultaneous conversion of both glucan (the cellulose component) and mannan (the hemicellulose component) to LA were examined. The results indicated that the activation energy values in the reaction kinetics were lower than those in previous studies that used H2SO4 as a catalyst. Consequently, the maximum yield of LA was easily obtained at a lower temperature (170 °C). The results of this study are important for process modelling applications and the production of LA from lignocellulosic materials.

  • Researchpp 737-754Wae AbdulKadir, W. A. F., Md. Yunos, K. F., Hassan, A. R., Mohd Amin, N. A., and Samsu Baharuddin, A. (2019). "Fabrication and performance of PSf/CA ultrafiltration membranes: Effect of additives for fouling resistance and selective polyphenol removal from apple juice," BioRes. 14(1), 737-754.AbstractArticlePDF

    This work focused on the addition of different pore formation-controlling agent to a polysulfone/cellulose acetate blend membrane via immersion precipitation using phase inversion technique to improve the fouling resistance and selective polyphenol removal of apple juice. The membranes were prepared by blending hydrophilic polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and amphiphilic Pluronic F127 (Plu) with polysulfone/cellulose acetate matrix in N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone. The morphology, mechanical strength, flux permeation, flux recovery ratio, and polyphenol separation of these membranes were characterized. It was found that the fabricated membranes with addition of PVP and Plu were more effective than the membrane without a pore formation-controlling agent. The flux recovery of the membranes with combined pore formers after ultrafiltration of bovine serum albumin increased from 12.4% to 66.9%. The selectivity of polyphenols increased from 6% to 79% with an improved flux recovery of 79%, which shows the reduction of yellowish-brown pigment in apple juice.


  • Researchpp 755-768Cardoso, A., Moya, L., and Borges, A. (2019). "Prediction of the bending stiffness of Uruguayan loblolly and slash pine timber applying different statistical techniques," BioRes. 14(1), 755-768.AbstractArticlePDF

    Regression trees, random forests, and generalized additive models (GAM) are statistical techniques often used in several disciplines, but rarely in wood technology. This study presented a novel approach to predicting the modulus of elasticity of Uruguayan pine timber by applying three statistical techniques and using visual parameters and non-destructive testing. For this purpose, two sample groups of beams (50 mm × 150 mm × 2800 mm) were selected from two commercial plantations, one comprised of 122 specimens from 14-year-old loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) and the second comprised of 111 specimens from 27-year-old slash pine (P. elliottii). The visual parameters and dynamic modulus of elasticity for each specimen were obtained and associated with their experimental static bending stiffness. The number of annual rings per centimeter, twist, crook, and knot size were the most relevant visual variables for the modulus of elasticity prediction. The inclusion of the dynamic modulus of elasticity in the modeling improved the stiffness prediction by reducing the prediction error by 46% on average. The GAM had the best prediction, with a 10% prediction error, and explained 88% of the variability. These results suggested that GAM is a useful tool for stiffness prediction of Uruguayan pine timber.

  • Researchpp 769-779Wei, W., Li, Y., Xue, T., Liu, X., Chen, L., Wang, J., Wang, T., and Cai, Y. (2019). "Research on milling forces during high-speed milling of wood-plastic composites," BioRes. 14(1), 769-779.AbstractArticlePDF

    To analyze the influence of the milling parameters, including the spindle speed, feed rate, axial cutting depth, and radial cutting depth, on the milling force during high-speed milling of wood-plastic composites, an orthogonal test was performed with carbide cutting tools. The results showed that the tangential (Fx) and radial forces (Fy) decreased with an increase in the spindle speed, increased with an increase in the feed rate, and increased with an increase in the axial milling depth. Also, both were influenced by a relatively small amount of change in the axial milling depth. Mathematical models of Fx and Fy during the high-speed milling of wood-plastic composites were established with a multiple linear regression method. The variance analysis showed that the two mathematical models of the milling forces were significant overall.

  • Researchpp 780-795Wang, Y., De Assis, T., Zambrano, F., Pal, L., Venditti, R., Dasmohapatra, S., Pawlak, J., and Gonzalez, R. (2019). "Relationship between human perception of softness and instrument measurements," BioRes. 14(1), 780-795.AbstractArticlePDF

    Softness, as a subjective perception, is difficult to define and quantify. For decades, panel tests have been used to judge differences in the softness of hygiene tissue samples. Panel tests can be a time-consuming and expensive process. A number of protocols have been developed to quantify the physical properties of tissues associated with softness. The Tissue Softness Analyzer (TSA) by Emtec has gained popularity in characterizing the physical properties of tissues associated with softness. The instrument was designed with softness in mind and attempts to simulate the touch of the human hand. There is currently no comprehensive study that compares the results from a TSA and human panel. In this work, panel tests were used to validate the performance of the TSA with bath tissue. It was determined that one component of the TSA measurements (TS7) linearly correlated with the panel results. Among all of the algorithms available for use with the TSA, the TP2 algorithm most accurately predicted the panel scores. The TSA performed better in predicting the softness of the samples that were dried with a conventional wet press or creped-through air-dryer.


  • Researchpp 796-815Daneshvar, S., Behrooz, R., Kazemi Najafi, S., and Mir Mohamad Sadeghi, G. (2019). "Characterization of polyurethane wood adhesive prepared from liquefied sawdust by ethylene carbonate," BioRes. 14(1), 796-815.AbstractArticlePDF

    Polyols, which are important compounds of polyurethane adhesives (PU), were prepared in this work from renewable sources. Beech wood sawdust was liquefied using ethylene carbonate as a new solvent and sulfuric acid as a catalyst in the two phases. The first phase of the liquefaction process was carried out at temperatures 110 to 160 °C, and the catalyst content was studied in the second phase. The biopolyol was used for two types of polyurethane adhesive by blending two types of isocyanate, poly4,4′- diphenyl methane diisocyanate (PMDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI), in different NCO/OH ratios for the preparation of polyurethane adhesives. Liquefaction temperature had a great influence on the characteristics of polyol such as acid and hydroxyl numbers and yield. Moreover, the polyol obtained at 130°C and 120 min with yield 85% was found to be a suitable polyol for preparing polyurethane adhesives. By increasing the molar ratio (NCO/OH) to 1.7, the lap shear strength was increased. The optimal lap shear strengths in PU PMDI and PU TDI were 1.64MPa and 1.46MPa, respectively. FTIR results showed that due to the presence of hydroxyl groups (OH), beechwood sawdust can be a source of polyol. Urethane bonds can form between the polyol and isocyanate in polyurethane adhesives.

  • Researchpp 816-841Wu, P., Li, J., He, T., and Hu, C. (2019). "The direct conversion of hemicelluloses to selectively produce xylose from corn stover catalysed by maleic acid," BioRes. 14(1), 816-841.AbstractArticlePDF

    The direct conversion of hemicellulose in corn stover to xylose while avoiding further degradation in water by using maleic acid as a catalyst was studied. When 0.06 M maleic acid was added, a 96.8 wt.% hemicellulose conversion was achieved, with relatively low conversion of cellulose (24.1 wt.%) and lignin (20.7 wt.%) at 140 °C for 2 h, and a relatively high yield of 22.5 wt.% (95.5 mol%) to xylose was achieved. Maleic acid interacted with the open form of xylose via hydrogen bonding to stabilize xylose, whereas its further degradation pathway was blocked, which led to improved yield and selectivity. The conversion of hemicellulose in bamboo, apple tree, straw, and mulberry to produce xylose (at 140 °C, for 2 h) catalyzed by maleic acid was also effective (Ya = 17.8 wt.%, Yb = 127.1 mol% xylose yield for hardwood and Ya = 25.1 wt.%, Yb = 109.6 mol% yield for grass) under the same conditions.

  • Researchpp 842-857Cui, L., Chen, T., Yin, C., Yan, J., Ippolito, J., and Hussain, Q. (2019). "Mechanism of adsorption of cadmium and lead ions by iron-activated biochar," BioRes. 14(1), 842-857.AbstractArticlePDF

    Heavy metal removal from aqueous matrices may help reduce disease and cancer incidences. In this study, reed biochar (RBC) and RBC modified by ferrous ammonium sulfate addition (1 mol Fe L-1) were compared for potential Cd and Pb removal from varying pH aqueous solutions. Surface functional groups were identified using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis, and their surface physicochemical structure was observed using scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectrometry (SEM-EDS). Batch experiments showed that the modified-reed biochar (MRBC) had greater Cd and Pb removal capacities over a wide pH range (1 to 8), as well as greater metal sorption capacities compared to RBC. Metal reaction kinetics occurred relatively quickly (i.e., within 60 min), and Langmuir modeling suggested that Cd and Pb removal by MRBC was maximized at 2.97 mg g−1 and 17.5 mg g−1 at 45 °C, respectively. The MRBC effectively sorbed Cd and Pb likely due to associations with functional groups modified by the Fe addition. In the future, MRBC may be used as an efficient and eco-friendly adsorbent for Cd and Pb removal from aqueous solutions and may help reduce water-borne issues associated with metal contamination.