NC State
  • Editorialpp 1-2Hubbe, M. A. (2009). "'Retro-,' An emerging prefix for future technological development?" BioRes. 4(1), 1-2.AbstractPDF
    It is proposed that the prefix “retro” can serve as an irreverent, but timely buzzword for the development of new technology to meet human needs. Society has carried out experiments at a very large scale for the last century or so to meet our collective needs though the use of fossil-based fuels and synthetic materials. Those experiments have seemed successful in the short term, feeding more of us and supplying a lot of us with rising standards of living. But the experiments often have failed us in terms of sustainability. A health crisis, global warming, and resource depletion are urgent problems caused by careless use of fossil fuels and related synthetic organic chemicals. The prefix “retro,” as in “retrotechology,” signals a disciplined return to a reliance on nature-based products, as well as a respect for the beauty, but also the fragile character of our natural environment.
  • Researchpp 3-14Dammström, S., Salmén, L., and Gatenholm, P. (2009). "On the interactions between cellulose and xylan, a biomimetic simulation of the hardwood cell wall," BioRes. 4(1), 3-14.AbstractPDF
    The plant cell wall exhibits a hierarchical structure, in which the organization of the constituents on different levels strongly affects the mechanical properties and the performance of the material. In this work, the interactions between cellulose and xylan in a model system consisting of a bacterial cellulose/glucuronoxylan (extracted from aspen, Populus tremula) have been studied and compared to that of a delignified aspen fiber material. The properties of the materials were analyzed using Dynamical Mechanical Analysis (DMA) with moisture scans together with dynamic Infra Red -spectroscopy at dry and humid conditions. The results showed that strong interactions existed between the cellulose and the xylan in the aspen holocellulose. The same kinds of interactions were seen in a water-extracted bacterial cellulose/xylan composite, while unextracted material showed the presence of xylan not interacting with the cellulose. Based on these findings for the model system, it was suggested that there is in hardwood one fraction of xylan that is strongly associated with the cellulose, taking a similar role as glucomannan in softwood.
  • Researchpp 15-25Johansson, C., Lundquist, K., and Theliander, H. (2009). "Fractionation of processed spruce wood obtained in the production of ethanol," BioRes. 4(1), 15-25.AbstractPDF
    Fuel ethanol can be produced from pretreated spruce wood through enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation. Processed spruce wood samples (acid-catalyzed steam hydrolysis followed by enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation) were fractionated into water-soluble products and residual solids. The dioxane/water soluble portions of the solids were fractionated by liquid-liquid extraction. A substantial portion of the processed wood (20-70 %) was insoluble in both water and dioxane/water. An almost pure lignin fraction, corresponding to about 20 % of the total lignin of the wood, was isolated. Examinations by 1H NMR spectroscopy showed that the processes led to extensive cleavage of arylglycerol b-aryl ethers in the lignin. The lignin content of other fractions could be estimated very roughly by IR spectroscopy. Purified lignin from SO2-catalyzed steam hydrolysis contained approx. 0.2 % sulphur.
  • Researchpp 38-48Tang, L.-Q., Ni, W., Zhao, H.-Y., Xu, Q., and Jiao, J.-X. (2009). "Preparation of macroporous TiO2 by starch microspheres template with assistance of supercritical CO2,"BioRes. 4(1), 38-48.AbstractPDF
    In this work a green route is reported to prepare a TiO2 macroporous network using corn starch microspheres flake as a bio-template. The starch microspheres prepared by emulsion technology were used as a template into which precursor tetrabutyl titanate (TBOT) was permeated using supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) as a forceful carrier or infiltration media, resulting in the formation of an organic/inorganic hybrid material; then the coated template was gelled and dried during the scCO2-coating and the depressurization processes, followed by removal of the template by calcination at 700°C; finally, TiO2 inverse-opals-like material reversely replicating the starch microspheres template was obtained. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), nitrogen sorption measurements, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) indicated that the products were the inverse replicas from their templates. The obtained TiO2 inverse opals-like material showed a wide dispersion of pore sizes from mesopores to macropores – a few nanometers to several micrometers –with the BET surface area up to 103 m2/g, and a predominantly anatase crystalline phase. In addition, the wall thickness of the macropores varied with tunable pressure for closed cells or open-cell foams. So this facile and environmentally friendly process for the preparation of high-surface area, thermally-stable, metal-oxide catalysts and supports by a starch microsphere templating approach may have widespread potential applications in catalysis, absorbents, photoelectric materials, and so on.
  • Researchpp 26-37Gustafsson, C., and Richards, T. (2009). "Pyrolysis kinetics of washed precipitated lignin," BioRes. 4(1), 26-37.AbstractPDF
    This article describes the pyrolysis behavior of precipitated washed lignin in a Laminar Entrained Flow Reactor between 700 and 1000°C and at different residence times. Lignin was precipitated by acidification of softwood black liquor using CO2. After acid washing, the solid material was dried and sieved (80-100 μm). This material was then fed into the reactor at a rate of about 0.1 g/min. The formed gases were analyzed with respect to CO, CO2, and CH4, and char was collected and weighed. A traditional first order Arrhenius kinetic expression, based on the temperature of the particles with respect to residence time, was adapted to the experimental results. The activation energy was found to be 32.1 kJ/mol. The low ash content in the washed lignin gave a very low solid material residue after the reactor.
  • Researchpp 49-71Müller, G., Schöpper, C., Vos, H., Kharazipour, A., and Polle, A. (2009). "FTIR-ATR spectroscopic analyses of changes in wood properties during particle- and fibreboard production of hard- and softwood trees," BioRes. 4(1), 49-71.AbstractPDF
    Fourier transform infrared attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR) spectroscopy was combined with multivariate data analysis to investigate the chemical changes in wood during particle- and medium density fibreboard (MDF) production of grand fir (Abies grandis [Douglas ex D. Don] Lindl.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). The mechanical and technological properties of the novel particle- and fibreboards from beech or grand fir wood were similar to those of conventional panels from pine and spruce. This indicates that these timbers can be used as resources for wood-based panel production. Principal component analysis of FTIR spectra differentiated wood, fibres, particles, MDF, and particleboards of both species in the whole production process. Modifications in the spectra of fibres and particles suggested that cellulose properties of wood were changed during mechanical pulping. Different binders and hydrophobic additives were clearly traceable and discernable in wood composites. Samples from the same production step were clustered together, indicating high homogeneity of the raw materials, and intermediate and final products, respectively. This suggests that FTIR spectroscopy in combination with cluster analysis is a useful tool to assess product quality and can be further developed to control and optimize production processes for innovative wood-based panels.
  • Researchpp 72-79Košíková, B., Sláviková, E., and Lábaj, J. (2009). "Affinity of lignin preparations towards genotoxic compounds," BioRes. 4(1), 72-79.AbstractPDF
    The carcinogenicity and mutagenicity of chemicals may be modulated by other chemicals, including those prepared by organic synthesis. Considering the several drawbacks of synthetic compounds vis-a-vis the human organism, the lignin biomass component was examined for this purpose. The binding affinity of lignin samples prepared by chemical and biological modification of lignin products derived from chemical wood treatment towards for N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDA) was examined. The protective role of the lignin samples against carcinogenesis was tested on a well-known model carcinogen, N-methyl-N´-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG). The observed ability of a series of lignin preparations to reduce alkylation damage of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) on hamster cells in vitro could be explained by their affinity to bind N-nitrosoamines. The results indicate that lignin has potential to protect living organisms against damaging effects of different genotoxicants.
  • Researchpp 80-93Nada, A. M. A., Abd El-Mongy, S., and Abd El-Sayed, E. S. (2009). "Effect of different treatments on cellulose toward carboxylation and its application for metal ion absorption," BioRes. 4(1), 80-93.AbstractPDF
    Carboxylation of cotton linters was investigated relative to its use in ion exchange. The effects of different treatments of cotton linters, such as alkali, acid, and activating agents, e.g. LiCl, on the molecular structure and carboxylation of cotton linters were taken in our consideration. The absence or presence of a crosslinking was considered, and the efficiency of these prepared carboxylated cotton linters toward metal ions uptake, as well as thermal analysis of treated and carboxylated cotton linters, was investigated. It was found that treatment of cotton linters with alkali and activating agent decreased the crystallinity index (band intensity at 1425/band intensity at 890 cm-1). On the other hand, the prepared carboxylated cotton linters had lower crystallinity index than uncarboxylated linters. Thermal analysis of the treated and carboxylated cotton linters allowed calculation of the activation energy of thermally treated materials. It was found that the crosslinked and acid treated cotton linters had a higher activation.
  • Researchpp 94-110Saarinen, T., Orelma, H., Grönqvist, S., Andberg, M., Holappa, S., and Laine, J. (2009). "Adsorption of different laccases on cellulose and lignin surface," BioRes. 4(1), 94-110.AbstractPDF
    The adsorption of Trametes hirsuta and Melanocarpus albomyces laccases on cellulose and lignin model substrates was studied by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation, QCM-D. The laccase-treated surfaces were also analyzed by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The laccases were found to adsorb at acidic and neutral pHs on both surfaces. The adsorbed amounts increased rather linearly with the change in dissipation when the lignin or cellulose was treated with T. hirsuta laccase. Higher adsorbed amounts were obtained using M. albomyces laccase. The adsorption of M. albomyces laccase on lignin was strongly dependent on pH. At low pH thin and rigid laccase layers were formed and the amount adsorbed was high, while at high pH the laccase layers formed were dissipative and loose and the amount adsorbed was low. A good correlation between the adsorbed amount of laccase and the surface nitrogen content was found. The adsorption of laccases made the surface structure of the cellulose and lignin substrates more granular.
  • Researchpp 111-125Bledzki, A. K., Lucka, M., Al Mamun, A., and Michalski, J. (2009). "Biological and electrical resistance of acetylated flax fibre reinforced polypropylene composites," BioRes. 4(1), 111-125.AbstractPDF
    Flax fibre reinforced polypropylene composites were fabricated using a high speed mixer followed by injection moulding. Prior to composite production, the fibre was modified by acetylation in the presence of perchloric acid. The effect of acetylation of the fibre was assessed on the basis of moisture resistance and dielectric properties of the resulting composites. It was found that the moisture absorption and swelling properties of the composites were reduced respectively to 60% and 30% due to acetylation. Two different types of biocide were mixed with untreated flax fibre, and the samples were exposed to decay fungi for up to 3 months along with control polypropylene. The composites with acetylated fibres showed good protection against fungi, and biocide had less effect on biological resistance. The dielectric properties of the flax-polypropylene composites were also estimated as a function of aging period. The composites with modified fibre showed more improvement in dielectric properties compared to the composites with untreated fibres. The mechanical properties were investigated for those composites. Tensile and flexural strengths of composites were found to be increased following acetylation due to modification, and strength properties of both untreated and acetylated flax fibre reinforced polypropylene composites decreased with respect to aging period. The Charpy impact strengths of composites were found to increase with increasing aging periods.


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