NC State
  • Researchpp 5615-5626Yu, H., Yang, X., Jiang, L., and Chen, D. (2014). "Experimental study on co-gasification characteristics of biomass and plastic wastes," BioRes. 9(3), 5615-5626.AbstractArticlePDF

    Co-gasification of biomass (rice straw) and polyethylene (PE) was conducted in a lab-scale entrained-flow gasifier. The influences of PE proportion, reaction temperature, and equivalence ratio on producer gas composition, gasification index, and tar yield were investigated. In addition, the effects of dolomite and ) catalysts on the co-gasification process were also examined. Increased PE proportion led to an increased lower heating value (LHV) of producer gas as well as an increase in tar yield. In addition, a higher reaction temperature could improve both gas quality and gasification indices significantly. An equivalence ratio (ER) of 0.25 led to a relatively high LHV and low tar yield. Na2CO3 showed a better tar removal efficiency than dolomite. Dolomite increased the LHV of producer gas, while Na2CO3 decreased the LHV. The difference in the catalyst proportion did not cause any significant change in the gas composition and gasification indices. The producer gas with the highest LHV and lowest tar yield was obtained by the co-gasification of 80% (w/w) straw, 20% (w/w) PE, and 3% (w/w) dolomite.

  • Researchpp 5627-5635Akudo, C. O., and Theegala, C. S. (2014). "Quantification of tars, particulates, and higher heating values in gases produced from a biomass gasifier," BioRes. 9(3), 5627-5635.AbstractArticlePDF

    Syngas from biomass gasifiers contains impurities such as tars and particulates, which can create difficulties for the downstream processes (e.g., internal combustion engines and the Fischer-Tropsch process). To design an efficient and effective gas cleaning system, it is important to accurately quantify the tars and particulates. The absence of an ASTM procedure for tars and particulates produced from a gasifier led to the development and testing of the protocol presented in this study. Syngas was generated from woodchips using a pilot-scale downdraft gasifier, which was designed and constructed in-house. The sampled impurities were analyzed using mass gravimetry, solvent evaporation, and weight differential methods. The higher heating value of the exiting gases was estimated from the syngas composition. The average tar and particulate concentrations of the sample runs were 1.8 to 3.1 g/m3 and 5.2 to 6.4 g/m3, respectively. The higher heating values of the syngas ranged between 4.38 and 4.55 MJ/m3.

  • Researchpp 5636-5651Husseinsyah, S., Chan, M. Y., Kassim, A. R., Mosthapa Zakaria, M., and Ismail, H. (2014). "Kapok husk-reinforced soy protein isolate biofilms: Tensile properties and enzymatic hydrolysis," BioRes. 9(3), 5636-5651.AbstractArticlePDF

    The utilization of kapok husk (KH) as a reinforcing filler can enhance the properties of soy protein isolate (SPI)/kapok husk (KH) films. The properties of soy protein isolate/kapok husk films with and without the cross-linking agent glutaraldehyde (GLA) were investigated. Films with different KH contents were prepared through a solvent casting method. The addition of KH to SPI films increased the tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, and thermal stability, but reduced the elongation at break. The presence of glutaraldehyde improved the tensile and thermal properties of SPI/KH films. The tensile strength of modified SPI/KH films at 40 wt% increased by 30% compared to unmodified films. The improvement of interfacial interaction between the KH and SPI was demonstrated using a morphology study. Fourier transmission infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis indicated the presence of ethylenic (C=C) groups and imine (C=N) groups. An enzymatic degradation test of SPI/KH films was performed for 14 days in a diatase buffer solution at 37 °C. The enzymatic degradation weight loss of unmodified films decreased with increasing KH content. In contrast, the modified SPI/KH films with glutaraldehyde retained about 50% of their original weight.

  • Researchpp 5652-5661Li, Z., Fei, B., and Jiang, Z. (2014). "Comparision of dilute organic and sulfuric acid pretreatment for enzymatic hydrolysis of bamboo," BioRes. 9(3), 5652-5661.AbstractArticlePDF

    Pretreating bamboo is essential to overcome the recalcitrance of lignocellulose for bioethanol production. In this study, the effectiveness of formic, acetic, and sulfuric acids in pretreating bamboo were compared. To measure pretreatment efficiency, the enzymatic digestibility of the pretreated bamboo substrates was determined. Monomeric glucose conversion yield was measured after enzymatic hydrolysis. Additionally, the sugar degradation products fermentation inhibitors were measured after pretreatment. After conducting many tests, it was determined that pretreatment with dilute formic acid at 180 °C and 30 min can be an acceptable alternative to dilute sulfuric acid pretreatment.

  • Researchpp 5662-5675Yuan, Q., and Fu, F. (2014). "Application of carbon fiber paper in integrated wooden electric heating composite," BioRes. 9(3), 5662-5675.AbstractArticlePDF

    To endow wooden material with an electric heating function, carbon fiber paper, as an electric heating membrane, was laminated with wood veneer to prepare wooden electric heating composites. The electric heating performance of the membrane under different power densities and resistance stabilities, as well as the influencing mechanism of the process on both the resistance and bonding performance of the composite, were studied. The surface temperature of the membrane and composite increased by more than 20 °C in 30 s and 10 min, respectively, after electricity was applied. Furthermore, the samples had a surface temperature unevenness of 4 and 2 °C, respectively. Many potential contact points between carbon fibers fulfilled their connections, reducing the drop rate of resistance (DRR) after hot-pressing to the range of 30% to 43%. The hot-press pressure and glue spread had a high degree of relevancy (coefficient of determination R2=0.960 and R2=0.997) with the DRR of the composite, respectively. The composite exhibited a negative temperature coefficient effect (NTC), and the DRR after heating for 15 h was 4.4%, but tended to ultimately stabilize. The composite, which exhibited good time-temperature effects and had a linear relationship with a high value of the coefficient of determination (R2=0.983) between power density and equilibrium temperature, displays solid potential for use in preparing integrated wooden electric heating products.

  • Researchpp 5676-5687Gaff, M., (2014). "Three-dimensional pneumatic molding of veneers," BioRes. 9(3), 5676-5687.AbstractArticlePDF

    The goal of this paper is to introduce a new testing method suitable for the evaluation of the three-dimensional (3-D) moldability of veneers and to use this method to test the impact of specific factors on the 3-D pneumatic molding process. The tested factors included veneer moisture content, wood species, shape of test piece, and fixing method on the maximum wood deflection. Veneers were molded using compressed air on equipment designed by our group for the sole purpose of this experiment. The results indicated that the monitored factors had an effect on deflection during the 3-D molding process. The results of this investigation extend the state-of-the-art knowledge regarding this technology and indicate the possibility of utilizing this innovative testing method for 3-D molded veneers.

  • Reviewpp 5688-5706Namvar, F., Jawaid, M., Md Tahir, P., Mohamad, R., Azizi, S., Khodavandi, A., Rahman, H. S., and Nayeri, M. D. (2014). "Potential use of plant fibres and their composites for biomedical applications," BioRes. 9(3), 5688-5706.AbstractArticlePDF

    Plant-based fibers such as flax, jute, sisal, hemp, and kenaf have been frequently used in the manufacturing of biocomposites. Natural fibres possess a high strength to weight ratio, non-corrosive nature, high fracture toughness, renewability, and sustainability, which give them unique advantages over other materials. The development of biocomposites by reinforcing natural fibres has attracted attention of scientists and researchers due to environmental benefits and improved mechanical performance. Manufacturing of biocomposites from renewable sources is a challenging task, involving metals, polymers, and ceramics. Biocomposites are already utilized in biomedical applications such as drug/gene delivery, tissue engineering, orthopedics, and cosmetic orthodontics. The first essential requirement of materials to be used as biomaterial is its acceptability by the human body. A biomaterial should obtain some important common properties in order to be applied in the human body either for use alone or in combination. Biocomposites have potential to replace or serve as a framework allowing the regeneration of traumatized or degenerated tissues or organs, thus improving the patients’ quality of life. This review paper addresses the utilization of plant fibres and its composites in biomedical applications and considers potential future research directed at environment-friendly biodegradable composites for biomedical applications.

  • Reviewpp 5707-5737Akinbomi, J., Brandberg, T., Sanni, S. A., and Taherzadeh, M. J. (2014). "Development and dissemination strategies for accelerating biogas production in Nigeria," BioRes. 9(3), 5707-5737.AbstractArticlePDF

    Following the worsening energy crisis of unreliable electricity and unaffordable petroleum products coupled with the increase number of poverty-stricken people in Nigeria, the populace is desperately in need of cheap alternative energy supplies that will replace or complement the existing energy sources. Previous efforts by the government in tackling the challenge by citizenship sensitization of the need for introduction of biofuel into the country’s energy mix have not yielded the expected results because of a lack of sustained government effort. In light of the shortcomings, this study assesses the current potential of available biomass feedstock for biogas production in Nigeria, and further proposes appropriate biogas plants, depending on feedstock type and quantity, for the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria. Besides, the study proposes government-driven biogas development systems that could be effectively used to harness, using biogas technology, the estimated 270 TWh of potential electrical energy from 181 million tonnes of available biomass, in the advancement of electricity generation and consequent improvement of welfare in Nigeria.

  • Reviewpp 5738-5773Knob, A., Fortkamp, D., Prolo, T., Izidoro, S. C., and Almeida, J. M. (2014). "Agro-residues as alternative for xylanase production by filamentous fungi," BioRes. 9(3), 5738-5773.AbstractArticlePDF

    Agro-industrial wastes are the most abundant renewable resource on earth and are available in large quantities. However, the disposal of these wastes presents an increasing environmental problem. Recently, there has been a great interest in the exploitation of these wastes as low-cost raw materials for the production of value-added compounds as microbial enzymes by submerged or solid-state fermentation systems. This review focuses on alternatives for xylanase production using agro-residues as substrates. In recent years, the interest in xylanase, which plays an important role in the breakdown of xylan, has markedly increased due to its wide variety of biotechnological applications. Among several agro-industrial residues that have been intensively investigated, many, such as wheat bran, wheat straw, and sugarcane bagasse, are suitable and result in high yields of xylanase, leading to low production costs. In addition, many relatively unexplored residues, such as oil palm wastes, sorghum straw, and coffee by-products, are some of the most promising substrates for xylanase production, requiring further assessment.