NC State
  • Editorialpp 1-4Uetani, K., and Kitaoka, T. (2021). "Nanocellulose: Beyond the ordinary," BioResources 16(1), 1-4. AbstractPDF

    Nanocellulose is a collective term for nanoassemblies of macromolecular cellulose in fibrous and crystalline forms, mainly originating from woody bioresources. Fascinating physicochemical properties of nanocellulose, such as high strength, light weight, transparency, and low thermal expansion, have allowed development of nanocellulose-based functional materials, but most of these materials face serious competition from existing products. The inherent nanoarchitectures of nanocellulose cannot be reconstructed by artificial means, and they are expected to contain unknown functions that have not yet been achieved. Nanocellulose can “run its own show” in the forthcoming sustainable society through determining and highlighting its nanostructure-triggered novel material functions that are beyond the ordinary.

  • Editorialpp 5-8Sa, M., Zhang, B., and Zhu, S. (2021). "Miscanthus: Beyond its use as an energy crop," BioResources 16(1), 5-8.AbstractPDF

    Miscanthus is a tall perennial rhizomatous grass with C4 photosynthesis. Because of its high biomass yield, high carbohydrate and low ash content, high calorific value, remarkable environmental adaptability, high water and land use efficiency, and low fertilizer and pesticide requirements, it has become one of the most promising energy crops. Apart from energy uses, it can also be used as raw material for paper-making and for production of a variety of chemicals. Moreover, Miscanthus can also play an important role in environmental remediation and ecological improvement. It has been used to remedy polluted soil, improve the soil quality, and increase the biodiversity by providing habitat for animals and insects. However, its commercialization is still facing great challenge. More study is needed to further decrease its cultivation, harvesting, and processing costs. This editorial discusses opportunities and challenges of Miscanthus as an energy crop and in other applications.

  • Editorialpp 9-12Pawlak, J. J. (2021). "Industrial biomaterials start-ups: Technology selection," BioResources 16(1), 9-12. AbstractPDF

    Transforming an innovation into a start-up company can be highly rewarding to the technologist. This editorial considers technology selection for a start-up company. A simple system for screening initial of technologies is given. This editorial is based on years of experience working in translating technologies into start-up companies by the author. These companies have approached their start-up strategies in a variety of different ways. It is important for the technologist to enter into a start-up venture with an understanding of how their technology is positioned both technically and from a business perspective.

  • Editorialpp 13-15Heitmann, J. A. (2021). "Education, research, and dishwashers in the time of COVID-19," BioResources 16(1), 13-15. AbstractPDF

    The effect of COVID-19 on supply chains is introduced and some parallels are drawn with its effects on education and research. The default option in education seems to be distance education, which is already difficult for colleges and universities, but much more so for K-12. The effect of COVID-19 on research is much more varied. Some areas, like health sciences, are intensified while others, such as academic research, are anticipating declines in activity. It is expected that international graduate students will be more adversely affected than other groups. Some thoughts on the “new normal” are presented.

  • Editorialpp 16-18Hubbe, M. A. (2021). "When defects dominate: Rheology of nanofibrillated cellulose suspensions," BioResources 16(1), 16-18. AbstractPDF

    Conventional rheological tests can be difficult to carry out in the case of suspensions of nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC). Such suspensions tend to migrate away from the walls of a rheometer device, leaving a low-viscosity layer. The very high aspect ratio of typical nanofibrillated cellulose particles favors formation of tangled clusters. But application of hydrodynamic shear can cause fragmentation of those clusters. It is proposed in this essay that some focus be placed on the fragments of entangled clusters of NFC and interactions between them at their fractured surfaces. The condition of near-uniform, defect-free structures of nanocellulose spanning the volume within a sheared suspension might be regarded as an unlikely circumstance. Isaac Newton started with a very simple equation to start to understand rheology. It is proposed that a similarly bold and simplified approach may be needed to account for the effects of broken entangled clusters of NFC on flow phenomena, their assessment, and their consequences related to industrial processes.

  • Reviewpp to be addedOuattara, L. Y., Kouassi, E. K. A., Soro, D., Soro, Y., Yao, K. B., Adouby, K., Drogui, A. P., Tyagi, D. R., and Aina, P. M. (2021). "Cocoa pod husks as potential sources of renewable high-value-added products: A review of current valorizations and future prospects," BioResources, 16(1), Page numbers to be added.AbstractPDF

    Cocoa is among the most cultivated and important tropical crops in the world, and it is economically viable in the agro-pastoral systems of tropical Africa. Further, the amount of cocoa residue is steadily increasing due to the strong worldwide demand for chocolate products. This review of cocoa residue found that an average of 18 publications per year were published in the last 10 years. The most common type of publication on cocoa pod husks (CPH) was newspaper articles, which comprised 50% of the publications. This review examines the use of CHP in sustainable development, agrochemical materials, and agro-materials through their potential valorizations into high value-added products. Indeed, CPH is an abundant, accessible, and renewable resource of bioproducts, dietary fibers, nutraceuticals, functional foods, pectin, antioxidant compounds, theobromine, and minerals. Potential food applications of CPH include the production of flavor compounds, gums, texturing agents, and others. The production of biomaterials for food and non-food use, biofuels, and organic acids, such as lactic acid (the polymerization of which produces the PLA used in bioplastic production), are several potential areas for the biotechnological development of CPH and its fractions.

  • Researchpp 19-45Abbati de Assis, C., Suarez, A., Prestemon, J. P., Stonebraker, J., Carrillo, C., Dasmohapatra, S., Jameel, H., and Gonzalez, R. (2021). "Risk analysis, practice, and considerations in capital budgeting: Evidence from the field for the bio-based industry," BioResources. 16(1), 19-45. AbstractPDF

    This study aims to examine how organizations in the bio-based industry perceive risks and perform risk analysis within the capital investment decision-making process. More specifically, this study aims to assess sources of uncertainty commonly considered, identify tools and methods used for risk assessment, and understand how risk analysis is considered in capital budgeting. Eighty-six respondents were electronically surveyed on practices for capital investment risk analysis, including C-suite and upper management from different organization sizes and segments in the bio-based industry. It was found that some forms of risk analysis are utilized either in project assessment and/or for decision making by most respondents; however, qualitative and deterministic assessment practices dominate over probabilistic methods. In addition, risk assessment is most commonly performed in the later stages of a project, with less than 50% of adoption at the earlier stages. Overall, the main sources of uncertainties considered when performing risk assessment are financial, market and sales, and technology, with competition being considered mostly by upper management levels. Additionally, consistent with previous studies in other industry sectors, Internal Rate of Return, Return on Investment, and Net Present Value are the preferred financial indicators used to evaluate capital investments.

  • Researchpp 46-61Leggate, W., McGavin, R., Outhwaite, A., Kumar, C., Faircloth, A., and Knackstedt, M. (2021). "Influence of mechanical surface preparation methods on the bonding of southern pine and spotted gum: Tensile shear strength of lap joints," BioResources 16(1), 46-61.AbstractPDF

    Southern pine and spotted gum are two of Australia’s most important locally produced commercial timbers. However, internationally, they are amongst the most problematic species to glue cost-effectively, especially for sawn-laminate-based structural engineered wood products, such as glulam and cross-laminated timber. This study investigated the efficacy of different pre-gluing wood surface machining preparations on the tensile shear strength of lap shear samples prepared from both species. Surface machining methods tested included planing, face milling, and sanding post-planing with 40 and 80 grit sandpaper. Wood face milling is not currently used commercially in Australia and has not previously been adequately tested on Australian commercial timbers to improve wood adhesion. Planing is currently the most common method used internationally for preparing wood surfaces for gluing. For both species, face milling with fast feed speed (45 m/min), slow cutter speed (57 m/s), and sanding treatments post-planing resulted in significantly higher tensile shear strength compared to planing for lap shear samples that had been subjected to an accelerated weathering process. Performance differences in tensile shear strength between surface machining methods are likely to be related to the effects of these machining methods on surface roughness, fibrillation, and sub-surface cell damage.

  • Researchpp 62-76Luppold, W. G., and Bumgardner, M. S. (2021). "Changes in hardwood sawtimber growth, mortality, and removals in the eastern United States," BioResources 16(1), 62-76. AbstractPDF

    An examination of changes in growth, mortality, and removals of hardwood sawtimber in the eastern United States within the first two decades of the 21st century found large variations among regions and species groups. Changes in growth ranged from a 17% increase in the Lake States region to a statistically insignificant 1% in the Southern region. Most regions had relatively large increases in mortality. High levels of ash (Fraxinus spp.) mortality in the Northeast, Lake States, and Central regions likely were a result of the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis). Hardwood sawtimber removals declined in all regions except the Lake States and Central regions, with the largest relative declines occurring in the Southern and Mid-Atlantic regions. With the exception of ash, there were no indications of immediate declines in eastern sawtimber volume. However, continual increases in mortality, a resurgence of removals, and reduced growth could cause sawtimber volume to plateau in the coming decades. The findings from this study indicated that there likely would be variations in these plateaus among the species groups and regions.

  • Reviewpp to be addedHubbe, M. A., Lavoine, N., Lucia, L. A., and Dou, C. (2021). "Formulating bioplastic composites for biodegradability, recycling, and performance: A Review," BioResources 16(1), Page numbers to be added.AbstractPDF

    Society’s wish list for future packaging systems is placing some daunting challenges upon researchers: In addition to protecting contents during storage and shipping, the material must not bio-accumulate, and it should be readily recyclable by using practical processing steps. This article considers strategies employing bio-based plastics and reviews published information relative to their performance. Though bioplastics such as poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and poly(hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) can be prepared from plant materials, their default properties are generally inferior to those of popular synthetic plastics. In addition, some bioplastics are not easily decomposed in soil or seawater, and the polymers can undergo chemical breakdown during recycling. This review considers strategies to overcome such challenges, including the use of biodegradable cellulose-based reinforcing particles. In addition to contributing to strength, the cellulose can swell the bioplastic, allowing enzymatic attack. The rate-controlling step in bioplastic degradation also can be abiotic, i.e. not involving enzymes. Though there is much more work to be done, much progress has been achieved in formulating bioplastic composites that are biodegradable, recyclable, and higher in strength compared to the neat polymer. Emphasis in this review is placed on PLA and PHB, but not to the exclusion of other bioplastic matrix materials.