NC State
  • Editorialpp 2249-2251Pal, L., and Joyce, M. (2017). "Paper need not be flat: Paper and biomaterials industries need to converge to bring about true innovation," BioRes. 12(2), 2249-2251.AbstractArticlePDF

    Biomaterials and new processes (3D printing and flexible hybrid electronics) offer opportunities to break free from a 2D paper world by allowing for the development of smart multi-dimensional structures. While there has been recent progress reported in each of these areas of technology, to date, the merger of these technologies has been very limited. We believe that their merger offers boundless opportunities and an opportunity for the paper industry to innovate a low cost, sustainable housing solution capable of promoting the well-being of its occupants while minimizing the environmental impact of its daily use.

  • Editorialpp 2252-2253Hubbe, M. A. (2017). "Why I don't do academic social media...or do I?," BioRes. 12(2), 2252-2253.AbstractArticlePDF

    A communications scholar at our university asked me recently whether I would take part in a debate about academic social media services such as ResearchGate. Yes, I responded, as long as I don’t have to argue the affirmative – that such online systems are necessarily a good thing. Personally I do not count myself as a user of academic social media, but I can easily understand why others could make an opposite decision. Academic social media can provide a way to get copies of full-length published articles, to pose questions to other researchers, to get various questions answered, and in general to foster relationships with well-networked and possibly influential people within one’s academic field. Or, like me, you might just enjoy having something mildly annoying that is fun to complain about.

  • Researchpp 2254-2268Pangh, H., and Doosthoseini, K. (2017). "Optimization of press time and properties of laminated veneer lumber panels by means of a punching technique," BioRes. 12(1), 2254-2268.AbstractArticlePDF

    The impact of veneer punching pattern and density (343, 356, and 1424 hole·m-2) was tested relative to selected physic-mechanical properties of 5-ply laminated veneer lumber (LVL) panels fabricated from poplar wood (Populus deltoides) under different press time (5, 6, and 7 min). Samples were made with urea-formaldehyde resin using hot press technology at a uniform pressure of 10.8 N·mm-2 and temperature of 120 °C. The results indicated that punching the inner veneers (except the core veneer) of LVL significantly improved the average values of shear strength, modulus of elasticity, and bending strength (both parallel and perpendicular to the grain). In contrast to control samples, the veneer punching technique showed an overall negative impact on the water resistance of LVL (after either 2 or 24 h of immersion in water). Nevertheless, specimens with punching densities of 1424 hole·m-2 pressed for a maximum of 5 min were more dimensionally stable than the control samples. The physic-mechanical properties of LVL were significantly affected by presstime as well. Considering the data obtained, the presstime of LVL could be reduced to nearly 16.7%, or 1 min, by using a punching density of 1424 hole·m-2 without any significant negative change in the major physic-mechanical properties.

  • Researchpp 2269-2283Martins, C. E. J., Dias, A. M. P. G., Marques, A. F. S., and Dias, A. M. A. (2017). "Non-destructive methodologies for assessment of the mechanical properties of new utility poles," BioRes. 12(2), 2269-2283.AbstractArticlePDF
    The application of non-destructive technologies for the assessment of mechanical properties has been increasingly used due to its reliable assessment of the condition of timber elements. The application of such methods is well established for sawn timber and small-diameter roundwood. However, regarding the assessment of the mechanical properties for roundwood with larger diameters, which are usually used for new utility poles, a fewer number of studies are available. This research considered three different methodologies for application in Maritime Pine utility poles: i) longitudinal vibration, ii) transverse vibration, and iii) ultrasound. The methodology with better results was chosen for use in the second stage of testing. Furthermore, mechanical tests were performed to compare and validate the results from the non-destructive tests. The moisture contents and densities were also determined. Simple and multiple linear regression analyses were performed between the visual, dynamic, and mechanical properties. The longitudinal vibration method achieved the best correlation within the non-destructive methods, while the ultrasound method had no noticeable correlation. The vibration frequency (f) (r = 0.51) showed a better correlation with the bending strength (MOR) than the dynamic modulus of elasticity (MOEdyn) (r = 0.45). The static modulus of elasticity (MOE) was the best property used to predict MOR because it presented the highest correlation (r = 0.79).
  • Researchpp 2284-2295Zhu, Q. L., Dai, L. C., Wu, B., Tan, F. R., Wang, W. G., Tang, X. Y., Wang, Y. W., He, M. X., and Hu, G. Q. (2017). "Integrated methane and ethanol production from livestock manure and soybean straw," BioRes. 12(2), 2284-2295.AbstractArticlePDF
    Methane and ethanol were co-produced from different feedstock, including a mixture of dairy manure and soybean straw (DMS), a mixture of pig manure and soybean straw (PMS), and soybean straw alone (SS), after anaerobic digestion times of 30 and 60 days in mesophilic conditions. Digesting DMS for 60 days led to the highest methane yield of 115.3 g/kg dry raw feed; however, the lowest ethanol yield of 88 g/kg dry raw feed was observed. After 30 days, SS yielded the lowest methane levels (45.2 g/kg dry raw feed) but the highest ethanol levels (113.5 g/kg dry raw feed). Analysis of the net energy balance showed that the highest net energy balance, 6549 kJ/kg of dry raw feedstock, was achieved from the digestion of DMS for 60 days. Overall, both the type of feedstock and length of digestion time played important roles in the integrated processing of methane and ethanol from livestock manure and straw.
  • Researchpp 2296-2309Chen, Z., and Qu, G. (2017). "Shearing characteristics of corn stalk pith for separation," BioRes. 12(2), 2296-2309.AbstractArticlePDF
    The rind of corn stalk (Zea mays L.) contains a high content of lignin, which is difficult for ruminants to digest. So, the separation of the pith and rind is the basis for the effective use of corn stalk. The shearing characteristics of pith are important parameters in the process of the separation of rind and pith for corn stalk. In this study, both the shearing strength and shearing energy were determined for the pith of cornstalk. The shearing force was measured at three moisture content levels (10 w.b.%, 40 w.b.%, and 70 w.b.%), different sample heights (lower, middle, and upper), and three different shearing speed levels (2 mm·min-1, 20 mm·min-1, and 50 mm·min-1). The shearing strength and the shearing energy were calculated from this data. The shearing energy was calculated by using the area under the shearing force versus the displacement curve. The results showed that the maximum shearing strength and the shearing energy increased as the moisture content increased. The maximum shearing strength and shearing energy were found to be 0.8452 MPa and 0.6446 J, respectively. Both the shearing strength and the shearing energy were found to be higher in the lower region of the stalk due to structural heterogeneity.
  • Researchpp 2310-2325Chen, Y., and Guo, W. (2017). "Nondestructive evaluation and reliability analysis for determining the mechanical properties of old wood of ancient timber structure," BioRes. 12(2), 2310-2325.AbstractArticlePDF

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the mechanical properties of ancient wood of Abies fabri (Mast.) Craib based on the nondestructive tests and reliability analysis. Nondestructive tests including resistograph and stress wave test, and destructive tests were conducted on the wood specimens. Results indicated that there were significant linear correlations between the resistance amplitude (F) and green density (ρ), the dynamic modulus of elasticity (ED) and static modulus of elasticity (MOE), modulus of rupture (MOR), and ultimate compressive strength (UCS) of wood specimens. The cumulative distribution of the predicted MOR and UCS based on the nondestructive tests could be well fitted by the normal distribution according to the χ2 test. Moreover, a reliability analysis program based on the first-order second-moment method was developed. Reliability analysis results showed that the reliability index increased nonlinearly with the increase of the live-to-dead load ratio, and decreased nonlinearly with the increase of the design values for all the simulation load cases. According to the minimum reliability index requirements of the Chinese national standard, it is suggested that the design value of MOR and UCS be 14.0 and 10.7 MPa, respectively.

  • Researchpp 2326-2338Yadav, S. P., Ghosh, U. K., and Ray, A. K. (2017). "Kinetic studies on Pisum sativum waste (pea pod) hydrolysis to furfural," BioRes. 12(2), 2326-2338.AbstractArticlePDF

    To obtain a higher furfural yield from Pisum sativum (pea pod) waste, the effects of the process variables phosphoric acid concentration (wt.%), reaction temperature, and liquid solid ratio (LSR) were investigated. A new reaction scheme was proposed consisting of series and parallel reactions for the formation of furfural. Kinetic models were developed to describe changes in the concentration of furfural with time. A modified Arrhenius equation was used to find out correlations between kinetic coefficients and reaction parameters. A maximum furfural concentration of 5.27 g/L (40.6% yield based on total conversion of pentosans) was obtained using 6% (wt.%) H3PO4 and liquid-to-solid ratio of 1:10 at 160 °C. Reaction parameters such as acid concentration, reaction temperature, and liquid solid ratio had a strong effect on the yield of furfural.

  • Researchpp 2339-2353Esteves, B., Dulyanska, Y., Costa, C., Vicente, J., Domingos, I., Pereira, H., de Lemos, L. T., and Cruz-Lopes, L. (2017). "Cork liquefaction for polyurethane foam production," BioRes. 12(2), 2339-2353.AbstractArticlePDF

    Cork is one of the most important forest products in Portugal. The cork processing industry is highly resource-efficient, and the only residue is cork powder, which is too small for agglomerate production. This work studied the usage of cork powder for the production of added-value products via polyol liquefaction. Liquefactions were performed in a reactor using a mixture of polyethylene glycol (PEG 400) and glycerol as solvents, which were catalyzed by the addition of sulphuric acid. Several cork-to-solvent ratios, reaction temperatures, and reaction times were tested. Polyurethane foams were prepared by combining polyol mixtures with a catalyst, surfactant, blowing agent, and polymeric isocyanate. Mechanical tests of the produced foams were conducted, and compressive modulus of elasticity and compressive stress at 10% deformation were determined. The results show that the best conditions for obtaining high liquefaction yields are as follows: 160 °C for 1 h; glycerol-to-PEG 400 ratio of 1:9; cork-to-solvent ratio of 1:6; and 3% H2SO4 catalyst addition. The Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectra indicated that the lignocellulosic fractions of the cork were more selectively dissolved during acidified polyol liquefaction than the suberin. With liquefied cork powder using these optimized conditions, it is possible to produce polyurethane foams with desired properties.

  • Researchpp 2354-2366Yu, S., Chen, L., and Yan, Z. (2017). "Graphene/hemin hybrid material as a catalyst for degradation of alkaline lignin with hydrogen peroxide," BioRes. 12(2), 2354-2366.AbstractArticlePDF

    A graphene/hemin (H-GN) catalyst for lignin degradation was prepared by a wet-chemistry method with graphene oxide and hemin. Hemin was absorbed onto the graphene surface through π-π interaction. Graphene served as a supporting material for hemin, providing a large contact area between the active molecules of catalyst and substrate, as well as protecting hemin from self-oxidation and maintaining its active molecules. The H-GN catalyst showed high catalytic efficiency in the degradation of alkaline lignin under gentle conditions. At pH 13.0, the degradation rate was 49.7% with H-GN and H2O2 (mass ratio of H2O2 to lignin of 10:1) under 60 °C, which was higher than 34.9% for non-catalyst degradation. At pH 13.2, it was as high as 92.9 wt.% at 100 °C. The lignin was decomposed into small molecules with styrene as the main final product below pH 13 and with the major products of 4-hydroxy-4-methyl-2-pentanone and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate at pH 13.2.