NC State
  • Researchpp 1488-1503Martín-Sampedro, R., Rodríguez, A., Requejo, A., and Eugenio, M. E. (2012). "Improvement of TCF bleaching of olive tree pruning residue pulp by addition of a laccase and/or xylanase pre-treatment," BioRes. 7(2), 1488-1503.AbstractArticlePDF

    This study aimed at assessing the biobleachability of soda pulps obtained from olive tree pruning residue. The enzymatic (LMS) pre-treatment was applied prior to a simple totally chlorine free (TCF) bleaching sequence, consisting of an alkaline extraction and a hydrogen peroxide stage. Additionally, the effect of adding xylanase jointly with or prior to LMS was evaluated. All of these enzymatic pre-treatments were associated with an enhancement of the bleaching sequence. The best results were found when both enzymes were applied in the same stage: lowest hydrogen peroxide consumption (63 percent); kappa number, 11.6; brightness, 46 percent ISO. The mechanical properties observed were similar to those reported by other authors who have studied pulps from olive tree pruning residue. Finally, bleached pulps were subjected to accelerated ageing in order to assess the evolution of brightness and colorimetric properties. Although biobleached pulps showed lower stability upon ageing, the best optical properties, even after ageing, were observed in pulps treated with both xylanase and laccase.

  • Researchpp 1504-1524Neto, V. d. O. S., Carvalho, T. V., Honorato, S. B., Gomes, C. L., Barros, F. C. F., Araújo-Silva, M. A., Freire, P. T. C., and Nascimento, R. F. (2012). "Coconut bagasse treated by thiourea/ammonia solution for cadmium removal: Kinetics and adsorption equilibrium," BioRes. 7(2), 1504-1524.AbstractArticlePDF

    Coconut bagasse, an agricultural solid waste was used as biosorbent for the removal of cadmium after modification with thiourea. The adsorption of Cd2+ was studied at pH 5.5. Langmuir, Freundlich, and Temkin isotherms were used to model the adsorption equilibrium data, and it was found that the system followed the Langmuir and Temkin isotherms. The adsorption capacity of the biosorbent was found to be 35.97 mg g-1, which is higher or comparable to the adsorption capacity of various adsorbents reported in literature. Kinetic studies showed that the adsorption followed a pseudo-second-order rate model.

  • Researchpp 1525-1532Bustos Avila, C., Gacitúa Escobar, W., Cloutier, A., Fang, C.-H., and Valenzuela Carrasco, P. (2012). "Densification of wood veneers combined with oil-heat treatment. Part III: Cell wall mechanical properties determined by nanoindentation," BioRes. 7(2), 1525-1532.AbstractArticlePDF

    Compression under the effect of heat and steam, also called thermo-hygromechanical (THM) densification, can increase wood density and therefore improve its strength, stiffness, and hardness. Oil-heat treatment (OHT) is also known to reduce wood’s hygroscopicity and improve dimensional stability. A combination of both treatments can therefore produce wood with improved mechanical properties and dimensional stability. The objective of this project was to determine cell wall mechanical properties of THM-densified and OHT wood. Trembling aspen veneers were densified by a THM process and subsequently treated in canola oil at 200 and 220°C. Nanoindentations were performed in earlywood cell walls. The results show that cell wall longitudinal modulus of elasticity increased significantly from 13.5 GPa for the control to a maximum of 18.2 GPa for THM densified wood with or without OHT. Cell wall hardness increased from 0.27 GPa to a maximum of 0.43 GPa. Both THM densification and OHT significantly increased cell wall hardness. Therefore, the increase in mechanical properties of THM-densified and OHT wood can be due to an increase in wood density resulting from a reduction in porosity but also to an increase in the mechanical properties of the cell wall.

  • Researchpp 1533-1539Banerjee, S., Le, T., Haynes, R. D., and Bradbury, J. E. (2012). "Solubilizing and detackifying stickies with beta-cyclodextrin," BioRes. 7(2), 1533-1539.AbstractArticlePDF

    ß-Cyclodextrin (ß-CD) solubilizes stickies from deinked pulp, commercial adhesive formulations, or magazine inserts, which demonstrates its potential as a washing aid. A new test to simulate coater scratches is described; it involves scraping the test paper sample across the surface of a thin layer chromatography plate and measuring the degree of scratching on the plate. Scratching was significantly reduced when the paper was pre-treated with ß-CD. A trial at a recycle paper mill confirmed that ß-CD reduces the tack of filtrate components.

  • Researchpp 1540-1547Ding, T. Y., Hii, S. L., and Ong, L. G. A. (2012). "Comparison of pretreatment strategies for conversion of coconut husk fiber to fermentable sugars," BioRes. 7(2), 1540-1547.AbstractArticlePDF

    In the present study, coconut husk was employed as biomass feedstock for production of bioethanol, due to its abundance in Malaysia. Due to the complex structures of coconut husk, a pretreatment process is crucial in extracting fermentable sugars from the embedded cellulose matrix for subsequent ethanol fermentation process. The ground coconut husk was subjected to three different pretreatment processes inclusive of thermal, chemical, and microwave-assisted-alkaline techniques, prior to enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation process. The composition profile of coconut husk was significantly altered upon the microwave-assisted-alkaline treatment as compared to the untreated sample, with the cellulose content increasing from 18-21% to 38-39% while lignin content decreased from 46-53% to 31-33%. Among the pretreatment methods applied, enzymatic hydrolysis of coconut husk pretreated by microwave-assisted-alkaline method recorded the highest yield of fermentable sugars, 0.279 g sugar/g substrate. SEM imaging showed the obvious and significant disruption of coconut husks’ structure after microwave-assisted-alkaline pretreatment. In conclusion, by employing suitable pretreatment technique in treating the lignocellulosic materials of coconut husk, the extracted fermentable sugar is a potential substrate for bioethanol production.

  • Researchpp 1548-1557Liu, Z., Jiang, Z., Cai, Z., Fei, B., Yu, Y., and Liu, X. (2012). "Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis of moso bamboo (Phyllostachys heterocycla) at different moisture content," BioRes. 7(2), 1548-1557.AbstractArticlePDF

    Bamboo is a type of biomass materials that has great potential as a bio-energy resource in China. The thermal-mechanical behavior of bamboo plays an important role in the formation process of pellets. To investigate the effect of moisture content (MC) on thermal-mechanical behavior of bamboo, the storage modulus and loss factor of moso bamboo was determined using dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) from -50 to 150 oC. The experimental results showed that the general feature of bamboo thermal-mechanical properties with temperature is similar to other cellulosic materials, and they are affected by MC. A substantial decrease of storage modulus over the entire temperature range implies that bamboo underwent a glass to rubber transition. Bamboo, at lower MC, has a higher storage modulus, which decreases the mechanical strength of pellets. The loss factor exhibited two major transitions for all samples. There was an α-transition (α1), attributed to glass transition of lignin, peaking in a higher temperature range. The second major relaxation (α2), located in a lower temperature range, was attributed to glass transition of hemicelluloses. Activating lignin and hemicelluloses using moisture and temperature in the temperature range of glass transition can be very helpful to achieve durable particle-particle bonding.

  • Researchpp 1558-1568El Moussaouiti, M., Barcha, B., Alves, E. F., and Francis, R. C. (2012). "Kraft pulping characteristics of three Moroccan eucalypti. Part 1. Physical and chemical properties of woods and pulps," BioRes. 7(2), 1558-1568.AbstractArticlePDF

    Two eucalyptus hybrids (EGC 39, EGC 241), resulting from crosses between Eucalyptus grandis and Eucalyptus camaldulensis, were investigated to see if they could produce kraft papermaking fibers with low lignin and adequate physical properties. The two hybrids were harvested at an age of 8 years along with 6-8 year old Eucalyptus camaldulensis (Rostrata). All three eucalypti were grown in the area of Gharb in the North-West of Morocco. The tracheids in the two hybrids had a very high Runkel ratio (2 x cell wall thickness/lumen diameter) and produced kraft paper sheets with low tensile strength due to a low degree of fiber collapse thus a low relative bonded area. These fibers could be used to increase the stiffness of a papermaking furnish. The lignin in the EGC 39 chips was more reactive in kraft pulping as compared to the other two eucalypti. Methoxyl analyses and nitrobenzene oxidation (NBO) of the in-situ lignin (wood meals) were performed, and it was concluded that the syringyl content of the EGC 39 lignin was less than or equal to those in the other two eucalypti. Differences in the guaiacyl fraction of the three samples will be discussed in Part 2 of this series.

  • Researchpp 1569-1581Alves, E. F., Francis, R. C., Barcha, B., and El Moussaouiti, M. (2012). "Kraft pulping characteristics of three Moroccan eucalypti. Part 2. Comparison of the guaiacyl fraction of the native lignins by a novel method," BioRes. 7(2), 1569-1581.AbstractArticlePDF

    In Part 1 of this series it was observed that one of the eucalypti (EGC 39) was more reactive than the other two in kraft and soda-AQ (SAQ) cooking. However, the lignin in EGC 39 contained equal or less syringyl (S) units than the other two eucalypti. In the present research an attempt was made to compare the guaiacyl (G) fraction of the three lignins. The approach was to use SAQ treatment to cleave β-O-4 bonds in dimeric units containing uncondensed guaiacyl A-rings (those rearranging to quinone methides). The coniferyl alcohol, vinylguaiacol and isoeugenol generated from β-O-4 cleavage are then trapped as dimers by ethylguaiacol that is included in the SAQ liquor. Research with sugar maple (Acer saccharum) showed that the estimate of these structures (uncondensed G-β-O-4) by this approach was in close agreement with traditional but more tedious methods such as permanganate oxidation and 31P NMR. It was also shown that the lignin in the EGC 39 hybrid contained a higher concentration of uncondensed G-β-O-4 structures than the other two eucalypti lignins.

  • Researchpp 1582-1593Thomsen, S. T., Jensen, M., and Schmidt, J. E. (2012). "Production of 2nd generation bioethanol from lucerne - Optimization of hydrothermal pretreatment," BioRes. 7(2), 1582-1593.AbstractArticlePDF

    Lucerne (Medicago sativa) has many qualities associated with sustainable agriculture such as nitrogen fixation and high biomass yield. Therefore, there is interest in whether lucerne is a suitable biomass substrate for bioethanol production, and if hydrothermal pretreatment (HTT) of lucerne improves enzymatic convertibility, providing sufficient enzymatic conversion of carbohydrate to simple sugars for ethanol production. The HTT process was optimised for lucerne hay, and the pretreated biomass was assessed by carbohydrate analysis, inhibitor characterisation of liquid phases, and by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) of the whole slurry with Cellubrix enzymes and Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast. The optimal HTT conditions were 205°C for 5 minutes, resulting in pentose recovery of 81%, and an enzymatic convertibility of glucan to monomeric glucose of 74%, facilitating a conversion of 6.2% w/w of untreated material into bioethanol in SSF, which is equivalent to 1,100 litre ethanol per hectare per year.

  • Researchpp 1594-1616Chang, S. Y., Ismail, H., and Ahsan, Q. (2012). "Effect of maleic anhydride on kenaf dust filled polycaprolactone/ thermoplastic sago starch composites," BioRes. 7(2), 1594-1616.AbstractArticlePDF

    The utilization of biodegradable polymers for various applications has been restricted mainly by its high cost. This report aims to study the water absorption and mechanical properties of kenaf dust-filled polycaprolactone/thermoplastic sago starch biodegradable composites as a function of filler loading and treatment with maleic anhydride. While water absorption in untreated biocomposites increased as a function of filler loading, treated biocomposites resulted in weight loss, whereby low molecular weight substances were dissolved into the aging medium. The kenaf dust imparts reinforcing effects on the biocomposites, resulting in improved mechanical properties. This is further attested by morphological studies in which kenaf dust was well dispersed in the polycaprolactone/ thermoplastic sago starch blend matrix. The addition of maleic anhydride into the polycaprolactone/thermoplastic sago starch blend resulted in a homogeneous mixture. At low filler loading, strain at break of the maleated polycaprolactone/thermoplastic sago starch blend increased at the expense of tensile strength and modulus. This is most likely due to the excessive dicumyl peroxide content, which caused chain scission of the polycaprolactone backbone. Tensile strength and modulus improved only when high filler loading was employed.