NC State
  • Editorialpp 1-3Mendell, B. C. (2014), "Learning from mistakes in the media to improve the communication of wood bioenergy research," BioRes. 9(1), 1-3.AbstractArticlePDF

    Successful applied research into wood bioenergy requires communication of meaningful insights to inform decision-makers and the general public. Effective communication strategies make such insights accessible. However, recent media reports often exhibit a near total absence of findings from peer-reviewed or quantitative research, highlighting a failure to communicate between applied researchers and reporters. As a result, the general public’s understanding of wood-based bioenergy remains incomplete. At a minimum, researchers can address three common lapses when communicating results of their research related to wood-based energy to increase the public’s access to technical results. First, provide context to give policymakers a sense, on a relative basis, of the importance of a given issue. Second, properly distinguish between “causal” relationships and mere happenstance or correlations. And finally, confirm facts and conclusions. Faulty assertions can cast doubts on the broader work and body of research.

  • Editorialpp 4-7Porankiewicz, B. (2014). "Wood machining investigations: Parameters to consider for thorough experimentation," BioRes. 9(1), 4-7.AbstractArticlePDF

    Investigators wanting to study aspects of wood machining face many challenges. The material under investigation is inherently different with respect to its three major axes, and it responds in various ways to local temperature, moisture, and many other variables. Researchers proposing future research projects in this area thus face a critically important task of selecting parameters to include either as variables or as quantities to hold constant. This editorial outlines key parameters and conditions of wood machining that can be considered, depending on the scope of a project.

  • Researchpp 8-23Syed Draman, S. F., Daik, R., Abdul Latif, F., and El-Sheikh, S. M. (2014). "Characterization and thermal decomposition kinetics of kapok (Ceiba pentandra L. )-based cellulose," BioRes. 9(1), 8-23.AbstractArticlePDF

    Interest in using kapok (Ceiba pentandra L.)–based cellulose in composite preparation is growing due to its advantages, including cost- effectiveness, light weight, non-toxicity, and biodegradability. In this study, chloroform, sodium chlorite, and sodium hydroxide were used for wax removal, delignification, and hemicellulose removal, respectively. It was observed that the air entrapment inside kapok fiber disappeared after it was treated with alkali. The structure became completely flattened and similar to a flat ribbon-like shape when examined using a vapour pressure scanning electron microscope (VPSEM). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was used to characterize the untreated and treated kapok fibers. The peak at 898 cm−1, which is attributed to the glucose ring stretching in cellulose, was observed for the obtained cellulose samples. Peaks corresponding to lignin (1505 and 1597 cm-1) and hemicellulose (1737 and 1248 cm-1) disappeared. The results of differential scanning colorimetry (DSC) indicated that the degradation of cellulose appeared as an exothermic peak at about 300 to 350 °C. The activation energy for thermal decomposition of kapok cellulose and its hemicelluloses was 185 kJ/mol and 110 kJ/mol, respectively. The activation energy for thermal decomposition can be used as an alternative approach to determine the purity of cellulose.

  • Researchpp 24-38Feng, L., Qin, L., Liu, Z.-H., Dong, C.-Y., Li, B.-Z., and Yuan, Y.-J. (2014). "Combined severity during pretreatment chemical and temperature on the saccharification of wheat straw using acids and alkalis of differing strength," BioRes. 9(1), 24-38.AbstractArticlePDF

    Acids and alkalis are considered important catalysts in biomass pretreatment, which is essential to overcome the recalcitrance of lignocellulose for sugar release. In this study, the effects of various chemicals and temperatures on the pretreatment and subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis of wheat straw were investigated. The conversions of glucan and xylan during pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis were examined. The temperature and different ions in pretreatment govern the dissociation constant and hydrogen ion concentration. Due to higher dissociation at higher temperature, weak acids and weak alkalis can produce high glucose yields, similar to strong acids and alkalis. The concept of modified combined severity for weak acid pretreatment was explored. The pH value and real combined severity of weak acids at reaction temperatures were estimated according to xylan recovery during pretreatment. Glucose yield in enzymatic hydrolysis is mainly decided by xylan recovery for acidic pretreatment and by total content of xylan and acid-insoluble-lignin in solids for alkaline pretreatment.

  • Researchpp 39-53Bodîrlău, R., Teacă, C. A., and Spiridon, I. (2014). "Green composites comprising thermoplastic corn starch and various cellulose-based fillers," BioRes. 9(1), 39-53.AbstractArticlePDF

    Starch microparticles (SM) were prepared by delivering ethanol as the precipitant into a starch paste solution dropwise. Chemically modified starch microparticles (CSM) were fabricated by a reaction with malic acid using the dry-preparation technique. Composites were prepared using CSM and various cellulose materials as fillers within glycerol plasticized–corn starch matrix through the casting process. Microcrystalline cellulose (MC, as reference filler) and two cellulose-enriched materials, namely Asclepias syriaca L. seed hairs (ASSH) and Populus alba L. seed hairs (PSH), were compared in terms of morphology and performance when incorporated within the CSM/S thermoplastic matrix. The effects of cellulose fillers on the morphology, surface, water sorption, and mechanical properties were investigated. The surface water resistance of composite materials was slightly improved through addition of cellulose fillers. Samples containing cellulose fillers presented higher tensile strength but lower elongation values compared with those without fillers.

  • Researchpp 54-65Liu, R., Peng, Y., Cao, J., and Luo, S. (2014). "Water absorption, dimensional stability, and mold susceptibility of organically-modified-montmorillonite modified wood flour/polypropylene composites," BioRes. 9(1), 54-65.AbstractArticlePDF

    Aspergillus niger, Penicillam citrinum, and Trichoderma viride were investigated. The results showed that Na-MMT was successfully transformed to OMMT inside WF. Owing to the hydrophobic nature and barrier effect of OMMT on water permeability, the composites showed some improvements in water resistance, dimensional stabilities and antibiotic performance. MMT concentration was also an important factor. The water repellency and dimensional stability were improved with increasing MMT concentration at first and then dropped after the MMT concentration exceeded 0.5%. However, the mold resistance of the composites increased along with increasing MMT concentration. With 1% MMT treated, the mold growth rating decreased to 1 (mold covering of 0-25%). These results suggested that OMMT modified WF had a positive effect on restricting water absorption, swelling, and mold susceptibility for the WF/PP composites.

  • Researchpp 66-85Koay, Y. S., Ahamad, I. S., Nourouzi, M. M., Abdullah, L. C., and Choong, T. S. Y. (2014). "Development of novel low-cost quaternized adsorbent from palm oil agriculture waste for reactive dye removal," BioRes. 9(1), 66-85.AbstractArticlePDF

    An attempt was made to chemically modify palm kernel shell (MPKS) to increase adsorption affinity towards Reactive Black 5 (RB5). Granulated palm kernel shell (PKS) was quaternized successfully by treating with N-(3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl)trimethylammonium chloride under alkaline conditions and was characterized. Surface characterization by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and BET analysis confirmed the surface pore enlargement from mesospores to macropores after modification. Fourier Transform-Infrared (FTIR) Spectrometer and CHN analysis revealed that the quaternary ammonia group (NR4+) was successfully reacted on MPKS fiber. pH 4 is the optimum for removal of RB5 on MPKS. Equilibrium isotherms were analyzed by the Langmuir, Freundlich, and Redlich-Peterson models. The Redlich-Peterson model was found to fit well with the data. The maximum adsorption capacity of MPKS was 207.5 mg/g for adsorption of RB5.

  • Researchpp 86-92Soltani, M., Veisi, R., Rohani, A. A., Ramzani, O., Naji, H. R., and Bakar, E. S. (2014). "UV-curable coating process on CMYK-printed duplex paperboard, Part 1: Mechanical and optical properties," BioRes. 9(1), 86-92.AbstractArticlePDF

    An ultraviolet (UV)-curable coating is one of the best finishing methods in the paper and packaging industries for protecting ink layers from physical and mechanical defects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanical and optical properties of CMYK printed paperboard after coating it with the UV-curable varnish. Commercial duplex paperboard (glazed grayback paperboard, 230 g/m2) was printed with a CMYK offset printing process. After conditioning the printed samples, they were coated with a commercial UV-curable varnish (consisting of a liquor-to-solvent ratio of 50:50) using an industrial screen-coating machine. The samples were then dried using a UV lamp in an industrial UV drying machine. The discoloration of the CMYK ink layers was measured spectrophotometrically using CIELab parameters (L*, a*, b*, and ΔE) before and after the coating process. The whiteness, brightness, and fold and tear resistance of the ink films were also measured. Color change (ΔE) was recorded for all tested samples, and the least amount of discoloration was observed in CYAN ink. The highest variances of the relative optical parameters were found in the MAGENTA, YELLOW, and BLACK ink films, which resulted in yellowing of the coated paperboard. It can therefore be concluded that the coating process significantly decreased the fold and tear resistance of the samples.

  • Researchpp 93-104Lehto, J., Alén, R., and Malkavaara, P. (2014). "Multivariate correlation between analysis data on dissolved organic material from Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) chips and their autohydrolysis pre-treatment conditions," BioRes. 9(1), 93-104.AbstractArticlePDF

    Various chemometric techniques were used to establish the relationship between the autohydrolysis conditions prior to pulping and the chemical compositions of the soluble organic materials removed from Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) wood chips. The aqueous chip pre-treatments (autohydrolysis) were administered at 130 °C and 150 °C for 30, 60, 90, and 120 min, and the hydrolysates obtained were characterized in terms of total carbohydrates (various mono-, oligo-, and polysaccharides together with uronic acid side groups), volatile acids (acetic and formic acids), lignin, and furans (furfural and 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural). Based on the analytical data gathered, a relatively accurate model for pine chip autohydrolysis was developed.

  • Researchpp 105-119Lanvermann, C., Hass, P., Wittel, F. K., and Niemz, P. (2014). "Mechanical properties of Norway spruce: Intra-ring variation and generic behavior of earlywood and latewood until failure," BioRes. 9(1), 105-119.AbstractArticlePDF

    The alternating earlywood and latewood growth ring structure has a strong influence on the mechanical performance of Norway spruce. In the current study, tensile tests in the longitudinal and tangential directions were performed on a series of specimens representing one growth ring at varying relative humidities. All tested mechanical parameters, namely modulus of elasticity and ultimate tensile stress, followed the density distribution in the growth ring, with the minimum values in earlywood and the maximum values in latewood. The samples were conditioned at three relative humidity levels 50%, 65%, and 95%. With increasing relative humidity, the values of the mechanical parameters were found to decrease. However, due to the high local variability, this decrease was not statistically significant. The test in the tangential direction on a set of earlywood and latewood specimens at 65% relative humidity revealed a similar limit of linear elasticity for both early- and latewood. Where the strength of both tissues was equal, the strain at failure was significantly greater for earlywood. Furthermore, the portion of the non-linear stress/strain behavior for earlywood was significantly greater. A Weibull analysis on the ultimate tensile strength revealed a tissue-independent Weibull modulus, which indicates similar defect distributions. For both, the failure occurred in the middle lamella.