Our peer-reviewed sister journal: Lignocellulose (no author payment)
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BioResources, Volume 6, Issue 1
NOTE: Each current issue of BioResources continues to build as new articles are approved.
Cellulosic ethanol production has drawn much attention in recent years. However, there remain significant technical challenges before such production can be considered as economically feasible at an industrial scale. Among them, the efficient conversion of carbohydrates in lignocellulosic biomass into fermentable sugars is one of the most challenging technical difficulties in cellulosic ethanol production. Use of ionic liquids has opened new avenues to solve this problem by two different pathways. One is pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass using ionic liquids to increase its enzymatic hydrolysis efficiency. The other is to transform the hydrolysis process of lignocellulosic biomass from a heterogeneous reaction system to a homogeneous one by dissolving it into ionic liquids, thus improving its hydrolysis efficiency. PDF
Hesperaloe funifera was characterizedin terms of its contents of holocellulose, α-cellulose, and lignin (74.1, 52.3, and 7.9%, respectively). Also, an experimental factor design was used to examine the influence of operational variables in the diethanolamine pulping of this material (viz. diethanolamine concentration (50-80%), cooking temperature (155-185 ºC), and time (30-90 minutes)) on the contents of holocellulose, α-cellulose, and lignin, as well as the yield, kappa number, and viscosity of the resulting pulps, and also on the brightness, tensile index, stretch, burst index, and tear index of paper sheets made from it. The predictions for these dependent variables departed by less than 1, 7, 6, 2, 2, 4, 15, 11, 12, 10, and 37% from their respective experimental values. Black liquors obtained from the pulping runs were characterized by determining pH, density, TDS, (total dissolved solids), MI (inorganic matter), MO (organic matter), and lignin content; lignin samples were characterized by different techniques (FTIR and TGA). Finally, the black liquors were acidified to separate solid fractions that were subjected to pyrolysis and gasification in order to obtain synthesis and fuel gases. PDF
Mahdavi, M., Ahmad, M. B., Haron, M. J., and Rahman, M. Z. A. (2011). "Adsorption of Cr(III) from aqueous solutions by polyacrylamide-grafted rubberwood fibre: Kinetics, equilibrium, and thermodynamic studies," BioRes. 6(1), 22-33.
Cr(III) ions were adsorbed onto polyacrylamide-grafted rubberwood fibre, and effects of aqueous conditions were evaluated. The adsorbent was prepared via graft copolymerization of acrylamide (Am) onto rubberwood fibre (RWF), using ceric ammonium nitrate as an initiator. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy was used to confirm the formation of PAm-g-RWF. Various variables affecting the adsorption capacity such as the pH of the solution, adsorption time, initial metal ion concentration, and temperature were investigated. The Cr(III) was up to 92% removed by PAm-g-RWF from an initial concentration of 10 mg/L at pH 5.0. Kinetic data fitted very well to a pseudo-second-order rate expression and less well to a pseudo-first-order equation. The equilibrium parameters for adsorption isotherms of the metal ions on the grafted fibre were obtained using Langmuir and Freundlich models, and the Langmuir model was found to be in better correlation with the experimental data with a maximum adsorption capacity of 18.24 mg/g. Thermodynamic parameters such as enthalpy change (ΔH°), free energy change (ΔG°), and entropy change (ΔS°) were calculated; the adsorption process was spontaneous and endothermic. PDF
Badger, P., Badger, S., Puettmann, M., Steele, P., and Cooper, J. (2011). "Techno-economic analysis: Preliminary assessment of pyrolysis oil production costs and material energy balance associated with a transportable fast pyrolysis system," BioRes. 6(1), 34-47.
A techno-economic analysis was performed for a 100 dry-ton/day (90,719 kg/day) fast pyrolysis transportable plant. Renewable Oil International® LLC provided the life cycle cost of operating a 100 dry-ton/day fast pyrolysis system using southern pine wood chips as feedstock. Since data was not available from an actual large-scale plant, the study examined data obtained from an actual 15 dry-ton/day pilot plant and from several smaller plants. These data were used to obtain base figures to aid in the development of models to generate scaled-up costs for a larger 100 dry-ton/day facility. Bio-oil represented 60% of mass of product yield. The cost for the bio-oil from fast pyrolysis was valued at $0.94/gal. Energy cost bio-oil and char was valued at $6.35/MMBTU. Costs associated with purchasing feedstocks can drastically influence the final cost of the bio-oil. The assumed cost of feedstocks was $25/wet ton or $50/dry ton. This paper is part of a larger study investigating the economic and environmental impacts for producing bio-oil / biocide wood preservatives. PDF
Alkaline sulfite pulping of corn stalks was investigated to produce supplementary pulp for corrugating board manufacture. Three pulping temperatures (125, 145, and 165°C) and five active alkali charges (10, 12, 14, 16, and 18%) were used. Cooking time at 30 minutes, Na2SO3/ NaOH ratio at 50:50, and liquor to residue ratio of 8:1 were kept constant. The highest total yield (61.9%) was reached applying the treatment combination of 125°C and 10% active alkali, and the lowest total yield (42.5%) was related to 165°C and 16% chemical. The influence of sodium sulfite/sodium hydroxide ratios was studied applying different ratios (30:70, 40:60, 50:50, 60:40, and 70:30) at constant time and temperature of 30 minutes and 145°C respectively and 14 and 16% active alkali. Pulping condition; 16% active alkali, 30 minutes time, 145°C pulping temperature and varying ratios of sodium sulfite/sodium hydroxide were selected for pulp strength evaluation. The results of handsheet evaluation indicated that 16% active alkali, 30 minutes pulping at 145ºC and sodium sulfite/sodium hydroxide ratio of 50:50 is the optimum pulping condition for corn stalks. Tear, tensile, and burst indices and breaking length of this pulp were measured as 10.53 mN.m2g-1, 62.4 N.mg-1, 3.80 kPa.m2g-1, and 6.07 km, respectively. PDF
Walnut (Juglans regia L.) heartwood extractives were identified and their potential for protection of poplar wood was evaluated. Test specimens were prepared from poplar wood (Populus nigra L.) to meet BS 838:1961 requirements. Samples were impregnated with heartwood extractive solution (1.5, 2.5, and 3.5% w/w in ethanol-toluene), followed by 5 hours vacuum desiccator technique to reach complete saturation. Impregnated specimens were exposed to white-rot fungus (Trametes versicolor) for 14 weeks according to BS 838:1961 applying the kolle-flask method. The weight loss of samples was determined after exposure to white-rot fungus. The highest weight loss (36.96%) was observed for untreated control samples and the lowest weight loss (30.40%) was measured in samples treated with 1.5% extractives solution. The analyses of the extracts using GC/MS indicated that major constituents are benzoic acid,3,4,5-tri(hydroxyl) and gallic acid (44.57 %). The two toxic components in the heartwood are juglone (5.15 %) and 2,7-dimethylphenantheren (5.81 %). PDF
Nickel-based magnetic activated carbon was synthesized from coconut shell activated carbon by electroless plating with palladium-free activation. The effect of plating solution volume on metallic ratio and adsorption capacity were evaluated. The effect of metallic ratio on specific area, pore volume, and magnetic properties were investigated. The morphologies of activated carbon before and after plating were observed by SEM, and the composition of the layer was analyzed by EDS analysis. The results showed that the metallic ratio was increased with the increase of the plating solution volume. The magnetic activated carbon showed high adsorption capacity for methylene blue and a high iodine number. Those values reached 142.5 mg/g and 1035 mg/g, respectively. The specific area and pore volume decreased from 943 m2/g to 859 m2/g and 0.462 ml/g to 0.417 ml/g, respectively. And the layer was more compact and continuous when the metallic ratio reached 16.37 wt.%. In the layer, there was about 97 wt.% nickel and 3 wt.% phosphorus, which indicates that the layer was a low-phosphorus one. At the same time, magnetism was enhanced, making the product suitable for some special applications. PDF
The present work reports on the preparation of thermoplastic starch (TPS) modified in situ with a diisocyanate derivative. Evidence of the condensation reaction between the hydroxyl groups of starch and glycerol with the isocyanate function (NCO) was confirmed by FTIR analysis. The evolution of the properties of the ensuing TPS, in term of mechanical properties, microstructure, and water sensitivity, was investigated using tensile mechanical, dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and water uptake. The results showed that the addition of isocyanate did not affect the crystallinity of the TPS and slightly reduced the water uptake of the material. The evolution of the mechanical properties with ageing became less pronounced by the addition of the isocyanate as their amount exceeded 4 to 6wt%. PDF
Sofia (Cymbopogon martini), and lemon (Cymbopogon flexuosus) grasses, are exclusively cultivated for extraction of important lemongrass and palma rosa oils. Lignocellulosic residue (LCR) of sofia and lemon grasses left after steam distillation can successfully be used for the production of chemical grade pulp. Steam distillation mitigates the problem of mass transfer, and facilitates the faster penetration of cooking liquor by leaching out a part of extraneous components. Sofia grass produces a pulp yield of 43.7% of kappa number 20 at an active alkali dose of 14% (as Na2O), maximum cooking temperature of 160 oC and cooking time 90 min. Likewise, lemon grass produces a pulp yield of 41.4% of kappa number 12.5 under the same conditions except temperature (150 oC) by a soda pulping process. Addition of 0.1% AQ at optimum cooking conditions reduces kappa number by 26 and 8% for sofia and lemon grasses with insignificant increase in pulp yield i.e. 0.2 and 0.4% for sofia and lemon grasses, respectively. The mechanical strength properties of lemon grass soda-AQ pulp are better than sofia grass. Bauer-McNett fiber classification further validates that +20 fractions are more (62.63%) in lemon grass than in sofia grass (42.72%). PDF
Mishra, S. P., Thirree, J., Manent, A.-S., Chabot, B., and Daneault, C. (2011). "Ultrasound-catalyzed TEMPO-mediated oxidation of native cellulose for the production of nanocellulose: Effect of process variables," BioRes. 6(1), 121-143.
In this study application of ultrasound in oxidizing native cellulose for the production of nanocellulose has been explored for the first time. Bleached hardwood kraft pulp was oxidized with an ultrasound (US) catalyzed 2,2,6,6-tetramethylepiperidin-1-oxyl (TEMPO) system (US-TEMPO-system) at five different temperatures – 5, 15, 25, 35, and 45°C and two pH ranges, 8.5-9.0 and 10.0-10.5 – to obtain the optimum reaction conditions. The reaction pH and temperature have significant effect on the kinetics of the formation of carboxylate in the oxidized pulps and produce depolymerization at temperatures greater than 25°C. Formation of carboxylate on the cellulose chain is directly proportional to the NaBr concentration. The pulp oxidized by the US-TEMPO-system at 25°C had 10-15% more carboxyls and showed a ca. 10% increase in the nanocellulose yield when compared to the TEMPO-system without sono-catalysis. PDF
Bacterial cellulose is a promising source of biodegradable polymers having high purity. The time required to disperse bacterial cellulose wet membranes was studied, along with evaluation by infrared spectroscopy and thermal analysis of the dispersed bacterial fiber and tests of the physical properties of the sheet. The results showed that bacterial cellulose wet membrane can be dispersed well, forming fibers when the dispersing time was 3 minutes at a suitable concentration. FT-IR results showed that the composition of bacterial fiber is similar to that of bleached softwood fibers. Thus, the morphology, thermal performance, and the length of bacterial fibers are significantly different. The sheets’ physical properties show that with the increasing dosage of bacterial fibers (relative to softwood fiber), the properties of tensile index, tear index, burst index, and stiffness greatly improve, while the porosity and the relative water absorption decrease. PDF
Singh, S., Dutt, D., and Tyagi, C. H. (2011). "Complete characterization of wheat straw (Triticum aestivum PBW-343 L. Emend. Fiori & Paul.) - A renewable source of fibers for pulp and paper making," BioRes. 6(1), 154-177.
Triticum aestivum PBW-343 is grown in most of the regions of India, and it is one of the renewable sources most suitable for papermaking. Anatomical studies illustrate that vascular bundles near the periphery contain a strong sheath of sclerenchyma cells, which constitutes about 80% of the fibers. The total fibers in wheat straw are about 39.20%, and parenchyma and epidermal cells account for 32.10, and 23.56%, respectively, of the total cells. The dimensions of wheat straw fibers are: average fiber length 1.18 mm, fiber width 13.60 µm, lumen diameter 5.68 µm, and cell wall thickness 3.96 µm. The dimensions of non-fibrous cells are: parenchyma 445x124 µm, vessels 96x57 µm, and epidermal cells 390x38 µm, which lie between the corresponding values for rice straw, and bagasse. Flexibility coefficients and Runkel ratio of wheat straw fires are quite comparable to bamboo. The low lignin contents of wheat straw reflect that it requires mild cooking conditions; however, hemicelluloses are on higher side. Addition of AQ under optimum soda cooking conditions improves pulp yield by 0.75%, and lowers kappa number by 26.1%. Optimum strength properties are obtained at 45±1 oSR except tear index, which declines with increased refining. The fine contents are much higher, and relatively comparable to Eucalyptus tereticornis in terms of curl index and kinks per mm. PDF
The sorption of vapors by cellulose samples and by some cellulose derivatives was studied at 25 oC. To describe sorption isotherms, a thermodynamic equation was proposed: A=Ao/[1-(RT/g)lnφ], where Ao is maximal sorption value, φ is relative pressure of vapors, and g is specific thermodynamic potential. Depending on the g-value, this equation can describe isotherms of various shapes that occur for cellulose and its derivatives. Application of the equation makes it possible to calculate such structural characteristics of the polymers as accessible specific surface and crystallinity, as well as the substitution degree of cellulose derivatives. Moreover, amounts of monomolecular and multimolecular fractions of the sorbate can be determined. PDF
A biorefinery using the process of hemicellulose pre-extraction and subsequent pulping provides a promising way for the utilization of straw biomass and resolution of problems related to silicon. In this work, hemicellulose was extracted from depithed corn stover with sodium hydroxide solution before soda-AQ pulping. Components of the extracts were quantified by ion chromatography. The parameters (alkali concentration and temperature) affecting hemicellulose pre-extraction were optimized. The main constituent of hemicellulose in corn stover was xylan, which accounted for 18.1% of the depithed raw material. More than 90% of the xylan can be extracted under the optimal conditions: NaOH concentration of 10%, temperature of 75ºC, and time of 2h. Solid fractions after extraction were subjected to soda-AQ pulping. In comparison with control pulp obtained without extraction, it was found that alkali pre-extraction could improve the brightness and decrease kappa number of the subsequent pulp, causing a slight loss of yield, viscosity, density, and burst strength, but an obvious improvement of tear strength. Moreover, the silicon content was decreased by 79.8% when the extraction conditions were set at 75 ºC with alkali concentration of 8%, suggesting that pre-extraction of hemicellulose is a potential way to solve silicon problems associated with alkaline pulping of stover. PDF
Standard handsheets of bleached bagasse and hardwood pulps were prepared with calcium carbonate filler loading by conventional method and by in-situ precipitation. The handsheets were printed with an IGT printability tester. The effect of filler loading by in-situ precipitation on ink transfer, print density, and print-through was studied. For a given amount of ink on the printing disk or on the paper, the print density was greater and the print-through was less for in-situ precipitation of filler when compared with the conventional filler loading. PDF
Lyytikäinen, K., Saukkonen, E., Kajanto, I., and Käyhkö, J. (2011). "The effect of hemicellulose extraction on fiber charge properties and retention behavior of kraft pulp fibers," BioRes. 6(1), 219-231.
The integrated forest biorefinery (IFBR) concept provides a promising opportunity for the development of the pulp and paper industry. One proposed next generation technology for an integrated forest biorefinery is the extraction of hemicelluloses, allowing the co-production of pulp and different hemicellulose-based chemicals. In addition to paper properties, hemicelluloses are known to be important for the function of cationic papermaking additives, because they are the main source of charged groups in fibers. This paper shows that the alkaline extraction of hemicelluloses from bleached kraft pulp decreases both the total and surface charge of the pulps. It was found that the decreased fiber charge leads to increased filler retention with fixed retention aid dosage. The reduction observed in the fiber surface charge for alkali-extracted pulp was mainly attributed to the decrease in the amount of anionic groups located in fines. PDF
Triploid Populus tomentosa Carr. (Salicaceae) is a good alternative to meet the increasing need of the global pulp and paper industry. Meanwhile, the xylem of this species could be a useful bioresource to develop low molecular extractives with significant bioactive potential. In the present work, a phytochemical investigation on aqueous EtOH extractives of Triploid P. tomentosa xylem, by systematical performance of Sephadex LH-20 open column chromatography and Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC), resulted in the isolation of two phenolic acids (ρ-coumaric acid (I) and caffeic acid (II)), two flavonoids (apigenin (III) and luteolin (IV)), and three phenolic glucosides (salicortin (V), salireposide (VI) and populoside (VII)). The structure elucidation and determination of the isolated extractives were based on their spectroscopical data and physiochemical evidences. This was the first time to report the low molecular weight extractives of Triploid P. tomentosa. Various low molecular weight extractives fromTriploid P. tomentosa xylem exhibited significant antioxidative activities by DPPH and hydroxyl radical scavenging assays. PDF
Black liquor alkaline lignin and magnesium lignosulfonate were liquefied at 320 oC. The antioxidant abilities of the liquefaction products were compared with the raw materials. Results showed that the total phenol content and unit antioxidant power of both alkaline lignin liquefaction products (ALLP) and magnesium lignosulfonate liquefaction products (MLLP) were improved, and ALLP had a larger increase than MLLP. The influence of reaction time and temperature on oil yield, total phenol content, and antioxidant power of ALLP was evaluated. The total phenol content was found to have certain relationships with the antioxidant abilities. These results explore a new approach for further studies and applications of liquid antioxidant from lignins. PDF
Zhou, X., Tan, L, Zhang, W., Lv, C., Zheng, F., Zhang, R., Du, G., Tang, B., and Liu, X. (2011). "Enzymatic hydrolysis lignin derived from corn stover as an intrinsic binder for bio-composites manufacture: Effect of fiber moisture content and pressing temperature on boards' properties," BioRes. 6(1), 253-264.
Binderless fiberboards from enzymatic hydrolysis lignin (EHL) and cotton stalk fibers were prepared under various manufacturing conditions, and their physico-mechanical properties were evaluated. Full factorial experimental design was used to assess the effect of fiber moisture content and pressing temperature on boards’ properties. In addition, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to obtain the glass transition temperature (Tg) of EHL. We found that both fiber moisture content and pressing temperature had significant effects on binderless fiberboards’ properties. High fiber moisture content and pressing temperature are suggested to contribute to the self-bonding improvement among fibers with lignin-rich surface mainly by thermal softening enzymatic hydrolysis lignin. In this experiment, the optimized pressing temperature applied in binderless fiberboard production should be as high as 190°C in accordance with the EHL Tg value of 189.4°C, and the fiber moisture content should be limited to less than 20% with a higher board density of 950 kg/m3 to avoid the delamination of boards during hot pressing. PDF
Every year, significant amounts of date palm rachises are accumulated in Tunisia. The rational valorisation of this renewable resource is therefore imperative, in order to fulfil the sustainability approach. In this context, this work aims to study the potential use of date palm rachises as a raw material for papermaking and to compare it with other sources of lignocellulosic fibres, such as wood, non-wood species, and agricultural wastes. For this purpose, soda-anthraquinone pulping of date palm rachis was performed giving rise to a yield of 45% (w/w). This value is similar to that obtained by pulping non-wood materials and is higher than that corresponding to the pulping of agricultural residues. The resulting pulps were subsequently refined using a PFI mill refiner at 0, 500, 1500, and 3000 revolutions, screened through a 0.15 mm mesh size sieve and used to produce conventional handsheets. Both pulps and papers were fully characterized in terms of morphological, chemical and physical properties, according to commonly used standards. The physical properties of the prepared handsheets were very similar to those displayed by other papers made of common lignocellulosic fibres. Furthermore, the pulps exhibited a good drainability together with excellent mechanical properties of the ensuing papers. For these reasons, date palm rachises could be considered as a potential source of fibres for papermaking applications. PDF
Díaz, R., Alonso, S., Sánchez, C., Tomasini, A., Bibbins-Martínez, M., and Díaz-Godínez, G. (2011). "Characterization of the growth and laccase activity of strains of Pleurotus ostreatus in submerged fermentation," BioRes. 6(1), 282-290.
Kinetic parameters of growth and laccase activity of five ATCC strains of Pleurotus ostreatus in submerged fermentation were evaluated. The best strain for laccase production and the time of maximum laccase activity were also determined. The greatest laccase activity (37490 U/L), laccase productivity (78 U/L h), specific growth rate (0.026/h), and specific rate of laccase production (119 U/gX h) were observed with the strain of P. ostreatus ATCC 32783. In general, the isoenzyme patterns were different in all the cases; however, all the strains showed two laccase bands in the same position in the gel. Not all strains responded in the same way to the addition of Cu in the culture medium. In general, the sensitivity to Cu could be used to select strains having high laccase activity for commercial exploitation. PDF
Shahriarinour, M., Wahab, M. N. A., Mustafa, S., Mohamad, R., and Ariff, A. B. (2011). "Effect of various pretreatments of oil palm empty fruit bunch fibres for subsequent use as substrate on the performance of cellulase production by Aspergillus terreus," BioRes. 6(1), 291-307.
The possibility of using treated oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) fibres as substrate for cellulase production by Aspergillus terreus was studied using shaking flask fermentation. The effect of different chemical pretreatments, i.e. formic acid, acetic acid, propylamine, phosphoric acid, and n-butylamine, on the suitability of OPEFB fibres as fermentation substrate was investigated. The findings revealed that pretreatment with these chemicals significantly (P<0.05) increased the cellulose and reduced the lignin contents prior to enzymatic hydrolysis. However, fermentation using OPEFB fibres pretreated with phosphoric acid gave the highest cellulase production, which was related to high cellulose content. Further improvement in cellulase production was obtained when the chemically pretreated OPEFB fibres were subsequently treated hydrothermally (autoclaved at 160oC for 10 min) and then biologically (using effective microorganisms). The final activity of the three main components of cellulase (FPase, CMCase, and β-glucosidase) obtained in fermentation by A. terreus using optimally treated OPEFB fibres was (0.77 U mL−1, 8.5 U mL-1, and 6.1 U mL-1), respectively. The production of all these three major components of cellulase using pretreated OPEFB fibres (i.e. chemical, hydrothermal, and biological) were about three times higher than those obtained from fermentation using untreated OPEFB fibres. PDF
This study investigated dimensional stability properties of oriented strandboard (OSB) panels faced with fire retardant treated (FRT) veneers. The beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) veneers were treated with monoammonium phosphate (MAP), diammonium phosphate (DAP), lime water (LW), and a borax/boric acid (BX/BA) (1:1) mixture. Dimensional stability tests were performed according to ASTM D-1037. The results revealed that facing veneers impregnated with fire-retardant chemicals had significant effects on the linear expansion (LE) properties. The lowest LE value was obtained from the panels faced with MAP treated veneers, while the highest LE value was found in the panels faced with BX/BA treated veneers. The FRT treated veneer facing technique also affected the thickness swelling (TS) properties of the OSB panels. The panels faced with LW treated veneers had the highest TS, whereas the panels faced with MAP treated veneers had the lowest TS values. PDF
The enzymatic saccharification of pretreated furfural residues with different lignin content was studied to verify the effect of lignin removal in the hydrolysis process. The results showed that the glucose yield was improved by increasing the lignin removal. A maximum glucose yield of 96.8% was obtained when the residue with a lignin removal of 51.4% was hydrolyzed for 108 h at an enzyme loading of 25 FPU/g cellulose. However, further lignin removal did not increase the hydrolysis. The effect of enzyme loading on the enzymatic hydrolysis was also explored in this work. It was concluded that a high glucose yield of 90% was achieved when the enzyme dosage was reduced from 25 to 15 FPU/g cellulose, which was cost-effective for the sugar and ethanol production. The structures of raw material and delignified samples were further characterized by XRD and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). PDF
Young, T. M., Zaretski, R. L., Perdue, J. H., Guess, F. M., and Liu, X. (2011). "Logistic regression models of factors influencing the location of bioenergy and biofuels plants," BioRes. 6(1), 329-343.
Logistic regression models were developed to identify significant factors that influence the location of existing wood-using bioenergy/biofuels plants and traditional wood-using facilities. Logistic models provided quantitative insight for variables influencing the location of woody biomass-using facilities. Availability of “thinnings to a basal area of 31.7m2/ha,” “availability of unused mill residues,” and “high density of railroad availability” had positive significant influences on the location of all wood-using faciities. “Median family income,” “population,” “low density of railroad availability,” and “harvesting costs for logging residues” had negative significant influences on the location of all wood-using faciities. For larger woody biomass-using mills (e.g., biopower) availability of “thinnings to a basal area of 79.2m2/ha,” “number of primary and secondary wood-using mills within an 128.8km haul distance,” and “amount of total mill residues,” had positive significant influences on the location of larger wood-using faciities. “Population” and “harvesting costs for logging residues” have negative significant influences on the location of larger wood-using faciities. Based on the logistic models, 25 locations were predicted for bioenergy or biofuels plants for a 13-state study region in the Southern United States. PDF
Vargas Radillo, J. J., Ruiz-López, M. A., Rodríguez Macías, R., Barrientos Ramírez, L., García-López, P. M., and López-Dellamary Toral, F. A. (2011). "Fermentable sugars from lupinus rotundiflorus biomass by concentrated hydrochloric acid hydrolysis,"BioRes. 6(1), 344-355.
It is of general interest to produce fermentable carbohydrates from plant biomass. However, obtaining monosaccharides requires some effort, due to the intricate structure of the cell wall lignocellulosic complex. The aim of this study was to apply a simple two-stage hydrolysis process, using only concentrated hydrochloric acid, to generate fermentable carbohydrates from L. rotundiflorus biomass. First and second stage acid concentrations were 32% and 42.6%. Total monosaccharide yields with respect to dry matter after the first stage, second stage, and the overall process, were 27.5%, 21.0% and 48.4%, respectively. Xylose was the main first stage carbohydrate in the hydrolysate, followed by glucose, arabinose, and galactose. After the second stage only glucose and a small amount of xylose were detected. The polysaccharide hydrolysis was eased by overall low lignin content. Some advantages of this method were the use of a single hydrolyzing agent and that most of the polysaccharides were hydrolyzed in reasonably high yields. The acceptable yield, relative simplicity, the use of most of the biomass along with the wide availability, low cost of the chemicals, and the ample supply of lupines, would facilitate the scaling of these laboratory studies to pilot and industrial levels. PDF
Studies on the durability and dimensional stability of a series of hardwoods and softwoods after thermal modification in vegetable oils and in steam atmospheres have been performed. Mass loss after exposure to Coniophora puteana (BAM Ebw.15) for 16 weeks was very low for European birch, European aspen, Norway spruce, and Scots pine thermally modified in a linseed oil product with preservative (for 1 hour at 200 oC). Fairly low mass losses were obtained for wood thermally modified in linseed-, tung- and rapeseed oil, and losses were related to the wood species. Low mass loss during rot test was also found for Norway spruce and Scots pine modified in saturated steam at 180 oC. Water absorption of pine and aspen was reduced by the thermal treatments and the extent of reduction was dependent on wood species and thermal modification method. Thermally modified aspen was stable during cycling climate tests, whereas pine showed considerable cracking when modified under superheated steam conditions (Thermo D). At lower modification temperature (180 oC) an increase in mass after modification in rapeseed oil of spruce, aspen and sapwood as well as heartwood of pine was observed, whereas at high temperature (240 oC) a mass loss could be found. Oil absorption in room tempered oil after thermal modification in oil was high for the more permeable aspen and pine (sapwood). PDF
Although wood densification by compression improves wood mechanical strength, dimensional stability is often a problem due to compression recovery. Alternatively, oil-heat treatment (OHT) improves wood dimensional stability and enhances resistance to biological attack. This study examined combined wood densification and OHT. Large wood veneer 700 × 700 mm specimens prepared with aspen (Populus tremuloides) were densified using heat, steam, and pressure at 160ºC, 180ºC, and 200°C, respectively. OHT at 180ºC, 200ºC, and 220ºC for 1, 2, and 3h was then applied to the densified veneers. Results show that OHT efficiently improved dimensional stability and reduced compression set recovery. OHT temperature and duration markedly influenced the reduction of compression set recovery: the higher the OHT temperature and duration, the lower the recovery. Less than 5% recovery was obtained under various OHT conditions, and almost 0% recovery under some OHT conditions. Radial and tangential swellings of densified veneers were reduced dramatically. Compared to OHT duration, OHT temperature had a pronounced higher impact on radial and tangential swelling. Irreversible swelling (IS) in the compression direction of densified veneers decreased after OHT, particularly with high temperature and long duration, and anti-swelling efficiency (ASE) in the compression direction improved significantly. PDF
Roohnia, M., Hossein, M.-A., Alavi-Tabar, S.-E., Tajdini, A., Jahan-Latibari, A., and Manouchehri, N. (2011). "Acoustic properties in Arizona cypress logs: A tool to select wood for sounding board," BioRes. 6(1), 386-399.
In this study, variation in acoustic properties of Arizona cypress wood was monitored from pith to bark as affected by tapering of the growth ring width. Specific modulus of elasticity, acoustic coefficient, damping, and acoustic conversion efficiency were calculated. It was shown that the outer parts of the stem, close to the bark containing narrower growth rings, exhibited lower damping due to internal friction and higher sound radiation. Our finding theoretically justified the luthier craftsmen’s traditional preference toward timbers with narrow growth rings to make sounding boards in musical instruments. PDF
Spiridon, I., Teacă, C.-A., and Bodîrlău, R. (2011). "Structural changes evidenced by FTIR spectroscopy in cellulosic materials after pre-treatment with ionic liquid and enzymatic hydrolysis," BioRes. 6(1), 400-413.
Attempts were made to enhance the hydrolysis of Asclepias syriaca (As) seed floss and poplar seed floss (PSF) by cellulase after pre-treatment with ionic liquids. Two ionic liquids, namely 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [BMIM]Cl and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrachloroaluminate [EMIM]Cl-AlCl3, were used. In comparison with conventional cellulose pretreatment processes, the ionic liquids were used under a milder condition corresponding to the optimum activity of cellulase. Hydrolysis kinetics of the IL-treated cellulose materials was significantly enhanced. The initial hydrolysis rates for IL-treated cellulose materials were greater than those of non-treated ones. The structural modifications of hydrolyzed cellulose materials were analyzed using FTIR spectroscopy. PDF
Ultrasonic irradiation with organic solvents and alkaline extractions were carried out on a fast-growing poplar wood, triploid of Populus tomentosa Carr., in an attempt to develop efficient lignin isolation procedures. Four organosolv and three alkaline lignin fractions were successively isolated and comparatively characterized by sugar analysis, alkaline nitrobenzene oxidation, gel permeation chromatography (GPC), Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FT-IR), quantitative 13C, and 2D HSQC nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, as well as thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The results showed that the ultrasonic treatments and sequential extractions with three different concentrations of NaOH led to a release of 90.9% of the original lignin. The four organosolv lignin preparations obtained under the ultrasound-assisted extractions were degraded significantly and contained more carbohydrate and non-condensed syringyl units when compared to the three alkaline lignin preparations. Furthermore, the analyses confirmed that L5, the lignin preparation with the highest yield (44.6% of the original lignin), was partially acylated at the γ-carbon of the side-chain preferentially over syringyl units. The percentage of lignin acylation of β-O-4’ linkages was about 14%. The amount of β-O-4’, β-β’, and –OCH3 were estimated to be about 0.31/Ar, 0.06/Ar, and 1.73/Ar, respectively. The ratio of S/G was calculated to be 2.0. PDF
This paper deals with the effect of UV light through window glass on the changes in colour of surfaces of uncoated and clear-coated thermally modified wood, and on chemical changes of surfaces of uncoated thermally modified and unmodified wood. Discoloration of the uncoated wood samples and those treated with three commercial transparent coatings (two-component polyurethane varnish, water-borne varnish, and nano-impregnation) was measured spectrophotometrically using CIELAB parameters (L*, a*, b* and DE*). FTIR spectroscopy was used to study chemical changes caused by UV irradiation. Colour change (DE*) was recorded in all tested wood samples after exposure to UV light, and the smallest discoloration was recorded in wood samples coated with two-component polyurethane varnish. FTIR spectroscopy results show that thermal treatment and exposure to UV light modified the chemical structure of wood surface and that the thermally modified samples exposed to UV light showed similar changes as unmodified samples exposed to UV light, but less pronounced. PDF
The utilization of post-consumer papers in the production of new paper products is increasing all over the world in recent years. Recycling of photocopier paper is a major problem due to difficulty in removal of non-impact ink. Enzymes offer potential advantages in ecofriendly deinking of recovered paper. In this study the deinking of photocopier paper was examined using chemicals and a commercial cellulase enzyme. Parameters of deinking experiments were optimized for hydrapulping. The ink was removed by flotation and washing processes. Then these parameters were compared in terms of ink removal ability of the process, as well as optical and strength properties of the deinked paper. The application of enzymatic deinking improved ink removal efficiency by 24.6% and freeness by 21.6% with a reduction in drainage time of 11.5% in comparison to those obtained with chemical deinking. The physical properties, namely burst index and tensile index, were observed to improve by 15.3% and 2.7%, respectively and brightness and tear index decreased by 2.1% and 21.9%, respectively. Results of deinking efficiency of photocopier paper showed that the enzyme used in the present work performed better than the conventional chemicals used for deinking. PDF
Environmentally friendly particleboard was prepared with wheat straw, an inexpensive material. The particleboard was produced by a mixing process, using a composite adhesive comprised of urea-formaldehyde (UF) adhesives and EPU. The performance of the board was evaluated by measuring internal bonding strength (IB), thickness swelling, modulus of rupture (MOR), modulus of elasticity (MOE), and formaldehyde emission. The experimental results showed that maximum of dry and wet internal bonding strength, modulus of rupture, modulus of elasticity were 0.45MPa, 0.18MPa, 31.80MPa, and 5043MPa, respectively. The thickness swelling (TS2h) and thickness swelling (TS24h) were 3.9% and 10.7%, respectively. The composite adhesives and particleboards were measured by differential scanning calorimentry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) measurements. The results indicated that the composite adhesive of UF/EPU could contribute to excellent mechanical, thermal, and water-resistant properties of the wheat straw particleboards. PDF
García-Ortuño, T., Andréu-Rodríguez, J., Ferrández-García, M. T., Ferrández-Villena, M.., and Ferrández-García, C. E. (2011). "Evaluation of the physical and mechanical properties of particleboard made from giant reed (Arundo donax L.)," BioRes. 6(1), 477-486.
Single-layer experimental particleboards were made from various sizes of Arundo donax particles bonded with urea formaldehyde resin. The experimental panels were tested for their mechanical strength including modulus of rupture (MOR), modulus of elasticity (MOE), internal bonding (IB), screw holding strength (SH), and physical properties (density, moisture content, thickness swelling (TS), and water absorption (WA)) according to the procedures defined by European Union (EN) Standards. The overall results showed that most panels exceeded the EN Standards for MOE, MOR, and IB. The mechanical properties of the particleboard were enhanced as the density increased. Particle size was found to have a profound effect on the board properties. PDF
Frone, A. N., Panaitescu, D. M., Donescu, D., Spataru, C. I., Radovici, C., Trusca, R., and Somoghi, R. (2011). "Preparation and characterisization of PVA composites with cellulose nanofibers obtained by ultrasonication," BioRes. 6(1), 487-512.
Cellulose nanofibers were obtained from microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) by the action of hydrodynamic forces associated with ultrasound. Nanofibers isolated from MCC by applying different ultrasonication conditions were characterized to elucidate their morpho-structural features by field emission scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and dynamic light scattering. Several differences were observed regarding the size of the nanofibers obtained in different ultrasonic conditions, but no significant changes in the crystalline structure of cellulose nanofibers were detected. The obtained cellulose fibers were used at low levels (1 to 5 wt.%) as reinforcements in a poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) matrix. The mechanical and thermal properties of the PVA/cellulose fibers nanocomposites films were determined. The tensile strength and modulus of the PVA film were significantly improved by the addition of cellulose nanofibers. Slightly higher onset degradation temperatures were obtained for PVA composites in comparison to neat PVA, showing an increase of the thermal stability caused by the addition of cellulose fibers. PDF
Martin-Sampedro, R., Eugenio, M. E., Revilla, E., Martín, J. A., and Villar, J. C. (2011). "Integration of kraft pulping on a forest biorefinery by the addition of a steam explosion pretreatment," BioRes. 6(1), 513-528.
Steam explosion has been proposed for a wide range of lignocellulosic applications, including fractionation of biomass, pre-treatment of biomass for ethanol production, or as an alternative to conventional mechanical pulping. Nevertheless, a steam explosion process could also be used as pretreatment before chemical pulping, expecting a reduction in cooking time due to the open structure of the exploded chips. Thus, to evaluate the effect of steam explosion as a pretreatment in the kraft pulping of Eucalyptus globulus, steam exploded chips and control chips were subjected to kraft cookings. Steam exploded chips provided pulps with reductions of kappa number by up to 70% with no significant change in viscosity. Therefore, the cooking time could be shortened by 60%, increasing the productivity and obtaining pulps with similar delignification degree to those of the control pulp. Furthermore, not only the production rate could be increased, but also most of the hemicelluloses could be recovered before pulping and converted to a value-added product. Finally, although exploded pulp had inferior mechanical strength, the optical properties, which are more important in eucalyptus pulps, were found to be better. PDF
Ogundiran, M. B., Babayemi, J. O., and Nzeribe, C. G. (2011). "Determination of metal content and an assessment of the potential use of waste cashew nut ash (CNSA) as a source for potash production," BioRes.6(1), 529-536.
The potential use of waste cashew nut shell (CNS) ash as a source for potash production was investigated in this study. Managing waste ash generated from cashew nut processing is a major challenge, as land filling and open dumping of the waste ashes have been the main options in management of the ash in Nigeria. Economically viable ways of using waste ash rather than having to dispose of it have to be investigated. The CNS was air-dried for 4 weeks and combusted to ashes; the resulting ash was extracted with water for its potash content. Some parameters of the CNS, including moisture, dry matter, and ash content, were determined. Potash yield obtained was 33.4% of 150 g CNS ash used; analysis of the potash gave it a percentage purity of 78%, while purity on recrystalization increased to 86%. Potash yield from CNS ash was comparable to those reported for wood ash, plantain peels, and other agro-wastes. Also, the results showed that the CNS shared similar lignocellulosic properties and characteristics with hardwood biomass. PDF
Tamarind seeds carbon (TSC) from tamarind (Tamarindus indica) seeds, an agro-byproduct and waste that is available abundantly in the southern states of India, was prepared by chemical activation with KOH. The influence of tamarind seeds char to KOH weight ratio (1:1 to 1:4) and activation temperature (400 to 800 °C) were investigated. TSC having micro-pore volume as high as 1.0 cm3/g with surface area 2673 m2/g was obtained. TSC was characterized by scanning electron microscopy, powder X-ray diffraction analysis, thermogravimetric analysis, and FT-IR spectroscopy. The potential of TSC to be used as a methane storage material was tested and compared with a commercial activated carbon. The highest methane adsorption capacity obtained for TSC was ca. 32.5 cm3/g at 30 °C and 1 bar. The maximum methane storage capacity achieved was 180 cm3/g at 30 °C and 35 bars. PDF
Bansal, N., Tewari, R., Gupta, J. K., Soni, R., and Soni, S. K. (2011). "A novel strain of Aspergillus niger producing a cocktail of hydrolytic depolymerising enzymes for the production of second generation biofuels," BioRes. 6(1), 552-569.
The screening and isolation of fungi producing a cocktail of hydrolytic enzymes was studied. Among the various isolates obtained from different soil samples, a strain NS-2 was selected. The phylogenetic analysis of this strain showed highest homology (99%) with Aspergillus niger. It was capable of producing cellulolytic, hemicellulolytic, amylolytic, and pectinolytic enzymes in appreciable titers on wheat bran based liquid and solid state media. The mixture of enzymes produced by this organism could effectively hydrolyze various domestic waste residues, revealing conversion efficiencies of 89 to 92% and produced high reducing sugar yields of 0.48 to 0.66 g/g of dry residue. This enzyme cocktail could potentially find a significant application in the conversion of agricultural and other waste residues having cellulose, hemicellulose, starch, and pectin as carbohydrates to produce simpler sugars which can be fermented for the production of second generation biofuels. PDF
Mocchiutti, P., Galván, M. V., Inalbon, M. C., and Zanuttini, M. A. (2011). "Improvement of paper properties of recycled unbleached softwood kraft pulps by poly(allylamine hydrochloride), BioRes. 6(1), 570-583.
Polyelectrolytes containing amine functional groups such as PAH (poly(allylamine hydrochloride)) can be useful, under certain conditions, for improving paper strength. In this work, the charge density of PAH was determined at different pH and ionic strengths; PAH adsorption onto the cellulosic fibers was characterized, and the effects of low PAH dosage on the papermaking properties were evaluated. It was found that the ionization of PAH is complete in acid media, but it is partial and depends on the ionic strength in neutral media. The adsorption isotherms of PAH on a recycled pulp from kraft liner allowed us to determine the amount needed to saturate the adsorption capacity of the fibers. For the three ionic strengths analyzed, the swelling of the fibers decreased when PAH was added in an amount corresponding to saturation (0.23% PAH on dried pulp). Nevertheless, the swelling was recovered when the amount of PAH was the double the saturation level (0.46% PAH on dried pulp). At these levels of addition, the papermaking properties were clearly improved, especially compressive strengths SCT (short compressive test) and CMT (concora medium test). The Page equation of tensile strength showed that PAH improved the shear bond strength, while the relative bonding area slightly decreased. PDF
Polypropylene/wood flour/organoclay hybrid nanocomposites were melt-compounded in an internal mixer at 190 oC and 60 rpm rotor speed. Then samples were fabricated by injection molding. Effects of immersion temperature on the water uptake of hybrid nanocomposite were investigated. To meet this objective, water absorption of samples was determined after 24 h immersion in distilled water at different temperatures (25, 50, 75, and 100 °C). Results indicated that immersion temperature had a significant influence on the water absorption of composites. By increasing the temperature, water absorption increases as well. The maximum water absorption of composite is decreased by increasing the nanoclay and compatibilizer content. The morphology of nanoclay was determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy. The effect of morphology on water absorption was also evaluated. Due to inadequate compatibilizer, exfoliated morphology of nanoclay was not obtained, but there was evidence of intercalation. The order of intercalation for samples containing 3 phc was higher than that of 6 phc at the same PP-g-MA content due to some agglomerations of organoclay. PDF
From experimental simulation of the process of high consistency pulp moving in a bleaching tower, the aerated bulk density and packed bulk density were measured and studied by using a self-made experimental system. The scattered experimental data – pressure p, and bulk density difference, which was between packed bulk density and aerated bulk density (ρ-ρ0) – were fitted by using Matlab software, and some good-fitting regression curves and equations were obtained. The results showed there was a break point W in the regression curves; within the range 0 £ p £ W the relationship between (ρ-ρ0) and p was a linear function, while for W £ p £ 70000 the relationship was a power function. To effectively meet with the bleaching response for the different kinds and different consistencies of pulp in the tower, by using the fitting regression equations combined with the expressions of average bulk density and pressure in the tower caused by gravity-driven pulp, two equations for average packed density ρa were deduced with the aim of deciding the maximum volume value of the tower, in agreement with the sizes of the towers presently used by major companies. PDF
Three extractives from China-fir were obtained by a sequential extraction processes with hexane, ethyl acetate, and methanol. The components of the three extractives were analyzed: (1) The gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis showed that in addition to the presence of cedrol, naphthalenes comprised a relatively large percentage of both the hexane extract (10.39%) and the ethyl acetate extract (9.43%). (2) Total phenolic contents analysis showed that phenols took up 6.66 % of the ethyl acetate extract and 22.8% of the methanol extract. All extracts, even with low concentrations, presented fair antifungal activities against two white-rot fungi, Trametes versicolor and Irpex lacteusand two brown-rot fungi, Postia placenta and Gloeophyllum trabeum. Cedrol and naphthalenes were partly responsible for the bioactivities. The synergistic effect of phenols and antifungal compounds also contributed to the wood decay resistance. PDF
To further clarify reasons for formation of condensed residues during the last stage of wood liquefaction in the medium of polyhydric alcohols and sulfuric acid catalyst, the weight loss behaviors and thermal reaction kinetics of condensed residues were studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Simultaneously, chemical methods were used to analyze the contents of lignin, cellulose, and holocellulose in the condensed residues. For all the unliquefied wood residues, the contents of cellulose decreased, and the residual ratios after TGA pyrolysis and the contents of lignin increased as a function of liquefaction time. Moreover, the highest weight loss rate went gradually to the higher temperature region after the liquefaction time and heating rate were extended. The values for apparent activation energy were lower at 150 minutes and 180 minutes and higher at 25 minutes. Liquefaction time had a smaller effect on the pyrolysis mechanism, as revealed by TGA. In conclusion, the thermal stabilities of condensed residues were higher than those of decomposed residues and wood. The condensation reaction occurred mainly during wood liquefaction, and condensed residues resulted possibly from mutual reaction among small molecules from decomposed lignin. PDF
An investigation was conducted on the adsorption of oxymatrine (OMT) on a spherical cellulose adsorbent embedded with wattle bark tannin. The results showed that the adsorption of the OMT on the adsorbent was solution pH dependent and the adsorption process followed the Freundlich adsorption isotherm. The adsorption kinetics of the OMT on the adsorbent could be well described by the pseudo-second-order rate model. And, the adsorption capacity calculated by the pseudo-second-order rate model was close to the experimental data. Desorption and regeneration experiments showed that the OMT adsorbed on the adsorbent could be easily recovered by 50% methanol solution. PDF
The correlation between the fibre flexibility and cross-sectional area moment of inertia of thermomechanical pulp fibres was investigated. The main effects of refining were found to be internal fibrillation, external fibrillation, and fibre shortening. Internal fibrillation increases fibre flexibility and fibre collapsibility, improving fibre-to-fibre contact in a paper sheet. The raw materials used were pulps produced from six different Norway spruce logs and six different Scots pine logs, chosen in a manner that allowed variation of fibre wall thickness and fibril angle independently. Each wood sample was refined in four stages using a pressurized 12" Sprout Waldron single disc refiner. Fibre flexibility was assessed by FiberMaster bendability measurements. Fibre bendability was measured on the +48 Bauer McNett fractions of the twelve 2nd, 3rd, and 4th stage thermomechanical pulps (TMP). The fibre cross-sectional samples were imaged using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). An image analysis method to calculate the area moment of inertia of each fibre using numerical integration was developed. Fiber bendability increased with specific energy consumption for both wood species (spruce and pine) from the 2nd refining stage to the fourth refining stage. Spruce had a higher rate of bendability increase than pine upon refining. It was expected that fibres with a low area moment of inertia would result in higher bendability, but no such correlation was found for either spruce or pine. Fibre bendability increased with internal fibrillation, as assessed from Simons staining. These results imply that local damage of the fibre wall such as delaminations, kinks, and compressions was the main effect in increasing the flexibility through refining of TMP. PDF
Response surface methodology was used with four factors to screen for the best starch and optimize the use of chemicals in order to maximize precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) filler retention in a peroxide-bleached TMP suspension. Three commercial starches were used in conjunction with colloidal silica and flocculant. The PCC loading level and the interactions between PCC level, starch, flocculant, and silica were investigated, and empirical models were constructed. The empirical process models were then employed to predict the retention and drainage. It was found that medium-charged cationic starch (S858) gave the highest total and filler retention, whereas high-charged cationic starch (S880) resulted in the best drainage. The ash content of the handsheet can be pushed up to 40% using the retention system with medium (S858) and high (S880) charged cationic starch. The high-charged cationic starch (S880) gave stronger paper, probably because of its higher affinity with the fiber and fines. PDF
A study was made of the classification of pulp, paper, and peat particles by size with a device called a tube flow fractionator. An accurate and simple experimental model was formulated in order to estimate the time required for fractionation, yielding an excellent correlation between the observed and predicted fractionation times. The results showed that the fractionation time of a certain size of pulp, paper, and peat particles in the tube flow device can be accurately estimated from the length, width, and thickness of the particle. The results can be used to facilitate the selection of specific fractions of pulp and paper samples. PDF
Levulinic acid (LA), 4-oxo-pentanoic acid, is a new platform chemical with various potential uses. In this paper, catalytic hydrogenation and oxidation of levulinic acid were studied. It was shown from experiments that levulinic acid can be hydrogenated to γ-valerolactone (GVL) over transition metal catalysts and oxidative-decarboxylated to 2-butanone (methyl-ethyl-ketone, MEK) and methyl-vinyl-ketone (MVK) by cupric oxide (CuO), cupric oxide/cerium oxide (CuO/CeO2), cupric oxide/ alumina (CuO/ Al2O3), and silver(I)/ peroxydisulfate (Ag(I)/S2O82-). PDF
Shnawa, H. A., Muhsen, M. G., Aldaeem, D. A., Ibraheem, I. K., Gumaa, F. M., and Saleh A. I. (2011). "Synthesis of barium tannate from eucalyptus bark and its use as a thermal stabilizer for poly(vinyl chloride)," BioRes. 6(1), 700-706.
In this work tannin was isolated from the outer bark of the eucalyptus tree, then treated with Ba(OH)2 to synthesize barium tannate (Ba-tan). The derivative was evaluated as a thermal stabilizer for polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC was mixed with Ba-tan thermally at four percentages (0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 2.5)% w/w. The samples were pressed thermally to films having thickness ranging between 0.25 and 0.30 mm. The effect of Ba-tan was studied by monitoring the weight of samples under iso-thermal conditions at 250 oC. Thermal stability of PVC increased with increasing Ba-tan percent. Samples weight curves also indicated that the additive had been suitably active to increase the resistance of PVC against thermal degradation, where the degradation rates decreased from about 0.21 % wt/min. at 0.5% of Ba-tan on PVC to reach to 0.05% wt/min. for the 2.5% treated sample. The ability of Ba-tan to react with and remove HCl from the system of polymer during thermal conditioning of samples and during the measurement led to this effect. Therefore the present results demonstrate the performance of this derivative as a thermal stabilizer. PDF
Three switchgrass cultivars (‘Performer’, ‘BoMaster’, and ‘Colony’ switchgrass) were delignified using NaOH at varying concentrations and residence times at 121 oC for improved sugar production in enzymatic hydrolysis. Because of its greater carbohydrate/lignin ratio and the more substantial lignin reduction upon alkaline attack, ‘Performer’ switchgrass gave greater sugar productions under all the pretreatment conditions investigated. Maximum sugar production from ‘Performer’ was 425 mg/g raw biomass, which was achieved at 1% NaOH and 0.5 h. Sugar production increased with the improvement of delignification until the lignin reduction reached 30%. The more severe pretreatment conditions, which led to greater lignin reductions, did not favor the increase of sugar production because of greater solid losses. Linear models were proven effective in correlating a modified severity parameter log(Mo) to lignin reduction and sugar production of ‘Performer’ switchgrass. PDF
The adsorption of xylan on pulp fibers improves the strength properties of paper. However, the optical properties are decreased significantly. The objective of our research was to bleach hardwood kraft pulp with adsorbed birch xylan by hydrogen peroxide and study the effect of bleaching parameters on paper properties. The bleaching parameters studied included bleaching temperature, time, initial pH as well as MgSO4 dosage. The optical properties (whiteness, brightness, opacity) and physical properties (tensile index, tearing index, bulk) of handsheets made from the pulp bleached with different process variables were measured. The results showed that better optical properties were obtained with higher bleaching temperature, longer bleaching time, and more MgSO4 dosage. Bleaching from an initial pH of 11 provided the highest brightness value. On the other hand, strength properties were improved with decreasing of the bleaching temperature, and increasing the initial pH and MgSO4 dosage. The relationship between strength properties and bleaching time varied depending on bleaching temperature. According to the results, both good mechanical properties and optical properties could be achieved when the operating parameters were controlled properly. Therefore hydrogen peroxide bleaching was proved to be a suitable method for bleaching hardwood kraft pulp with adsorption of birch xylan. PDF
Islam, M. S., Hamdan, S., Rahman, M. R., Jusoh, I., Ahmed, A. S., and Idrus, M. (2011). "Dynamic Young's modulus, morphological, and thermal stability of 5 tropical light hardwoods modified by benzene diazonium salt treatment," BioRes. 6(1), 737-750.
In this study the tropical light hardwood species jelutong (Dyera costulata), terbulan(Endospermum diadenum), batai (Paraserianthes moluccana), rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis), and pulai (Alstonia pneumatophora) were treated with benzene diazonium salt to improve their dynamic Young’s modulus (Ed), and thermal stability. Benzine diazonium salt reacted with cellulose in wood and produced 2,6-diazocellulose by a coupling reaction, as confirmed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Values of Ed were calculated from the free-free flexural vibration method and found to increase on treatment. The morphological properties were studied by FTIR and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and found to be changed. Thermal properties of treated wood samples were evaluated by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The treated wood samples exhibited an increased thermal stability relative to the untreated wood samples; this increase may be related to the formation of 2, 6-diazo cellulose compound. PDF
This study was centered on finding a locally sourced alternative to imported long-fibre pulp for Nigerian pulp and paper mills. Fibre characteristics, chemical composition, and paper properties of pulp handsheets at different levels of kappa number and freeness in the range of 10 oSR and 62 oSR were evaluated using air-dried bast fibre obtained from decorticated kenaf plants grown in southern guinea savanna near Jebba, Nigeria. Kenaf bast fibre compared well with softwood, with an average fibre length of 2.90 mm, a flexibility ratio of 57%, and a Runkel ratio of 0.76. Ash, lignin, and pentosan contents were 0.6%, 12.5%, and 10.6%, respectively, while the cellulose content was 55.5%. Under alkali charge of 15.0 and, sulphidity of 17.5 with constant temperature, cooking time, and liquor-to-fibre ratio of 4.5:1, the screen yield was between 48.8 to 52.8 % with kappa number 12.04 to 20.5. Unbleached pulpsheets at kappa number between 15 and18.5 and pulp freeness 55 oSR and bleached pulp freeness between 148 and 336 mLs had better quality paper in terms of overall pulpsheet strength properties. PDF
Karunanithy, C., and Muthukumarappan, K. (2011). "Optimization of alkali, big bluestem particle size, and extruder parameters for maxium enzymatic sugar recovery using response surface methodology," BioRes. 6(1), 762-790.
Extrusion can be a viable continuous biomass pretreatment that industry can adopt readily due to its uniqueness (including pretreatment time less than 90 s) over other pretreatment methods. The current study was undertaken to evaluate the combined effect of alkali soaking and extrusion of big bluestem to improve the sugar recovery to nearly quantitative. In order to evaluate the combined effect of alkali soaking and extrusion on the performance of enzymatic saccharification, big bluestem (2-10 mm) was soaked in different alkali concentrations (0.5-2.5 % w/v NaOH) for 30 min at room temperature and then extruded using a lab scale single screw extruder at various barrel temperatures (45-225°C) and screw speeds (20-200 rpm). Statistical analyses confirmed that all the independent variables considered had a significant effect on sugar recovery. A proposed quadratic model to predict sugar recovery had high F and R2 values with a low p value, and adequately represented the relationship among the independent variables on sugar recovery. The optimum pretreatment condition found was the following: 90°C barrel temperature, 155 rpm screw speed, 2.0% alkali concentration, and 4 mm particle size resulted the maximum glucose, xylose, and combined sugar recovery of 90.1, 91.5, and 89.9%, respectively. PDF
Vishtal, A., Rousu, P., Hultholm, T., Turku, K., Paananen, P., and Käyhkö, J. (2011). "Drainage and retention enhancement of a wheat straw-containing pulp furnish using microparticle retention aids," BioRes. 6(1), 791-806.
The usage of non-wood pulps in furnishes for the production of various paper grades is a real alternative for the substitution of wood pulp in papermaking. In terms of the papermaking process, the main limiting factor for non-wood pulp utilization is poor dewatering. This problem can be partially solved by means of retention aids, and the modern microparticle-based retention aids are very promising for this application. In this study the main aim was to characterize how the microparticle retention systems affect the retention, dewatering, and formation of a non-wood pulp furnish and how these effects and mechanisms differ when compared to normal wood pulp. The performance of several commercially available retention aids was studied by making dynamic sheet forming tests for reference and an organosolv wheat straw furnish. The emphasis in the experiments was on drainage enhancement. The maximum drainage gain obtained with the bentonite-CPAM retention aid system was about 5%. Despite the improved drainage, dewatering of the reference furnish was better than for the non-wood containing furnish. PDF
The assessment of wood biomass density through multivariate modeling of mid-infrared spectra can be useful for interpreting the relationship between feedstock density and functional groups. This study looked at predicting feedstock density from mid-infrared spectra and interpreting the multivariate models. The wood samples possessed a random cell wall orientation, which would be typical of wood chips in a feedstock process. Principal component regression and multiple linear regression models were compared both before and after conversion of the raw spectra into the 1st derivative. A principal component regression model from 1st derivative spectra exhibited the best calibration statistics, while a multiple linear regression model from the 1st derivative spectra yielded nearly similar performance. Earlywood and latewood based spectra exhibited significant differences in carbohydrate-associated bands (1000 and 1060 cm-1). Only statistically significant principal component terms (alpha less than 0.05) were chosen for regression; likewise, band assignments only originated from statistically significant principal components. Cellulose, lignin, and hemicelllose associated bands were found to be important in the prediction of wood density. PDF
Hardwood soda-AQ pulps are believed to be rich in benzyl sugar ethers (BSE) that can be partially cleaved by aqueous acidic treatments. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the effect of acidolysis on final bleached brightness for kraft and soda-AQ (SAQ) hardwood pulps. The increase in final brightness due to acidolysis at 110 °C was twice as high for a eucalyptus SAQ pulp as compared to the kraft pulp. An oxygen delignified maple C-SAQ pulp (carbonate pre-treated SAQ) was acidolyzed at 120 °C and pH 2.6 for 30 min. When 1.60% ClO2 + 0.25% H2O2 on pulp was used in DEPD final bleaching of the control sample a brightness of 91.5% was achieved. When only 1.00% ClO2 + 0.25% H2O2 on pulp was used for the acidolyzed sample a brightness of 92.0% was attained. Analyses of the maple pulp after the acidolysis showed no major change in lignin content, brightness, or pulp yield. The minor changes suggest that a facile reaction such as benzyl ether cleavage was responsible for the improved bleachability. Preliminary research involving a lignin model compound and commercial birch xylan showed that lignin-carbohydrate condensation products were generated under SAQ cooking conditions. Furthermore, a fraction of these lignin-carbohydrate moieties were subsequently cleaved by acidolysis at pH 2.5 and 105 °C. PDF
Farsheh, A. T., Talaeipour, M., Hemmasi, A. H., Khademieslam, H., and Ghasemi, I. (2011). "Investigation on the mechanical and morphological properties of foamed nanocomposites based on wood flour/PVC/multi-walled carbon nanotube," BioRes. 6(1), 841-852.
Recently, the use of nanoparticles in Wood Plastic Composites (WPCs) has been considered by researchers. In this study, Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs) were compounded with PVC, wood-flour, and foaming agent in an internal mixer. The wood flour amount was constant at 40 phr. For CNT and chemical foaming agent , different levels of 0, 1, 2 phr and 0, 3, 6 phr were considered respectively. The samples were foamed via batch process using a compression molding machine at 180°C. Morphology, density, water absorption, thickness swelling, and tensile properties of foamed composites were evaluated as a function of CNT and chemical foaming agent contents. The experimental results indicated that in the presence of CNT, cell density increased and cell size decreased. Density of the foamed composites was not affected by chemical foaming agent contents. Water absorption and thickness swelling of samples were decreased as compared with wood plastic composite without CNTs. Also, the maximum tensile strength and modulus were increased by up to 20% and 23% respectively. PDF
Ko, C.-H., Chen, F.-J., Liao, W.-J., and Shih, T.-L. (2011). "Impacts of lignin contents and yeast extract addition on the interaction between spruce pulps and crude recombinant Paenibacillus endoglucanase," BioRes. 6(1), 853-866.
Crude recombinant Paenibacillus endoglucanase was employed to investigate its ability to gain access into and to degrade spruce pulps having different lignin and pentosan contents. Since yeast extract is commonly present in the simultaneous saccharification and fermentation processes as a nitrogen source, its effect on the accessibility and degradability of crude endoglucanase was examined. Pulps with more lignin contents adsorbed more overall proteins. More protein impurities other than the recombinant Paenibacillus endoglucanase were found to be preferentially adsorbed on the surfaces of pulp with higher lignin contents. The addition of yeast extracts further enhanced the above trends, which might reduce the non-productive binding by pulp lignin. Pulps with more lignin contents were more difficult to be degraded by the crude endoglucanase; the reductions of degree of polymerization (DP) for pulps were more sensitive to the dosage of endoglucanase applied. The presence of yeast extracts increased the DP degradation rate constants, but decreased the release of reducing sugars during hydrolysis for pulp with higher lignin contents. PDF
In recent years studies concerning the applications of lignocellulosic/ inorganic couples have resulted in the development of an interesting class of functional materials. In this work a cellulose/NbOPO4.nH2O hybrid using cellulose from surgacane bagasse was prepared and characterized in order to test for adsorption applications. The preparation process was conducted by carrying out metallic niobium dilution in hydrofluoric acid in the presence of nitric acid, then adding boric acid to form the complex and, finally, the cellulose sugar cane bagasse was added. Concentrated phosphoric acid was also inserted to precipitate hydrous niobium phosphate particles in the cellulose fiber. This material was characterized by X-ray diffractometry (XRD), thermogravimetry (TG/DTG), and scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) connected to an energy dispersive spectrophotometer (EDS). Results by SEM/EDS show that NbOPO4.nH2O was present in structure of the cellulose. During the preparation of the material, using boric acid it was observed that the formation of precipitate occurred in a shorter time than the material prepared without boric acid. PDF
The objective of this research was to evaluate an all-chemical process to prepare nano-scale to macro-scale cellulosic fibers from kenaf bast fibers, for polymer composite reinforcement. The procedure used in this all-chemical process included alkaline retting to obtain single cellulosic retted fiber, bleaching treatment to obtain delignified bleached fiber, and acidic hydrolysis to obtain both pure-cellulose microfiber and cellulose nanowhisker (CNW). At each step of this chemical process, the resultant fibers were characterized for crystallinity using X-ray diffraction (XRD), for functional groups using the Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and for surface morphology using both the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The chemical components of the different scale fibers were analyzed. Based on the raw kenaf bast fibers, the yields of retted fibers and bleached fibers were 44.6% and 41.4%. The yield of the pure cellulose microfibers was 26.3%. The yield of CNWs was 10.4%, where about 22.6% α-cellulose had been converted into CNWs. The fiber crystallinity increased as the scale of the fiber decreased, from 49.9% (retted single fibers) to 83.9% (CNWs). The CNWs had fiber lengths of 100 nm to 1400 nm, diameters of 7 to 84 nm, and aspect ratios of 10 to 50. The incorporation of 9% (wt%) CNWs in polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) composites increased the tensile strength by 46%. PDF
Paper has a visible market-share in hygiene products either in the form of personal hygiene or as food packaging. The designation “hygiene”, though it suggests cleanliness, does not imply antibacterial properties; rather it can be stated that hygiene products do not initiate microorganism growth. Antibacterial products could restrict propagation of pathogenic bacteria either by holding bacteria or by trapping and neutralizing them. Most research in this field has been conducted using textile fibers as a substrate, but the present work uses paper instead. The objective was to produce an antibacterial filter paper capable of trapping and neutralizing pathogenic microorganisms using wood fibers. To produce antibacterial paper, chitosan and nanosilver capped with PAA (polyacrylic acid) were deposited on the fiber surface using a layer-by-layer technique. Samples for the tests were prepared from refined bleached softwood (RBSW) kraft pulp. The deposition of antibacterial agents on fiber as well as paper were monitored using a zeta potential analyzer (ZPA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIRS). The minimum requirement for deposition of the agents was a multilayer comprised of eight alternating layers. The deposition onto fiber or paper had no effect on tensile strength or the pore structure of the substrate. PDF
This paper reviews the physical and chemical characteristics of fibers from the stem, fronds, and empty fruit bunches of oil palm tree in relation to their papermaking properties. Challenges regarding the use of this nonwood material for papermaking are raised, and possible solutions to them are given. A vision for the complete utilization of oil palm biomass is also outlined. PDF