NC State
  • Editorialpp 981-982Lucia, L. A. (2008). "Lignocellulosic biomass: A potential feedstock to replace petroleum," BioRes. 3(4), 981-982.AbstractPDF
    Sustainability considerations for product and energy production in a future US economy can be met with lignocellulosic biomass. The age of petroleum as the key resource to meet the US economy requirements is rapidly dwindling, given the limited resources of petroleum, the growing global population, and concurrent detrimental effects on environmental safety. The use of natural and renewable feedstocks such as trees and switchgrass is becoming more attractive; indeed, lignocellulosic biomass is becoming a logical alternative to petroleum in light of looming oil shortages, increases in oil prices, and environmental sustainability considerations. This editorial aims at providing a broad overview of the consider-ations for replacing the US petroleum economy with one based on lignocellulosic biomass.
  • Researchpp 983-994Somboon, P., Nieminen, K., and Paulapuro, H. (2008). "Finite element analysis of the fatigue behavior of wood fiber cell walls," BioRes. 3(4), 983-994.AbstractPDF
    The fatigue behavior of the wood fiber cell wall under mechanical treatment in refining was simulated dynamically using a finite element method. The effect of the amplitude and frequency of impacts on the mechanical breakdown of the fiber wall structure was examined. The proposed model of the fiber cell wall was constructed from elementary microfibrils in various orientations embedded in isotropic lignin. The fatigue of the cell wall was simulated under normal refiner mechanical pulping conditions. A cyclic load was applied on the model fiber through a hemispherical grit proposed to be applied on the surface on refiner segments. Changes in the elastic modulus of the cell wall were analyzed to determine the potential for cell wall breakdown. An increase in the amplitude of applied forces and frequency of impacts was found to have a significant influence on the reduction of the elastic modulus of the wall structure. A high frequency of impacts increased the stiffness of the cell wall, but resulted in faster reduction of the elastic modulus. At a lower amplitude of impacts, efficient breakdown of the cell wall using grits was achieved with a high frequency of impacts or a high rotational speed of refiners.
  • Researchpp 995-1009Zanini, S., Canevali, C., Orlandi, M., Tolppa, E.-L., Zoia, L., Riccardi, C., and Morazzoni, F. (2008). "Radical formation on CTMP fibers by argon plasma treatments and related lignin chemical changes," BioRes. 3(4), 995-1009.AbstractPDF
    The changes at molecular level induced by cold argon plasma treat-ments on fibers obtained from chemi-thermo-mechanical pulp (CTMP) fibers were investigated. The radicals formed on CTMP fibers after treatments were identified and quantified by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The plasma conditions which maximize the formation of radicals on fibers were assessed: after treatment with 0.4 mbar Ar pressure and 75 W radiofrequency power, phenoxy radicals triple their concentration in only 60 s and reach a value 4 times higher than that reported for laccase-catalyzed lignin oxidation. It was found that in plasma-treated fibers, the formation of radicals competes with their coupling. This latter result leads to cross-linkages of the lignin mono-meric units and formation of new intermonomeric C-C and C-O bonds, for the first time assigned to specific molecular interactions through Heteronuclear Single Quantum Coherence (2D-HSQC) spectroscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy of carbon (13C-NMR). These results were confirmed by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectros-copy of phosphorous (31P-NMR). The lack of evidences of inter-fiber bond interactions, deduced from Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) data, suggests the possible application of plasma treatments for the production of wood fiber-based composites.
  • Researchpp 1010-1019Kalia, S., Sharma, S., Bhardwaj, B., Kaith, B. S., and Singha, A. S. (2008). "Potential use of graft copolymers of mercerized flax as filler in polystyrene composite materials," BioRes. 3(4), 1010-1019.AbstractPDF
    Graft copolymerization of binary vinyl monomers onto mercerized flax fiber was carried out for the enhancement of mechanical properties of polystyrene composites. Binary vinyl monomer mixture of AA+AN has been found to show maximum grafting (33.55%) onto mercerized flax. Graft copolymers thus synthesized were characterized with FT-IR spectroscopy, SEM, and TGA techniques. Mercerized flax (MF) showed maximum thermal stability in comparison to graft copolymers. It has been found that polystyrene composites reinforced with graft copolymers showed improvement in mechanical properties such as wear resistance, compressive strength, and tensile strength.
  • Researchpp 1020-1029Millati, R., Karimi, K., Edebo, L., Niklasson, C., and Taherzadeh, M. J. (2008). "Ethanol production from xylose and wood hydrolyzate by Mucor indicus at different aeration rates," BioRes. 3(4), 1020-1029.AbstractPDF
    The fungus Mucor indicus is able to produce ethanol from xylose as well as dilute-acid lignocellulosic hydrolyzates. The fungus completely assimilated 10 g/L xylose as the sole carbon and energy source within 32 to 65 h at an aeration rate of 0.1 to 1.0 vvm. The highest ethanol yield was 0.16 g/g at 0.1 vvm. Xylitol was formed intermediately with a maximum yield of 0.22 g/g at 0.5 vvm, but disappeared towards the end of experiments. During cultivation in a mixture of xylose and glucose, the fungus did not assimilate xylose as long as glucose was present in the medium. The anaerobic cultivation of the fungus in the hydrolyzate containing 20% xylose and 80% hexoses resulted in no assimilation of xylose but complete consumption of the hexoses in less than 15 h. The ethanol yield was 0.44 g/g. However, the xylose in the hydrolyzate was consumed when the media was aerated at 0.067 to 0.333 vvm. The best ethanol yield was 0.44 g/g at 0.067 vvm. The results of this study suggest that M. indicus hydrolyzate can be first fermented anaerobically for hexose assimilation and subsequently continued under oxygen-limited conditions for xylose fermentation.
  • Researchpp 1030-1041Yokota, S., Matsuo, K., Kitaoka, T., and Wariisi, H. (2008). "Specific interaction acting at a cellulose-binding domain/cellulose interface for papermaking application," BioRes. 3(4), 1030-1041.AbstractPDF
    Specific and strong cellulose-binding characteristics were utilized for promoting retention of additives in contaminated papermaking systems. Cellulose-binding domain (CBD) of cellulase derived from Trichoderma viride was separated by digestion with papain, and then introduced into anionic polyacrylamide (A-PAM) through a condensation reaction using water-soluble carbodiimide. The CBD-modified A-PAM (CBD-A-PAM) showed good retention on pulp fibers, resulting in high tensile strength paper sheets. The effect remained almost unchanged in the presence of model interfering substances such as ligninsulfonate and Ca2+ ions, whereas commercial cationic paper-strengthening polymer became ineffective. The cellulose-binding force of CBD was quantitatively determined by atomic force microscopy (AFM) in the liquid state. Histidine-tagged CBD protein was obtained using Escherichia coli via an expression of CBD derived from Cellulomonas fimi, and immobilized on a gold-coated AFM probe. A strong attractive force was detected only at a CBD/cellulose interface, even when Ca2+ ions were present in high concentration. Direct estimation of CBD affinity for cellulose substrate by AFM would provide significant information on the interfacial interactions useful for the functional design of papermaking additives.
  • Researchpp 1042-1050Barbosa, E. S., Perrone, D., Amaral Vendramini, A. L., and Ferriera Leite, S. G. (2008). "Vanillin production by Phanerochaete chrysosporium grown on green coconut agro-industrial husk in solid state fermentation," BioRes. 3(4), 1042-1050.AbstractPDF
    Agro-industrial residues have become an important source for the production of chemical compounds using biological pathways, contributing to preservation of the environment and making the overall process economically supportable. Vanillin is a very important aromatic compound for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the vanillin production by solid-state fermentation on green coconut residue using the basidiomycete Phanerochaete chrysosporium. Solid-state fermentation was carried on a support of green coconut husk treated in two different ways: sun-dried and mechanical-pressed. A Plackett-Burman experimental design was used to screen the compounds of liquid medium culture of the vanillin production. Nineteen variables were studied to optimize the culture conditions, and eleven of them were significant. The screening improved the production of vanillin from 44.4 mg/g of support to 52.5 mg/g of support in 24 hours of fermentation. Sun-dried coconut husk was found to be superior to mechanical-pressed coconut husk for production of vanillin. HPLC was used for the quantification of vanillin aroma.
  • Researchpp 1051-1062Das, M., and Chakrabarty, D. (2008). "Thermogravimetric analysis and weathering study by water immersion of alkali-treated bamboo strips," BioRes. 3(4), 1051-1062.AbstractPDF
    The effects of alkali treatment on the thermal degradation and weathering properties of bamboo strips were investigated in this work. Dried bamboo strips with average dimensions of 100 x 15 x (1.1-1.5) mm were mercerized with caustic soda solution (10%, 15%, 20%, and 25%) (w/v) at ambient temperature, maintaining a liquor-to-solids ratio of 15:1. All types of bamboo specimens were subjected to thermogravimetric anal-ysis and accelerated weathering by water immersion and further char-acterized by flexural property measurements. Water absorption and dimensional changes were recorded at 100% humidity, room temperature, and atmospheric pressure. The results showed that the treated bamboo strips had a higher deterioration in flexural properties compared to the untreated ones. Thermogravimetric analysis of all the samples indicated better thermal properties of alkali-treated samples. The highest activation energy was observed with a 15% alkali-treated bamboo sample.
  • Researchpp 1063-1080Rutledge, A. R., Venditti, R. A., Pawlak, J. J., Patel, S., and Cibils, J. L. (2008). "Carbonized starch microcellular foam-cellulose fiber composite structures," BioRes. 3(4), 1063-1080.AbstractPDF
    The production of microporous carbon foams from renewable starch microcellular foam-fiber (SMCF-Fiber) composites is described. Carbon foams are used in applications such as thermal insulation, battery electrodes, filters, fuel cells, and medical devices. SMCF-Fiber composites were created from an aquagel. The water in the aquagel was exchanged with ethanol and then dried and carbonized. Higher amylose content starches and fiber contents of up to 4% improved the processability of the foam. The SMCF structure revealed agglomerates of swollen starch granules connected by a web of starch with pores in the 50-200 nanometer range. Heating the SMCF-fiber in a nitrogen atmosphere to temperatures between 350-700˚C produced carbon foams with a three-dimensional closed cell foam structure with cell diameters around 50 microns and pore walls around 1-3 microns. The stress versus strain compression data for carbonized samples displayed a linear elastic region and a plateau indicative of brittle crushing, typical of an elastic-brittle foam. The carbon foam products from these renewable precursors are promising carbon structures with moderate strength and low density.
  • Researchpp 1081-1091Kovur, S. K., Schenzel, K. C., Grimm, E., and Diepenbrock, W. (2008). "Characterization of refined hemp fibers using NIR FT Raman micro spectroscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy,"BioRes. 3(4), 1081-1091.AbstractPDF
    The research was focused on the separation of single hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) fibre cells with low fineness from mechanically extracted fibre bundles of high fineness. The fiber bundles were treated with enzymes, namely panzym, pectinase, hemicellulase, and cellulase, along with a combination of panzym and ultrasonic treatments. Changes in the fiber structure were followed at molecular and microscopic levels by means of NIR FT Raman spectroscopy and Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM). Buffer-panzym treatments of hemp fibers had a prominent effect in loosening of the fiber cells. The best of refining was achieved when the fiber bundles were treated with buffer-panzym solution in combination with ultrasonic treatment.