NC State
  • Researchpp 1565-1577Hyväkkö, U., King, A. W. T., and Kilpeläinen, I. (2014). "Extraction of wheat straw with aqueous tetra-n-butylphosphonium hydroxide," BioRes. 9(1), 1565-1577.AbstractArticlePDF

    The stability of tetra-n-butylphosphonium hydroxide ([P4444][OH](aq)) solutions and their potential for wheat straw extraction are investigated. Under certain concentration ranges, aqueous [P4444][OH](aq) is known to rapidly dissolve up to 20 wt% of cellulose at 25 ºC. However, at elevated temperatures and at the high concentration ranges required for cellulose dissolution, [P4444][OH](aq) irreversibly decomposes. This was determined by following the kinetics of decomposition at different temperatures and concentrations, using 31P NMR analysis of the solutions. A lower concentration range of 40 wt% [P4444][OH](aq) was observed for fractionation of wheat straw, avoiding significant decomposition of the expensive phosphonium component. Herein, the possibilities for producing cellulose-rich fractions with reduced lignin contents and hemicellulose-rich extracts are discussed. A proposal is given for a full process cycle using [P4444][OH](aq), where the phosphonium salt is used in fractionation and recovered by anion metathesis as a chloride salt. Although not demonstrated in this article, the chloride salt may be converted back to the hydroxide by means of, e.g., ion exchange.

  • Researchpp 1578-1587Yang, X., Zhang, R., Tang, L., Chen, M., Li, Y., and Zhou, X. (2014). "Dynamic wettability of different adhesives on wheat straw surface modified by cold oxygen plasma treatment," BioRes. 9(1), 1578-1587.AbstractArticlePDF

    The effects of cold oxygen plasma treatment on the exterior and interior surfaces and wettability of wheat straw were investigated. The wheat straw was treated with oxygen plasma for 150 s, and the radio-frequency power was set at 100 W. The surface wettability was evaluated by measuring the contact angles and the K values of urea-formaldehyde, phenol-formaldehyde, and methylene diphenyl diisocyanate resins. Specimens with different gluing surfaces were bonded together with urea-formaldehyde and phenol-formaldehyde and then hot-pressed to assess bonding strength. Results indicate that the dynamic wettability and the shear strength of wheat straw were remarkably improved after it was exposed to the cold oxygen plasma. Additionally, the adhesive type and the wheat straw surface characteristics had significant effects on the dynamic wettability and bonding strength of both untreated and plasma-treated wheat straw.

  • Researchpp 1588-1595Ahsan, L., Jahan, M. S., Khan, M. I. H., and Calhoun, L. (2014). "Recovery of acetic acid from prehydrolysis liquor of kraft hardwood dissolving pulp using ion-exchange resin," BioRes. 9(1), 1588-1595.AbstractArticlePDF

    The growing demand for rayon and cellulosic products has resulted in the conversion of a number of kraft pulp mills into dissolving pulp mills in recent years. In fact, kraft-based dissolving pulp production fits well into the concept of an integrated forest biorefinery, in particular, the utilization of dissolved organics in the pre-hydrolysis liquor (PHL) for bio-materials and bio-energy purposes. In this study, the recovery of acetic acid, the second major component in the PHL of the kraft-based hardwood dissolving pulp production process, was investigated using amine-based resin adsorption. Activated carbon (AC) adsorption was adopted as the first step to remove the lignin, and six AC samples were evaluated for this purpose. Among them, CR325 W-Ultra Powder AC showed the best result and removed about 90% of lignin with a minimal loss of hemicellulosic sugars and acetic acid from PHL at a ratio of 1:20 (AC:PHL). Subsequently, the adsorption of acetic acid from AC-treated PHL (TPHL) was studied on tertiary and quaternary amine-based resins. The tertiary amine resin demonstrated better adsorption efficiency. Desorption of the adsorbed acetic acid from the amine resin using sodium hydroxide solution was also studied, and the results showed that 66 to 84% acetic acid desorption occurred using a 4% NaOH solution.

  • Researchpp 1596-1605Li, X., Du, G., Wang, S., and Yu, G. (2014). "Physical and mechanical characterization of fiber cell wall in castor (Ricinus communis L.) stalk," BioRes. 9(1), 1596-1605.AbstractArticlePDF

    Castor (Ricinus communis L.) stalk is a byproduct of the production of castor oil. As a natural material, castor stalk has great potential in the production of bio-composites as reinforcement materials. To provide more information about the castor stalk for using it better, the structure, microfibril angle (MFA), relative degree of crystallinity (%), and mechanical properties of castor fiber cell walls were investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and nanoindentation. The influence of chemical composition and MFA on the mechanical properties of fiber cell wall was studied as well. The cortex of castor stalks primarily contains long fibers, while the xylem of castor stalk, an excellent wood-type material, comprises most of the castor stalk (83.95% by weight); the pith of the stalk is composed of parenchyma cells. The average elastic modulus of fiber cell wall in lower, upper, and branch parts are 16.0 GPa, 18.6 GPa, and 13.2 GPa, respectively. The average hardness of fiber cell wall in lower, upper, and branch parts are 0.50 GPa, 0.54 GPa, and 0.43 GPa, respectively. As lignin content increases from 15.57% to 17.41% and MFA decreases from 21.3˚ to 15.4˚, the elastic modulus increases from 13.2 GPa to 18.6 GPa and the hardness increases from 0.43 GPa to 0.54 GPa. The mechanical properties, including the elastic modulus and the hardness of the fiber cell wall in the upper region of the castor stalk, are higher than those in the lower region, while the mechanical properties of the fiber cell wall in the branches are lower than those in either the upper or lower regions.

  • Reviewpp 1606-1633Rajkumar, R., Yaakob, Z., and Takriff, M. S. (2014). "Potential of the micro and macro algae for biofuel production: A brief review," BioRes. 9(1), 1606-1633.AbstractArticlePDF

    The world seems to be raising its energy needs owing to an expanding population and people’s desire for higher living standards. Diversification biofuel sources have become an important energy issue in recent times. Among the various resources, algal biomass has received much attention in the recent years due to its relatively high growth rate, its vast potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change, and their ability to store high amounts of lipids and carbohydrates. These versatile organisms can also be used for the production of biofuel. In this review, sustainability and the viability of algae as an up-coming biofuel feedstock have been discussed. Additionally, this review offers an overview of the status of biofuel production through algal biomass and progress made so far in this area.

  • Reviewpp 1634-1763Hubbe, M. A. (2014). "Prospects for maintaining strength of paper and paperboard products while using less forest resources: A Review,"BioRes. 9(1), 1634-1763.AbstractArticlePDF

    Paper production requires large amounts of cellulosic fiber, whereas the world’s forested lands and croplands have a finite capacity to supply such resources. To deal with likely future pressure on forest resources, as well as to hold down costs of materials, publications examined in the preparation of this review suggest that the paper industry will need to implement several concurrent strategies. In particular, the industry can be expected to view recycling as a central part of its activities. Basis weights of various paper-based products can be expected to decrease over the coming decades, and more of the fiber content will be replaced with fillers such as calcium carbonate. Such trends will place intense demands upon chemical-based strategies to enhance the bonding within paper and paperboard. Based on the literature, further progress in reducing the amount of new forest resources used to meet a given set of paper product requirements will require a combined approach, taking into account various fiber attributes, nanostructures, novel concepts in bond formation, and advances in the unit operations of papermaking.

  • Reviewpp 1764-1786Zhu, X., Kim, B.-J., Wang, Q., and Wu, Q. (2014). "Recent advances in the sound insulation properties of bio-based materials," BioRes. 9(1), 1764-1786.AbstractArticlePDF

    Many bio-based materials, which have lower environmental impact than traditional synthetic materials, show good sound absorbing and sound insulation performances. This review highlights progress in sound transmission properties of bio-based materials and provides a comprehensive account of various multiporous bio-based materials and multilayered structures used in sound absorption and insulation products. Furthermore, principal models of sound transmission are discussed in order to aid in an understanding of sound transmission properties of bio-based materials. In addition, the review presents discussions on the composite structure optimization and future research in using co-extruded wood plastic composite for sound insulation control. This review contributes to the body of knowledge on the sound transmission properties of bio-based materials, provides a better understanding of the models of some multiporous bio-based materials and multilayered structures, and contributes to the wider adoption of bio-based materials as sound absorbers.

  • Reviewpp 1787-1823Chowdhury, Z. Z., Mohd. Zain, S., Abd Hamid, S. B., and Khalid, K. (2014). "Catalytic role of ionic liquids for dissolution and degradation of biomacromolecules," BioRes. 9(1), 1787-1823.AbstractArticlePDF

    Natural biomacromolecules constitute a diverse feedstock, including carbohydrate-based polysaccharides (cellulose, hemicellulose, starch, agarose, and Konjac glucomannan) together with lignin — extracted mainly from biomass — and other protein based polymers, namely keratin, chitin, chitosan, and silk fibroin. The complex and heterogeneous chemical structure of biomacromolecules makes them difficult to dissolve and disintegrate into simpler molecules for further applications. In this regard, ionic liquids are potential solvents for the dissolution and modification of long chain biopolymers. This provides a promising pretreatment technology and is known to allow adequate extraction of biopolymers from natural sources. This paper highlights the properties of ionic liquids for their use as versatile solvents. This review provides a critical outlook regarding the influence of several process parameters that govern the fractionation of biomacromolecules into their constituent elements and further pretreatment processes. The performance of different types of ionic liquids for processing of biomacromolecules, focusing on their pertinent capability as catalysts to enhance the rate of hydrolysis, also is discussed in this article.


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