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

    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.AbstractArticlePDF

    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.AbstractArticlePDF

    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.AbstractArticlePDF

    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.AbstractArticlePDF

    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.

  • 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.AbstractArticlePDF

    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.AbstractArticlePDF

    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.AbstractArticlePDF

    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.

  • Researchpp 77-95Yang, S., and Li, H. (2021). "Effect of temperature on composite films made with activated carbon, graphite, or graphene oxide (GO) in a gelatin matrix," BioResources 16(1), 77-95.AbstractArticlePDF

    Activated carbon, graphite, and GO/gelatin composite films were prepared by the blending method. The properties of composites were characterized by tensile strength (TS), elongation at break (EB), water vapour permeability (WVP), water-absorption ability, contact angle, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and moisture at different temperatures. The properties of GO/gelatin composite films were better when each of three kinds of carbon materials were used as reinforcement phases and added into the matrix gelatin. The results showed that EB and TS of GO/gelatin composite films were both excellent. The moisture of GO/gelatin composite films was greater than the others. SEM micrographs showed that GO had better compatibility and dispersibility with gelatin than activated carbon and graphite. The water absorption of GO/gelatin composite films were low, at 15 °C and 25 °C, and the WVP was low at 35 °C. The WVP of GO/gelatin composite films was lower than the others at different temperatures. The contact angle of GO/gelatin composite films was larger than the others.

  • Researchpp 96-117Nasir, S., Hussien, M. Z., Zainal, Z., and Yusof, N. A. (2021). "Preparation of shape-stabilized phase change material by the valorization of oil palm waste: Reduced graphene oxide-activated carbon derived carbon matrix for thermal energy storage," BioResources 16(1), 96-117.AbstractArticlePDF

    A shape-stabilized composite phase change material (SCPCM) made of n-nonadecane infused by capillary forces in a compressed reduced graphene oxide-activated carbon matrix (EFB(rGOAC)-M) was prepared from oil palm empty fruit bunch. The composite exhibited improved thermal properties and was used to fabricate an SCPCM by impregnation, in which the pores of the EFB(rGOAC)-M served as the support, while n-nonadecane was the central envelope. The EFB(rGOAC)-M exhibited a specific surface area of 680 m2 g-1 and an average pore size of 22 Å. The successful infiltration of n-nonadecane into the pores of EFB(rGOAC)-M was confirmed via nitrogen gas adsorption-desorption isotherms and scanning electron micrographs. According to the differential scanning calorimeter analysis, the composite SCPCM-5 exhibited melting and freezing temperatures of 37.25 °C and 25.58 °C, respectively, and an associated latent heat value of 82.72 J g-1 and -62.22 J g-1, respectively. There was no seepage during the phase change process (from solid to liquid, as the n-nonadecane was uniformly dispersed in the pores of the carbon matrix (EFB(rGOAC)-M) and held by the capillary and the surface tension forces of the carbon matrix. This innovative, inexpensive and environmentally friendly shape-stabilized phase change material could be applied for thermal energy storage applications.