NC State
  • Researchpp 4586-4599López, J. P., El Mansouri, N.-E., Alba, J., del Rey, R., Mutjé, P., and Vilaseca, F. (2012). "Acoustic properties of polypropylene composites reinforced with stone groundwood," BioRes. 7(4), 4586-4599.AbstractArticlePDF

    Currently, acoustic isolation is one of the problems raised with building construction in Spain. The publication of the Basic Document for the protection against noise of the Technical Building Code has increased the demand of comfort for citizens. This has created the need to seek new composite materials that meet the new required acoustical building codes. In this paper we report the results of the newly developed composites that are able to improve the acoustic isolation of airborne noise. These composites were prepared from polypropylene (PP) reinforced with mechanical pulp fibers from softwood (Pinus radiata). Mechanical and acoustical properties of the composites from mechanical pulp (MP) and polypropylene (PP) have been investigated and compared to fiberglass (FG) composites. MP composites had lower tensile properties compared with FG composites, although these properties can be improved by incorporation of a coupling agent. The results of acoustical properties of MP composites were reported and compared with the conventional composites based on fiberglass and gypsum plasterboards. Finally, we suggest the application of MP composites as a light-weight building material to reduce acoustic transmitions.

  • Researchpp 4600-4613Feng, Y., Mu, J., Chen, S., Huang, Z., and Yu, Z. (2012). "The influence of urea formaldehyde resins on pyrolysis characteristics and products of wood-based panels," BioRes. 7(4), 4600-4613.AbstractArticlePDF

    In China each year, large amounts of wood-based panels are consumed and abandoned. These are huge resources for energy recovery and materials reuse. In order to study the influence of urea formaldehyde resin (UF) resin on waste wood-based panels during pyrolysis, thermobalance experiments together with the evolution of main gaseous products of wood, wood-based panels, and UF resins were carried out and analyzed by TG-FTIR. Elementary and GC-MS analyses were also done to study the characteristics of solid and liquid products. Results from TG and DTG analyses indicated that UF resin used in wood-based panels accelerated the degradation rate of wood-based panels at lower temperature; however the resin inhibited the degradation of wood-based panels over the later stage at higher temperatures. Compared with solid wood, the higher intensity and earlier releasing time of HNCO and NH3 in wood board revealed that the release of nitric gases is mainly due to the presence of UF resin, especially between 180 °C and 320 °C. Mass loss of hydrogen is significantly inhibited by UF resin, and nitrogen is quite stable in the char. The influence of UF resin on pyrolysis liquids of wood-based panels is mainly on nitrogen compounds and ketones rather than aldehydes and esters, which is probably due to the chemical reactions of UF resin with lignin constituent in wood.

  • Researchpp 4614-4625Wang, X., Xu, Y., Fan, L., Yong, Q., and Yu, S. (2012). "Simultaneous separation and quantitative determination of monosaccharides, uronic acids, and aldonic acids by high performance anion-exchange chromatography coupled with pulsed amperometric detection in corn stover prehydrolysates," BioRes. 7(4), 4614-4625.AbstractArticlePDF

    A method for simultaneous separation and quantitative determination of arabinose, galactose, glucose, xylose, xylonic acid, gluconic acid, galacturonic acid, and glucuronic acid was developed by using high performance anion-exchange chromatography coupled with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD). The separation was performed on a CarboPacTM PA-10 column (250 mm × 2 mm) with a various gradient elution of NaOH-NaOAc solution as the mobile phase. The calibration curves showed good linearity (R2 ≥ 0.9993) for the monosaccharides, uronic acids, and aldonic acids in the range of 0.1 to 12.5 mg/L. The detection limits (LODs) and the quantification limits (LOQs) were 4.91 to 18.75 μg/L and 16.36 to 62.50 μg/L, respectively. Relative standard deviations (RSDs) of the retention times and peak areas for the seven consecutive determinations of an unknown amount of mixture were 0.15% to 0.44% and 0.22% to 2.31%, respectively. The established method was used to separate and determine four monosaccharides, two uronic acids, and two aldonic acids in the prehydrolysate from dilute acid steam-exploded corn stover within 21 min. The spiked recoveries of monosaccharides, uronic acids, and aldonic acids ranged from 91.25% to 108.81%, with RSDs (n=3) of 0.04% ~ 6.07%. This method was applied to evaluate the quantitative variation of sugar and sugar acid content in biomass prehydrolysates.

  • Researchpp 4626-4639Bian, J., Peng, F., Peng, X.-P., Peng, P., Xu, F., and Sun, R.-C. (2012). "Acetic acid enhanced purification of crude cellulose from sugarcane bagasse: Structural and morphological characterization," BioRes. 7(4), 4626-4639.AbstractArticlePDF

    Crude cellulose prepared from alkali-extracted sugarcane bagasse was subjected to a rapid purification treatment with a mixture of 80% acetic acid-68% nitric acid (10/1, v/v) at 120 °C for 15 min. The yields of the preparations decreased slightly from 57.3%-58.6% in the crude cellulose preparations to 50.3%-51.9% in the purified cellulose samples. The purification treatment removed large amounts of resistant hemicelluloses strongly associated to the cellulose. XRD analysis revealed that the structure of both the crude and purified cellulose was cellulose I. Compared to the crude cellulose, a slight increase in the crystallinity index of the purified cellulose was observed by FTIR, XRD, and CP/MAS 13C NMR analyses. In addition, SEM showed that the macrofibril surface of the crude cellulose was almost free of trenches, but many terraces, steps, and kinks formed in the preparations after the purification.

  • Researchpp 4640-4657Muniandy, K., Ismail, H., and Othman, N. (2012). "Effects of partial replacement of rattan powder by commercial fillers on the properties of natural rubber composites," BioRes. 7(4), 4640-4657.AbstractArticlePDF

    The effects of partial replacement of rattan powder (RP) by carbon black (CB), mica, and calcium carbonate (CaCO3) on the curing characteristics, tensile properties, rubber-filler interaction, and morphological studies of natural rubber (NR) composites were investigated. Rattan powder with an average particle size of less than 180 µm was used in this study. NR/RP/CB, NR/RP/mica, and NR/RP/CaCO3 composites with five different RP/commercial fillers loadings (i.e. 30/0, 20/10, 15/15, 10/20, 0/30 phr) were prepared using a laboratory size two-roll mill. Results showed that the maximum torque (MH) of the NR/RP/CB, NR/RP/mica, and NR/RP/CaCO3 composites increased with increasing the commercial filler-loading ratio. The scorch time (ts2) and cure time (t90) of NR/RP/CB composites decreased as the ratio of CB loading was increased, whereas, ts2 and t90 of NR/RP/mica and NR/RP/CaCO3 composites increased as mica and CaCO3 loading ratio were raised, respectively. The tensile strength, elongation at break (Eb), stress at 100% elongation (M100), and stress at 300% elongation (M300) of all the composites increased as the commercial filler-loading ratio increased. This is due to the presence of the commercial filler, which brought a better rubber-filler interaction, as confirmed by the rubber-filler interaction and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies.

  • Researchpp 4658-4671Råberg, U., Daniel, G., and Terziev, N. (2012). "Loss of strength in biologically degraded thermally modified wood," BioRes. 7(4), 4658-4671.AbstractArticlePDF

    The durability of thermally modified (TM) and untreated (UT) mini-stakes exposed to in-ground contact was compared by modulus of elasticity (MOE) and mass loss with decay type using microscopy. Results showed a strong correlation between MOE and soft rot decay for UT stakes over a 30 month exposure period. For TM stakes, the correlation between MOE and decay rate (soft rot/bacteria) was not as strong. Loss of MOE of the TM stakes is suggested to be accentuated by the extensive micro-checking produced in the TM wood tracheids during the original heat treatment. The micro-checks are thought to expand during the winter season due to water expansion during freezing, thereby leading to weakening of the wood in addition to the decay caused by soft rot and bacteria. Using molecular methods, Phialophora hoffmannii was identified as the main fungus causing soft rot decay.

  • Researchpp 4672-4682Ioelovich, M., and Morag, E. (2012). "Study of enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated biomass at increased solids loading," BioRes. 7(4), 4672-4682.AbstractArticlePDF

    The effect of biomass loading from 50 to 200 g/L on enzymatic hydrolysis was studied using switchgrass samples pretreated by dilute acid and hypochlorite-alkaline methods. It was confirmed that an increase of initial loading of the pretreated biomass leads to a decrease of enzymatic digestibility, probably due to difficulty of mass transfer of cellulolytic enzymes in the high-viscous substrate slurry and also because of an inhibiting effect of the formed sugars. An additional sharp problem connected with enzymatic hydrolysis at the high-solids loading is absorption and retention of liquid hydrolysate by residual non-hydrolyzed biomass that causes diminution of the available volume (Va) of the sugar solution and decreases productivity of the saccharification process. To optimize the high-solids enzymatic hydrolysis, the maximal amount of the formed sugars was determined Am = Cm x Va,m , where Cm is maximal concentration of the sugar solution and Va,m is maximal available volume. Such an approach makes it possible to find the optimal conditions for the hydrolysis: optimal biomass loading and hydrolysis time. After enzymatic hydrolysis at these optimal conditions, the low-lignified biomass pretreated by hypochlorite-alkaline method displayed much more available volume of sugar solution and higher digestibility characteristics than the cellolignin obtained by acidic pretreatment of the initial biomass sample.

  • Researchpp 4683-4703Sen, S. K., Baheti, V. K., Venditti, R. A., Pawlak, J. J., Park, S., and Bansal, M. C. (2012). "Cellulose microfibril-water interaction as characterized by isothermal thermogravimetric analysis and scanning electron microscopy," BioRes. 7(4), 4683-4703.AbstractArticlePDF

    Microfibrillated celluloses, liberated from macroscopic lignocellulosic fibers by mechanical means, are sub-fiber elements with lengths in the micron scale and diameters ranging from 10 to a few hundred nanometers. These materials have shown strong water interactions. This article describes an investigation and quantification of the ‘hard-to-remove (HR) water content’ in cellulose fibers and microfibrillated structures prepared from fully bleached softwood pulp (BSW). The fiber/fibril structure was altered by using an extended beating process (up to 300 minutes), and water interactions were determined with isothermal thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Isothermal TGA is shown to be a convenient and insightful characterization method for fiber-water interactions for fibers and microfibrils at small sample size. In addition, scanning electron microscopic (SEM) images depict the differences between fibers and microfibrils with respect to beating time in the dried consolidated structures. Highly refined pulps with microfibrils were determined to have two critical drying points, i.e., two minima in the second derivative of weight versus time, not before reported in the literature. Also in this study, hard-to-remove (HR) water content is related to the area above the first derivative curve in the constant rate and falling rate drying zones. This measure of HR water correlates with a previous measurement method of HR water but is less ambiguous for materials that lack a constant drying rate zone. Blends of unbeaten fibers and microfibril containing samples were prepared and show potential as composite materials.

  • Researchpp 4704-4714Zafari, A., and Kianmehr, M. H. (2012). "Effect of raw material properties and die geometry on the density of biomass pellets from composted municipal solid waste," BioRes. 7(4), 4704-4714.AbstractArticlePDF

    Densification of biomass feedstocks, such as pelletizing, can increase bulk density, improve storability, reduce transportation costs, and ease the handling of biomass using existing handling and storage equipment for grains. In order to study the pelletizing process, compost pellets were produced under controlled conditions. The aim of the work was to investigate the effect of raw material properties and the die geometry on the true density of formed pellets and also find the optimal conditions of the densification process for producing pellets with high density. Compost was extruded into cylindrical pellets utilizing open-end dies under axial stress from a vertical piston applied by a hydraulic press. The effects of independent variables, including the raw material moisture content (35 to 45% (wet basis)), hammer mill screen size (0.3 to 1.5 mm), speed of piston (2 to 10 mm/s), and die length (8 to 12 mm) on pellet density, were determined using response surface methodology. A quadratic model was proposed to predict the pellet density, which had high F and R2 values along with a low p value, indicating the predictability of the model. Moisture content, speed of piston, and particle size significantly affected (P < 0.01) the density of pellets, while the influence of die length was negligible (P > 0.05).

  • Researchpp 4715-4729Darmawan, W., Rahayu, I., Nandika, D., and Marchal, R. (2012). "The importance of extractives and abrasives in wood materials on the wearing of cutting tools," BioRes. 7(4), 4715-4729.AbstractArticlePDF

    For many wood cutting processes, the interest of high-speed tool steels and tungsten carbides remains very important because of their good tool edge accuracy and easy grinding. The wear of high-speed steel and tungsten carbide is an important economic parameter. Wood extractives and silica have a potential adverse effect on tool wear. Rapid chemical wearing due to corrosion and mechanical wearing has been attributed to the presence of extractives and silica in wood and wood composites. This paper presents the wear characteristics of SKH51 high-speed steel and K10 tungsten carbide caused by extractive and abrasive materials present in the lesser-known Tapi-Tapi wood and wood composites of wood cement board, particleboard, MDF, and oriented strand board (OSB). Experimental results showed that wearing of the cutting tools tested was determined by extractives and silica contained in the wood and wood composites. Wood cement board, which is high in silica content, caused severe damage to the cutting edge of the high-speed steel. A corrosion/oxidation mechanism was found to contribute to the wear of SKH51 and K10 when cutting the Tapi-Tapi wood, MDF, particleboard, wood cement board, and OSB. The silica and extractives determined the abrasion and corrosion wear mechanism to a varying degree.