NC State
  • Researchpp 4727-4737Ab Latib, H., Choon Liat, L., Ratnasingam, J., Law, E. L., Abdul Azim, A. A., Mariapan, M., and Natkuncaran, J. (2020). "Suitability of paulownia wood from Malaysia for furniture application," BioRes. 15(3), 4727-4737.AbstractArticlePDF

    Imported wood resources, especially yellow poplar and Chinese poplar, are increasingly evident in the Malaysian furniture sector due to declining supply of domestic wood materials. In order to reverse this trend, paulownia, a fast-growing forest plantation tree species, is emerging as an alternative wood material source. This study evaluated the mechanical strength, including fatigue life, machining, adhesive bond, screw withdrawal, and finishing properties of paulownia against the imported wood of yellow poplar and Chinese poplar. The results revealed that paulownia has better properties than Chinese poplar, but it is inferior to yellow poplar due to its lower density. In terms of fatigue strength, all the wood species performed comparably equal, with the allowable design stress set at 40% of the wood species’ respective ultimate bending strength. Against these findings, paulownia is a promising alternative wood resource for furniture manufacturing in Malaysia, and it could possibly replace the imported yellow poplar and Chinese poplar. Nevertheless, the successful application of paulownia for furniture manufacturing will depend on its supply volume and economics in the future.

  • Researchpp 4738-4752Chen, J., Huang, L., Sun, L., and Zhu, X. (2020). "Desulfurization performance of MgO/ rice straw biochar adsorbent prepared by co-precipitation/calcination route," BioRes. 15(3), 4738-4752.AbstractArticlePDF

    A solid adsorbent for SO2 adsorption was prepared from magnesium salt/rice straw via co-precipitation/calcination. The effects of various preparation conditions, including the calcination temperature, the weight ratio of Mg/rice straw, magnesium salts, and amine precipitants, were investigated relative to their effects on the desulfurization performance of adsorbents. Maximum sulfur adsorption capacity (260 mg/g) was obtained with MgO/rice straw biochar adsorbent using tetraethylenepentamine (TEPA) as the precipitants, and the preparation conditions included a calcination temperature of 400 °C, a Mg/rice straw weight ratio of 1.2, and magnesium chloride hexahydrate (MgCl2·6H2O) as the magnesium source. The rice straw biochar-supported MgO sample displayed a high SO2 adsorption capacity due to its excellent textural properties, large specific surface areas, small crystallite size, numerous surface active sites of MgO nanoparticles, and introduced N-H groups. The physical and chemical properties of samples were investigated by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analyses, Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FT-IR), elemental analysis (EA), and X-ray diffraction (XRD).

  • Researchpp 4753-4762Yano, B. B. R., Silva, S. A. M., Almeida, D. H., Aquino, V. B. M., Christoforo, A. L., Rodrigues, E. F. C., Carvalho Junior, A. N., Silva, A. P., and Lahr, F. A. R. (2020). "Use of sugarcane bagasse and industrial timber residue in particleboard production," BioRes. 15(3), 4753-4762.AbstractArticlePDF

    Use of lignocellulosic materials in particleboard has turned into an alternative for the reuse of such materials, which are abundant and may have precarious disposal techniques. The present study fabricated particleboards using industrial sawmill waste from tropical hardwoods (a mix of species) and sugarcane bagasse with castor oil-based bicomponent polyurethane resin and evaluated the influence of the incorporation of sugarcane bagasse (0, 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50%) on the physical and mechanical properties of the composites. The particleboards were produced according to the Brazilian Standard ABNT NBR 14810 (2018), and performance requirements were assessed using Brazilian and international standards. Some of the particleboards met standardized requirements, with Treatment 5 (50% sawdust and 50% bagasse) showing better performance, indicating the possibility for use indoors in dry conditions. The addition of sugarcane bagasse increased dimensional stability of particleboards when compared with panels manufactured with timber residue. Statistical analysis indicated the percentage of bagasse was significant, increasing physical and mechanical properties when compared with the reference treatment.

  • Researchpp 4763-4780Camarena-Martínez, S., Martinez-Martinez, J. H., Saldaña-Robles, A., Nuñez-Palenius, H. G., Costilla-Salazar, R., Valdez-Vazquez, I., Lovanh, N., and Ruiz-Aguilar, G. M. L. (2020). "Effects of experimental parameters on methane production and volatile solids removal from tomato and pepper plant wastes," BioRes. 15(3), 4763-4780.AbstractArticlePDF

    In Mexico, protected agriculture generates large amounts of tomato and pepper plants residues (TPW and PPW, respectively). Given the limited information on methane production from anaerobic digestion of these wastes, this study aimed to determine the effects of the substrate/inoculum (S/I) ratio, temperature, and total solids content on methane production and volatile solids (VS) removal by two subsequent batch experiments (Experiments A and B). Experiment A was performed to evaluate the substrate/inoculum ratios of 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 at room temperature (22 ± 4.5 °C). Based on the best methane yield from experiment A, a new experiment was established (Experiment B) using only tomato wastes, where temperature was kept at 29 °C and 39 °C. The total solids content was analyzed depending on the S/I ratio used. For both substrates, an S/I ratio of 0.5 was the most appropriate for methane production. The temperature had a positive effect on volatile solids removal and methane yield. In contrast, the total solids content (% TS) only had a positive effect on methane production. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study evaluating the effect of the S/I ratio on methane production from tomato and pepper plant wastes.

  • Researchpp 4781-4801Xu, G., Luo, Y., Song, T., He, B., Chang, M., and Ren, J. (2020). "Preparation and application of a xylan-based antibacterial papermaking additive to protect against Escherichia coli bacteria," BioRes. 15(3), 4781-4801.AbstractArticlePDF

    A xylan-based antimicrobial additive agent was prepared and studied for use in paper products against Escherichia coli bacteria. The derived cationic-xylan-grafted-guanidine polymer (CX-g-PHGH) was successfully synthesized by graft copolymerization of cationic-xylan with polyhexa-methylene guanidine hydrochloride (PHGH) using ceric ammonium nitrate as an initiator. The obtained CX-g-PHGH had a maximum PHGH grafting ratio of 18.4% and efficiency of 58.4% and showed good viscosity and thermal stability. Furthermore, the paper samples prepared in this work were reinforced noticeably with the addition of CX-g-PHGH, after which exhibited improved mechanical properties. Compared to the reference paper without any of the xylan derivatives, the index of tensile, tear, burst, and folding endurance of the paper were increased by up to 20.1%, 25.3%, 30.2%, and 77.8%, respectively. Moreover, the prepared CX-g-PHGH paper exhibited efficient antimicrobial barrier properties against E. coli bacteria, by which many applications based on the new xylan derived additive agent obtained in this work could be found, especially in field of antimicrobial paper products against E. coli bacteria from contaminated food.

  • Researchpp 4802-4822Moya, R., Gaitán-Alvarez, J., Berrocal, A., and Araya, F. (2020). "Effect of CaCO3 on the wood properties of tropical hardwood species from fast-growth plantation in Costa Rica," BioRes. 15(3), 4802-4822.AbstractArticlePDF

    This work aimed to evaluate the effect of the precipitation of CaCO3 via subsequential in-situ mineral formation based on a solution-exchange process of two solution-exchange cycles via impregnation with CaCl2 in ethanol and NaHCO3 in water. The effects were investigated in terms of the structure of the wood and the thermal, physical, mechanical, and decay resistance properties of nine species commonly used in commercial reforestation in Costa Rica. The thermogravimetric analysis results showed that the woods with the highest formation of CaCO3 showed a more pronounced signal at 200 °C in relation to untreated/wood; therefore, they were more thermostable. The fire-retardancy test showed that flame time in CaCO3/wood composites was longer than for untreated/wood in half of the species tested, presenting a positive effect of mineralization. Wood density, decay resistance, modulus of rupture (MOR), modulus of elasticity (MOE) in flexion, and MOR in compression were slightly affected by mineralization. Water absorption increased, but it had no negative effect on the dimensional stability. In general, mineralization can be a chemical treatment to increase the dimensional stability and fire resistance of hardwood species without modifying the wood’s physical and mechanical properties.

  • Researchpp 4823-4834Gao, F., Yang, F., De, Y., Tao, Y., Ta, N., Wang, H., and Sun, Q. (2020). "Dilute alkali pretreatment and subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis of amur silvergrass for ethanol production," BioRes. 15(3), 4823-4834.AbstractArticlePDF

    A dilute alkali pretreatment (NaOH) was used to remove lignin and some hemicelluloses, as well as to efficiently increase the accessibility of enzymes to the cellulose in Amur silvergrass. A single factor experiment was designed with 4 factors (1 to 5% w/w NaOH, 1/6 to 1/14 solid to liquid ratio, 15 to 90 min residence time, and 80 to 125 °C digestion temperature) with 3 duplicates of 5 levels for each factor. On the basis of the single factor test, an L8 (24)-orthogonal experiment was conducted to identify the main influencing factor and the optimal factor combinations verified by an enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation experiment. The main factors influencing ethanol production were NaOH concentration and digestion temperature, while residence time and solid to liquid ratio had a lesser effect. The enzymatic hydrolysis rate of cellulose reached 82.6%, and the highest conversion rate of ethanol was 78.3% with 4.0% (w/w) NaOH and a 1:6 solid to liquid ratio at 100 °C for 15 min. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of the lignocellulosic surface structure of non-pretreated and optimum pretreated Amur silvergrass displayed obvious differences. The lignin was the key recalcitrance-causing factor for ethanol production, which can be effectively removed by the NaOH.

  • Researchpp 4835-4850Cheng, L., Wang, W., Yang, Z., and Dai, J. (2020). "Establishing a dynamic elastic modulus prediction model of larch based on nondestructive testing data," BioRes. 15(3), 4835-4850.AbstractArticlePDF

    To accurately evaluate the dynamic elastic modulus (Ed) of wood in ancient timberwork buildings, the new materials of larch were used as the research object, and the stress wave nondestructive testing method was used to determine it. Based on nondestructive testing data, this paper proposed a method for predicting the Ed of larch using the principle of information diffusion. It selected the distance (D) from the bark to the pith in the cross-section of the wood and the height (H) from the base to the top in the radial section of the wood. The fuzzy diffusion relationships between the two evaluation indexes and the Ed were established using the information diffusion principle and the first- and second-order fuzzy approximate inferences in the fuzzy information optimization process. The calculation results showed that the dynamic elastic modulus model constructed by the information diffusion method can better predict the Ed of larch. The coefficient of determination between the measured value and the predicted value of the Ed was 0.861, they were in good agreement. The weights of the two influencing factors were 0.7 and 0.3, respectively, the average relative error of the fitted sample data was the minimum, which was 8.55%. This prediction model provided a strong basis for field inspection.

  • Researchpp 4851-4865Meng, X., Wang, S., Gao, W., Han, W., and Lucia, L. A. (2020). "Thermal pyrolysis characteristics and kinetic analysis of nanofibrillated cellulose/graphene oxide composites," BioRes. 15(3), 4851-4865.AbstractArticlePDF

    The fabrication process determines the microstructure and physical properties of material to some extent. In this study nanofibrillated cellulose /graphene oxide (NFC/GO) composites were fabricated by casting and evaporation methods, respectively. The microstructure and thermostability of the composites were investigated. The composites fabricated by the casting method had more uniform layered microstructure than those made by the evaporation method. The thermogravimetry analysis indicated that in the stage of 100 to 220 °C diffusion, the mechanisms of the Ginstling-Brounstein equation (D4) and the one-way transport equation (D1) can be regarded as the most suitable thermal pyrolysis reaction models for the composites made by the casting method and the evaporation method, respectively. However, in the stage of 220 to 380 °C, the two types of composites showed totally different thermal pyrolysis mechanisms. The results manifested that forming methods could indeed affect the microstructure and thermal degradation process of composites.

  • Researchpp 4866-4885Ratnasingam, J., Yi, L. Y., Abdul Azim, A., Halis, R., Choon Liat, L., Khoo, A., Mat Daud, M., Senin, A. L., Ab Latib, H., Bueno, M. V., Zbiec, M., Garrido, J., Ortega, J., Gómez, M. V., Hashim, R., Zakaria, S., Zainal Abidin, S., and Mat Amin, M. N. Z. (2020). "Assessing the awareness and readiness of the Malaysian furniture industry for Industry 4.0," BioRes. 15(3), 4866-4885.AbstractArticlePDF

    The lack of knowledgeable and skilled workers is a major challenge faced by the Malaysian furniture sector. It hinders industrial productivity and its ability to move up the value-chain by adopting high technology. Therefore, in order to assess the awareness and readiness of the Malaysian furniture industry for Industry 4.0, a questionnaire-based survey was conducted with a sample of 778 large-, medium-, and small-sized furniture manufacturers throughout Malaysia. This study is part of an on-going Erasmus+ program funded by the European Commission, initiated in 2018 to develop a university-level education program to train workers capable of handling Industry 4.0 technologies for the furniture and wood industry in Malaysia. The results revealed that manufacturers of wood-based panel and metal furniture were more prepared to adopt automation and Industry 4.0 technologies compared to solid-wood and leather furniture manufacturers. The benefits from Industry 4.0 technologies include increased production capacity, product diversity, cost competitiveness, and workforce reduction. Further, the results of this study suggest that the lack of knowledgeable and skilled workers to handle Industry 4.0 technology is a concern among furniture manufacturers, and possibly the proposed university-level Industry 4.0 program may be beneficial to train workers for the future of the industry.