NC State
  • Reviewpp 7494-7542Zhang, H., Dou, C., Pal, L., and Hubbe, M. A. (2019). "Review of electrically conductive composites and films containing cellulosic fibers or nanocellulose," BioRes. 14(3), 7494-7542.AbstractArticlePDF

    Strategic combinations of cellulosic materials with electrically conductive polymers or nanoconductors offer important potential advantages for technological advances, light-weight inexpensive products, applications of novel form factors, and more eco-friendly alternatives to certain forms of smart packaging and electronics. This review of the literature focuses on how such electrically conductive composite systems work, the roles that cellulosic materials can provide in such structures, processes by which electrically-conductive cellulose-based composites and films can be manufactured, and various potential applications that have been demonstrated. Several advantages of cellulose, such as ease of fabrication, compatibility with conductive agents, and sustainability, allow its integration with conductive agents in making conductive composites. Applications of electrically conducting cellulose-based composites for strain sensors, energy storage, solar cells, electrodes, supercapacitors, and smart packaging are discussed.

  • Reviewpp 7543-7581Demuner, I. F., Colodette, J. L., Demuner, A. J., and Jardim, C. M. (2019). "Biorefinery review: Wide-reaching products through kraft lignin," BioRes. 14(3), 7543-7581.AbstractArticlePDF

    This review details the structure of lignin and curates information on the characteristics that this polymer must have for each specific use. Lignin is a by-product of the pulp and paper industry and the second most abundant biopolymer after cellulose. Approximately 50 million tons of lignin are produced worldwide annually, of which 98% to 99% is incinerated to produce steam, process energy. Just 1% to 2% of the lignin, derived from the sulfite pulp industry, is used in chemical conversion to produce lignosulfonates. Biorefining is a promising approach to promote the wider use of kraft lignin. However, using kraft lignin to produce high value-added products is a great challenge, due to its complex structure, low reactivity, and low solubility, which are factors that limit the lignin’s large-scale use in biorefineries. Recent studies show that kraft lignin can be used as lignosulfonates and dispersants, technical carbons, transportation fuels, bioplastics, and adhesives, but some technological hurdles must be overcome and several industrial tests must be developed to make these uses viable.

  • Reviewpp 7582-7626Hubbe, M. A., Azizian, S., and Douven, S. (2019). "Implications of apparent pseudo-second-order adsorption kinetics onto cellulosic materials: A review," BioRes. 14(3), 7582-7626.AbstractArticlePDF

    The pseudo-second-order (PSO) kinetic model has become among the most popular ways to fit rate data for adsorption of metal ions, dyes, and other compounds from aqueous solution onto cellulose-based materials. This review first considers published evidence regarding the validity of the mechanistic assumptions underlying application of the PSO model to adsorption kinetics. A literal interpretation of the model requires an assumption that different adsorption sites on a solid substrate randomly collide with each other during a rate-limiting mechanistic step. Because of problems revealed by the literature regarding the usual assumptions associated with the PSO model, this review also considers how else to account for good fits of adsorption data to the PSO model. Studies have shown that adsorption behavior that fits the PSO model well often can be explained by diffusion-based mechanisms. Hypothetical data generated using the assumption of pseudo-first-order rate behavior has been shown to fit the PSO model very well. In light of published evidence, adsorption kinetics of cellulosic materials is expected to mainly depend on diffusion-limited processes, as affected by heterogeneous distributions of pore sizes and continual partitioning of solute species between a dissolved state and a fixed state of adsorption.