NC State
  • Reviewpp 3674-3701Espinoza Acosta, J. L., Figueroa Espinoza, E. G., and de la Rosa Alcaraz, M. (2022). "Recent progress in the production of lignin-based sunscreens: A Review," BioResources 17(2). 3674-3701.AbstractArticlePDF

    Technical lignins are becoming an attractive natural, renewable, and non-toxic ingredient in sunscreens, having the capability for replacing synthetic compounds. Researchers have reported that lignin can increase the solar protection factor (SPF) of sunscreens and provide sun protection to body creams. However, to achieve the valorization of lignin in the fabrication of personal care products, it is necessary to overcome several challenges related to their molecular complexity and unattractive color. Fractionation, chemical modification, whitening, particle size reduction, and the synthesis of nanocomposites and copolymers are strategies reported to overcome the lignin challenges in the development of lignin-based sunscreens. This paper summarizes and analyzes previous research studies and outstanding findings (from 2016 to 2022) directed at the reduction of the problems that limit the extensive applications of lignin in skincare products such as sunscreens.

  • Reviewpp 3702-3717Cao, S., Cheng, S., and Cai, J. (2022). "Research progress and prospects of wood high-temperature heat treatment technology," BioResources 17(2), 3702-3717.AbstractArticlePDF

    High temperature heat treatment is one of the main technologies with the highest market conversion rate and broad future prospects in the functional technology of wood. Chemical reagents are not added in the production process. The treatment improves the dimensional stability, biological durability, wood color, and acoustic properties without reducing the environmental performance of the product. However, there are some problems in heat treatment, such as the reduction of mechanical properties and surface wettability of wood, high production energy consumption, and large exhaust emissions. Therefore, understanding the influence and mechanism of high temperature heat treatment technology on wood properties is of guiding significance to further improve the quality of heat-treated wood, improve production process, and develop new equipment. This article reviews the effects of heat treatment on the properties of wood and the mechanism of heat treatment. Then, some applications of heat treatment of wood are introduced. Finally, the development direction and prospect of high temperature heat treatment technology in the future are forecasted.

  • Reviewpp 3718-3780Hashemzehi, M., Mesic, B., Sjöstrand, B., and Naqvi, M. (2022). "A comprehensive review of nanocellulose modification and applications in papermaking and packaging: Challenges, technical solutions, and perspectives," BioResources 17(2), 3718-3780.AbstractArticlePDF

    The increasing usage of petroleum-based compounds has prompted numerous environmental concerns. Consequently, there has been a steady rise in research on the synthesis of useful materials from natural sources. Paper technologists are seeking environmentally acceptable dry end and wet end additives. Among the bio-based resources available, nanocellulose is a popular sustainable nanomaterial additive in the paper industry because of its high strength, high oxygen barrier performance, low density, great mechanical properties, and biocompatibility. NC’s extensive hydroxyl groups provide a unique possibility to dramatically modify the hydrophilicity and charge of the surface in order to improve their potential applications in the paper industry. The current paper reviews two series of surface modifications, each with various subcategories, depending on why modified nanocellulose is added in the paper production: to improve barrier properties or to improve mechanical properties of packaging materials. The methods presented in this study use the minimum amount of chemically hazardous solvents to have the least impact on the environment. This review focuses on modifications of nanocellulose and their subsequent application in the papermaking. The knowledge and the discussion presented in this review will form a literature source for future use by various stakeholders and the sustainable paper manufacturers.

  • Reviewpp 3781-3809Abd Rahim, N., Indera Luthfi, A. A., Mohamed Abdul, P., Mad Jahim, J., and Bukhari, N. A. (2022). "Towards sustainable production of bio-based lactic acid via a bio-based technical route: Recent developments and the use of palm kernel cakes in the bioconversion," BioResources, 17(2), 3781-3809.AbstractArticlePDF

    The continued reliance on non-renewable fossil resources has led to serious environmental issues. In light of these concerns, the transition from non-renewable sources to more sustainable ones have been explored, as exemplified by the production of bio-based lactic acid via lignocellulosic biomass bio-refinery process. Malaysia, the second-largest producer of palm oil in the world, generates abundant, cheap, and underutilized oil palm biomass in the form of palm kernel cakes. Comprised of 50% fermentable hexose sugars, palm kernel cakes have emerged as an interesting feedstock substitute in the production of bio-based fine chemicals, e.g., lactic acid. This paper focuses on current work based on selected literature published in the 21st century on the exploitation of palm kernel cakes as a novel feedstock in bio-refinery processes after addressing the current global demand and potential commodity applications of bio-based lactic acid. It then discusses current research on potential lactic acid-producing microorganisms, with particular attention to bacteria, and different pretreatment methods for carbohydrate recovery from palm kernel cakes. It also highlights the potential of oil palm biomass, especially palm kernel cakes, as a promising commodity that contributes to sugar platforms in value-added products, e.g., biofuel, bioenergy, ethanol, acids, and fine chemicals.

  • Reviewpp 3810-3870Debnath, M., Sarder, R., Pal, L., and Hubbe, M. A. (2022). "Molded pulp products for sustainable packaging: Production rate challenges and product opportunities," BioResources 17(2), 3810-3870.AbstractArticlePDF

    Molded cellulosic pulp products provide eco-friendly alternatives to various petroleum-based packaging systems. They have a long history of reliable usage for such applications as egg trays and the shipping of fruits. They have recently become increasingly used for the packaging of electronics, wine bottles, and specialty items. Molded pulp products are especially used in applications requiring cushioning ability, as well as when it is important to match the shapes of the packed items. Their main component, cellulosic fibers from virgin or recycled wood fibers, as well as various nonwood fibers, can reduce society’s dependence on plastics, including expanded polystyrene. However, the dewatering of molded pulp tends to be slow, and the subsequent evaporation of water is energy-intensive. The article reviews strategies to increase production rates and to lower energy consumption. In addition, by applying chemical treatments and processing approaches, there are opportunities to achieve desired end-use properties, such as grease resistance. New manufacturing strategies, including rapid prototyping and advances in tooling, provide opportunities for more efficient form factors and more effective packaging in the future.