Articles in press have been peer-reviewed and accepted, which are not yet assigned to volumes /issues, but are citable by Digital Object Identifier (DOI).
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Unraveling biochar surface area on structure and heavy metal removal performances of carbothermal reduced nanoscale zero-valent iron
Tharindu N. Karunaratne, Prashan M. Rodrigo, Daniel O. Oguntuyi, Todd E. Mlsna, Jilei Zhang, Xuefeng Zhang
 doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.06.003
[Abstract](20) [PDF 5542KB](1)
Carbothermal reduction using biochar (BC) is a green and effective method of synthesizing BC-supported nanoscale zero-valent iron (nanoFe0) composites. However, the effect of BC surface area on the structure, distribution, and performance such as the heavy metal uptake capacity of nanoFe0 particles remains unclear. Soybean stover-based BCs with different surface areas (1.7-1 472 m2/g) were prepared in this study. They have been used for in-situ synthesis BCs-supported nanoFe0 particles through carbothermal reduction of ferrous chloride. The BCs-supported nanoFe0 particles were found to be covered with graphene shells and dispersed onto BC surfaces, forming the BC-supported graphene-encapsulated nanoFe0 (BC-G@Fe0) composite. These graphene shells covering the nanoFe0 particles were formed because of gaseous carbon evolved from biomass carbonization reacting with iron oxides/iron salts. Increasing BC surface area decreased the average diameters of nanoFe0 particles, indicating a higher BC surface area alleviated the aggregation of nanoFe0 particles, which resulted in higher heavy metal uptake capacity. At the optimized condition, BC-G@Fe0 composite exhibited uptake capacities of 124.4, 121.8, 254.5, and 48.0 mg/g for Cu2+, Pb2+, Ag+, and As3+, respectively (pH 5, 25 °C). Moreover, the BC-G@Fe0 composite also demonstrated high stability for Cu2+ removal from the fixed-bed continuous flow, in which 1 g of BC-G@Fe0 can work for 120 h in a 4 mg/L Cu2+ flow continually and clean 28.6 L Cu2+ contaminated water. Furthermore, the BC-G@Fe0 composite can effectively immobilize the bioavailable As3+ from the contaminated soil, i.e., 5% (w) of BC-G@Fe0 composite addition can immobilize up to 92.2% bioavailable As3+ from the contaminated soil.
Bioplastic classifications and innovations in antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant applications
Sariah Abang, Farrah Wong, Rosalam Sarbatly, Jamilah Sariau, Rubiyah Baini, Normah Awang Besar
 doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.06.005
[Abstract](8) [PDF 3884KB](1)
Conventional plastics exacerbate climate change by generating substantial amounts of greenhouse gases and solid wastes throughout their lifecycle. To address the environmental and economic challenges associated with petroleum-based plastics, bioplastics have emerged as a viable alternative. Bioplastics are a type of plastic that are either biobased, biodegradable, or both. Due to their biodegradability and renewability, bioplastics are established as earth-friendly materials that can replace nonrenewable plastics. However, early bioplastic development has been hindered by higher production costs and inferior mechanical and barrier properties compared to conventional plastics. Nevertheless, studies have shown that the addition of additives and fillers can enhance bioplastic properties. Recent advancements in bioplastics have incorporated special additives like antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant agents, offering added values and unique properties for specific applications in various sectors. For instance, integrating antibacterial additives into bioplastics enables the creation of active food packaging, extending the shelf-life of food by inhibiting spoilage-causing bacteria and microorganisms. Moreover, bioplastics with antioxidant additives can be applied in wound dressings, accelerating wound healing by preventing oxidative damage to cells and tissues. These innovative bioplastic developments offer promising opportunities for developing sustainable and practical solutions in various fields. Within this review are two main focuses: an outline of the bioplastic classifications to understand how they fit in as the coveted conventional plastics substitute and an overview of the recent bioplastic innovations in the antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant applications. We cover the use of different polymers and additives, presenting the findings and potential applications within the last decade. Although current research primarily focuses on food packaging and biomedicine, the exploration of bioplastics with specialized properties is still in its early stages, offering a wide range of undiscovered opportunities.
Recent advances in thermochemical conversion of woody biomass for production of green hydrogen and CO2 capture: A review
Shusheng Pang
 doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.06.002
[Abstract](14) [PDF 4597KB](0)
Hydrogen as a clean energy carrier has attracted great interests world-wide for substitution of fossil fuels and for abatement of the climate change concerns. However, green hydrogen from renewable resources is less than 0.1% at present in the world hydrogen production and this is largely from water electrolysis which is beneficial only when renewable electricity is used. Hydrogen production from diverse renewable resources is desirable. This review presents recent advances in hydrogen production from woody biomass through biomass steam gasification, producer gas processing and H2/CO2 separation. The producer gas processing includes steam-methane reforming (SMR) and water-gas shift (WGS) reactions to convert CH4 and CO in the producer gas to H2 and CO2. The H2 storage discussed using liquid carrier through hydrogenation is also discussed. The CO2 capture prior to the SMR is investigated to enhance H2 yield in the SMR and the WGS reactions.
Large scalable, ultrathin and self-cleaning cellulose aerogel film for daytime radiative cooling
Chenyang Cai, Yuanbo Sun, Yi Chen, Zechang Wei, Yibo Wang, Fuling Chen, Wanquan Cai, Jiawen Ji, Yuxin Ji, Yu Fu
 doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.06.004
[Abstract](12) [PDF 6187KB](0)
Passive cooling strategy shows great potential in mitigating global warming and reducing energy consumption. Because of the high emissivity in the atmospheric transparency window (λ ≈ 8-13 µm), cellulose is considered as a good candidate for radiative cooling. However, traditional cellulose coolers generally show poor solar reflection and can be polluted by dust outside, thereby resulting in poor daytime cooling efficiency. To address these drawbacks, we developed sustainable cellulose nanowhiskers (CNWs)/ZnO composite aerogel films with favorable optical performance, mechanical robustness, and self-cleaning function for efficient daytime radiative cooling, which can be achieved via freeze casting and hot-pressing process. Due to formation of multi-level porous structure and chemical bonds (Si-O-C/Si-O-Si), such aerogel film exhibited high solar reflectance (97%) and high infrared emittance (92.5%). It achieved a sub-ambient temperature drop of 6.9 °C under direct sunlight in hot weather. Most importantly, the surface roughness and low surface energy enable cellulose aerogel film hydrophobicity (contact angle = 133°), thereby resulting in an anti-dust function. This work provides insight into the design of sustainable thermal regulating materials to realize carbon neutrality.
Mycelium as a self-growing biobased material for the fabrication of single-layer masks
Victoria French, Chuanshen Du, E. Johan Foster
 doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.07.001
[Abstract](15) [PDF 3666KB](0)
Disposable face masks are an essential piece of personal protective equipment for workers in medical facilities, laboratories, and the general public to prevent the spread of illnesses and/or contamination. Covid-19 resulted in an uptick in the usage and production of face masks, exacerbating issues related to the waste and recycling of these materials. Traditionally, face masks are derived from petrochemicals, such as melt-blown or spunbound polypropylene. As such, there is a need to find sustainable mask materials that can maintain or improve the performance of petrochemical masks. This paper explores an alternative mask material that utilizes fungal mycelium as self-growing filaments to enhance the efficiency of individual polypropylene mask layers. By engineering the growth pattern and time, breathability and filtration efficiency was optimized such that one layer of the mycelium-modified mask could replace all three layers of the traditional three-layer mask. Additionally, it was found that the mycelium-modified mask exhibits asymmetric hydrophobicity, with super-hydrophobicity at the composite-air interface and lower hydrophobicity at the composite-medium interface. This property can improve the performance of the modified mask by protecting the mask from external liquids without trapping water vapor from the user's breath. The findings from this study can provide a basis for further development of mycelium to create sustainable filtration materials with enhanced functionality.
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Utilization of residual fatty acids in matter organic non-glycerol from a soy biodiesel plant in filaments used for 3D printing
Sreesha Malayil, Athira Nair Surendran, Kunal Kate, Jagannadh Satyavolu
2023, 8(3): 215-223.   doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.04.001
[Abstract](0) [FullText HTML](0) [PDF 1239KB](0)
Matter organic non-glycerol (MONG) is a considerable waste output (20%−25% of crude glycerol) typically landfilled by soy biodiesel plants. In this work, soy MONG was characterized for potential use as a copolymer to produce filaments for 3D printing with an intent to add value and redirect it from landfills. As a copolymer, MONG was evaluated to reduce the synthetic polymer content of the natural fiber composites (NFC). Even though the general thermal behavior of the MONG was compared to that of a thermoplastic polymer in composite applications, it is dependent on the composition of the MONG, which is a variable depending on plant discharge waste. In order to improve the thermal stability of MONG, we evaluated two pretreatments (acid and acid + peroxide). The acid + peroxide pretreatment resulted in a stabilized paste with decreased soap content, increased crystallinity, low molecular weight small chain fatty acids, and a stable blend as a copolymer with a thermoplastic polymer. This treatment increased formic acid (17.53%) in MONG, along with hydrogen peroxide, led to epoxidation exhibited by the increased concentration of oxirane (5.6%) evaluating treated MONG as a copolymer in polymer processing and 3D printing.
Preparation and characterization of tea tree oil-β-cyclodextrin microcapsules with super-high encapsulation efficiency
Peifu Kong, Junichi Peter Abe, Shunsuke Masuo, Toshiharu Enomae
2023, 8(3): 224-234.   doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.03.004
[Abstract](0) [FullText HTML](0) [PDF 1775KB](0)
This study aimed to prepare tea tree oil-β-cyclodextrin microcapsules using an optimized co-precipitated method. The impact of the volume fraction of ethanol in the solvent system for microencapsulation on encapsulation efficiency was investigated and analyzed sophisticatedly. Super-high encapsulation efficiency was achieved when a 40% volume fraction of ethanol was used for the microencapsulation procedure, where the recovery yield of microcapsules and the embedding fraction of tea tree oil in microcapsules were as high as 88.3% and 94.3%, respectively. Additionally, considering the operation cost, including time and energy consumption, an economical preparation was validated so that it would be viable for large-scale production. Based on the results of morphological and X-ray diffraction analysis, the crystal structure appeared to differ before and after microencapsulation. The results of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy confirmed the successful formation of microcapsules. Furthermore, the antibacterial activity of the fabricated microcapsules was assessed by a simple growth inhibition test using Bacillus subtilis as the study object, and the hydrophilic property was proved by a water contact angle measurement.
In-situ polymerization of lignocelluloses of autohydrolysis process with acrylamide
Haosong Zhao, Weijue Gao, Pedram Fatehi
2023, 8(3): 235-245.   doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.01.004
[Abstract](0) [FullText HTML](0) [PDF 1190KB](0)
In the present study, the hydrolysates generated via autohydrolysis of spruce wood chips were directly used as feedstock for producing coagulants. The in-situ polymerization of acrylamide (AM) and lignocellulose (LC) of hydrolysates was successfully conducted. The reaction was optimized to generate lignocellulose-acrylamide (LC-AM) with the highest molecular weight (41, 060 g/mol) and charge density (–0.25 meq/g) under the optimum conditions, which were 3 h, 60 ℃, 4% (w) initiator based on the dried mass of hydrolysate, and an AM/LC molar ratio of 5.63. A nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy confirmed the grafting of acrylamide on LC. Other properties of LC-AM were characterized by the elemental analyzer, zeta potential analyzer, gel permeation chromatography (GPC), and particle charge detector (PCD). The LC-AM was applied as a coagulant for removing ethyl violet dye from a simulated dye solution. The results indicated that 47.2% dye was removed from the solution at a low dosage of 0.2 g/g. The dual flocculation of LC-AM with other polymers for dye removal is suggested to further improve its effectiveness.
Multiscale wood micromechanics and size effects study via nanoindentation
Yuri I. Golovin, Alexander A. Gusev, Dmitry Yu. Golovin, Sergey M. Matveev, Alexander I. Tyrin, Alexander A. Samodurov, Viktor V. Korenkov, Inna A. Vasyukova, Maria A. Yunaсk
2023, 8(3): 246-264.   doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.04.002
[Abstract](0) [FullText HTML](0) [PDF 4377KB](0)
Wood as a material is a natural composite with a complex hierarchically arranged structure. All scale levels of wood structure contribute to its macroscopic mechanical properties. The nature of such characteristics and deformation modes differs radically at different scale levels. Wood macroscopic properties are well studied, and the relevant information can be easily found in the literature. However, the knowledge of the deformation mechanisms at the mesoscopic level corresponding to the cellular structure of early and late wood layers of annual growth rings is insufficient. It hinders building the comprehensive multiscale model of how wood mechanical properties are formed. This paper described the results of scanning of mechanical properties of softwood and hardwood samples, such as common pine, small-leaf lime, and pedunculate oak, by means of nanoindentation (NI). The NI technique allows varying the size of deformed region within a wide range by altering maximal load (Pmax) applied to the indenter so that one can repeatedly and non-destructively test wood structural components at different scale levels on the same sample without changing the technique or equipment. It was discovered that the effective microhardness (Heff) and Young's modulus (Eeff) decreased manifold with Pmax growing from 0.2 to 2 000 mN. This drop in Heff was observed when the locally deformed region grew, and resulting from Pmax increase generally follows the rule similar to the Hall-Petch relation for yield stress, strength, and hardness initially established for metals and alloys, though obviously in those cases the underlying internal mechanisms are quite different. The nature and micromechanisms of such size effect (SE) in wood revealed using NI were discussed in this study. At Pmax < 0.2 mN, the deformed area under the pyramidal Berckovich indenter was much smaller than the cell wall width. Hence, in this case, NI measured the internal mechanical properties of the cell wall material as long as free boundaries impact could be neglected. At Pmax > 200 mN, the indentation encompassed several cells. The measured mechanical properties were significantly affected by bending deformation and buckling collapse of cell walls, reducing Heff and Eeff substantially. At Pmax ≈ 1–100 mN, an indenter interacted with different elements of the cell structure and capillary network, resulting in intermediate values of Heff and Eeff. Abrupt changes in Heff and Eeff at annual growth ring boundaries allow accurate measuring of rings width, while smoother and less pronounced changes within the rings allow identification of earlywood and latewood layers as well as any finer changes during vegetation season. The values of ring width measured using NI and standard optical method coincide with 2%−3% accuracy. The approaches and results presented in this study could improve the understanding of nature and mechanisms lying behind the micromechanical properties of wood, help to optimize the technologies of wood farming, subsequent reinforcement, and utilization, as well as to develop new highly informative techniques in dendrochronology and dendroclimatology.
Wood pulp industry by-product valorization for acrylate synthesis and bio-based polymer development via Michael addition reaction
Ralfs Pomilovskis, Eliza Kaulina, Inese Mierina, Arnis Abolins, Olga Kockova, Anda Fridrihsone, Mikelis Kirpluks
2023, 8(3): 265-279.   doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.06.001
[Abstract](0) [FullText HTML](0) [PDF 2836KB](0)
It is crucial to adapt the processing of forest bio-resources into biochemicals and bio-based advanced materials in order to transform the current economic climate into a greener economy. Tall oil, as a by-product of the Kraft process of wood pulp manufacture, is a promising resource for the extraction of various value-added products. Tall oil fatty acids-based multifunctional Michael acceptor acrylates were developed. The suitability of developed acrylates for polymerization with tall oil fatty acids-based Michael donor acetoacetates to form a highly cross-linked polymer material via the Michael addition was investigated. With this novel strategy, valuable chemicals and innovative polymer materials can be produced from tall oil in an entirely new way, making a significant contribution to the development of a forest-based bioeconomy. Two different tall oil-based acrylates were successfully synthesized and characterized. Synthesized acrylates were successfully used in the synthesis of bio-based thermoset polymers. Obtained polymers had a wide variety of mechanical and thermal properties (glass transition temperature from –12.1 to 29.6 ℃ by dynamic mechanical analysis, Young's modulus from 15 to 1 760 MPa, and stress at break from 0.9 to 16.1 MPa). Gel permeation chromatography, Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance were used to analyse the chemical structure of synthesized acrylates. In addition, various titration methods and rheology tests were applied to characterize acrylates. The chemical composition and thermal and mechanical properties of the developed polymers were studied by using FT-IR, solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance, thermal gravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic mechanical analysis, and universal strength testing apparatus.
Soda pulping of sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.) and its usage in molded pulp packaging
Piyawan Yimlamai, Theerat Ardsamang, Pratuang Puthson, Phichit Somboon, Buapan Puangsin
2023, 8(3): 280-291.   doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.04.003
[Abstract](0) [FullText HTML](0) [PDF 2344KB](0)
Petroleum-based materials are often used in the packaging industry. However, the single use value of such products can be problematic with regard to proper waste disposal. As such, molded pulp packaging can be used as an alternative, given its ease of recycling, composting, and eventual biodegradation. In this work, we aims to study the pulp properties of sunn hemp and its usage as molded pulp products. For this purpose, unbleached beaten and unbeaten soda pulps derived from the whole stem of sunn hemp were examined for their fiber morphology, fibrillation, fiber classification, and physical properties. The sunn hemp pulp was subsequently molded using a batch molding machine. To determine the hydrophobicity of the molded pulp products, the molded samples were manufactured with and without additives. Finally, some properties of the molded pulp products were examined and compared with the commercially available bleached bagasse molded pulp products. It was observed that the molded products made from sunn hemp pulp with additives had a higher water contact angle than that of the commercial products. In terms of general usage, the molded products from sunn hemp pulp with additives were found to be capable of storing hot water, hot cooking oil, as well as microwaving water. We concluded that the sunn hemp pulp could be used as an alternative fibrous raw material in the production of molded pulp packaging.
Design of B/N Co-doped micro/meso porous carbon electrodes from CNF/BNNS/ZIF-8 nanocomposites for advanced supercapacitors
Zhen Shang, Xingye An, Shuangxi Nie, Na Li, Haibing Cao, Zhengbai Cheng, Hongbin Liu, Yonghao Ni, Liqin Liu
2023, 8(3): 292-305.   doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.05.002
[Abstract](0) [FullText HTML](0) [PDF 12177KB](0)
Boron (B) and nitrogen (N) co-doped 3D hierarchical micro/meso porous carbon (BNPC) were successfully fabricated from cellulose nanofiber (CNF)/ boron nitride nanosheets (BNNS)/ zinc-methylimidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) nanocomposites prepared by 2D BNNS, ZIF-8 nanoparticles, and wheat straw based CNFs. Herein, CNF/ZIF-8 acts as versatile skeleton and imparts partial N dopant into porous carbon structure, while the introduced BNNS can help strengthen the hierarchical porous superstructure and endow abundant B/N co-dopants within BNPC matrix. The obtained BNPC electrode possesses a high specific surface area of 505.4 m2/g, high B/N co-doping content, and desirable hydrophilicity. Supercapacitors assembled with BNPC-2 (B/N co-doped porous carbon with a CNF/BNNS mass ratio of 1꞉2) electrodes exhibited exceptional electrochemical performance, demonstrating high capacitance stability even after 5 000 charge-discharge cycles. The devices exhibited outstanding energy density and power density, as well as the highest specific capacitance of 433.4 F/g at 1.0 A/g, when compared with other similar reports. This study proposes a facile and sustainable strategy for efficiently fabrication of rich B/N co-doped hierarchical micro/meso porous carbon electrodes from agricultural waste biomass for advanced supercapacitor performance.
A mild iodocyclohexane demethylation for highly enhancing antioxidant activity of lignin
Yilin Wang, Jin Wu, Ruihan Shen, Yubao Li, Guofeng Ma, Shuang Qi, Wenjuan Wu, Yongcan Jin, Bo Jiang
2023, 8(3): 306-317.   doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.05.001
[Abstract](0) [FullText HTML](0) [PDF 1571KB](0)
Lignin, as a natural antioxidant, shows great potential in food engineering and medicine. However, the inherent macromolecular structure, high polydispersity, and few phenolic hydroxy seriously limit its antioxidant activity. In this work, a mild iodocyclohexane demethylation for highly improving the antioxidant activity of lignin was proposed. The results showed –OCH3 content exhibited an almost linear decrease as a function of treating time, and the demethylation and cleavage of β–aryl ether bonds prompt an obvious increase in phenolic hydroxyl content (4.01 mmol/g) and a significant decline in aliphatic hydroxyl (~0.03 mmol/g). Meanwhile, attributing to the fragmentation of β–O–4, ββ, and β–5 substructures, the polydispersity of lignin molecular weight decreases from 2.7 to 2.2. As a result, the formed catechol-typed lignin showed an outstanding antioxidant activity, with the radical (DPPH·) scavenging index (inverse of concentration for 50% of maximal effect (EC50) value) over 2 000 mL/mg, much superior to the commercial antioxidants (< 500 mL/mg). Further structure-activity relationship analysis implied that the Ph–OH/–OCH3 ratio might act as a key factor influencing the antioxidant activity of lignin. This mild demethylation demonstrates a facile and effective method for highly enhancing the antioxidant activity of lignin and makes the catechol-typed lignin a green and promising product for practical use in food, medicine, and pharmacy.
Current Issue

Year 2023 Vol. 8 No.3

Table of Contents


ISSN 2369-9698

J. Bioresour. Bioprod.


Started in 2016

Huining Xiao, Prof.

University of New Brunswick, Canada


Jianchun Jiang, Prof.

Institute of Chemical Industry of Forest Products, Chinese Academy of Forestry, China