2017, Vol. 2, No. 3

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Conference Report
First International Symposium on Nanocellulosic Materials, Hangzhou, China: Spurring Research and Innovation in Nanocellulosic Materials by Bringing Creative Minds Together
Jing Shen, Zhibin He, Huining Xiao
2017, 2(3): 93-94. doi: 10.21967/jbb.v2i3.153
From May 20 to May 21, 2017, the 1st International Symposium on Nanocellulosic Materials, hosted by China Technical Association of Paper Industry (CTAPI) and its affiliated Nanocellulose and Materials Committee, was held in Hangzhou, China. This timely symposium attracted about 270 attendees from 8 countries, bringing creative minds together for facilitating more breakthroughs in research, innovation, and commercialization.
Highlights of the 2017 Atlantic Biorefinery Conference
André Pelletier
2017, 2(3): 95-99. doi: 10.21967/jbb.v2i3.154
The 2017 Atlantic Biorefinery Conference was held over three days from June 7th to 9th, at the Hugh john Flemming Forestry Centre in Fredericton, NB. The goals of the conference mirror the goals of BioNB:to promote and foster the biotech sector in New Brunswick and the Maritimes in general. The format has been consistent for at least the last three years (years attended by the author of this report). The first day, conference attendees were divided into self-selected groups (indicated when registering) for technology demonstration tours. The following two days featured talks on technology, research, project proponents, and policy development, all in support of the bio-economy. The speaker sessions were all in one-stream. These were complimented by tradeshow booths, networking events, and facilitated business-tobusiness meetings, as well as a poster session for which a prize was awarded for the best student poster.
Research Article
Xylan/chitosan composites prepared by an ionic liquid system with unique antioxidant properties
Hailong Gao, Na Liu, Shuzhen Ni, Haixia Lin, Yingjuan Fu
2017, 2(3): 100-104. doi: 10.21967/jbb.v2i3.83
Antioxidant function and solubility in water are highly desirable in many applications of chitosan. In this paper, a xylan/chitosan composite was prepared in an ionic liquid system using glutaraldehyde as a crosslinking agent. The antioxidant activity, reducing capacity and metal ion chelating ability of the resulting composite were determined. The chemical structure and thermal stability were analyzed by FT-IR, XRD and TGA. The results showed that chitosan was successfully cross-linked with xylan by glutaraldehyde in the ionic liquid system. Compared to pure chitosan, the ABTS·+ scavenging activity of the xylan/chitosan composite increased from 10.56% to 97.59%. After cross-linking with xylan by glutaraldehyde, the reducing power of xylan/chitosan composite increased from 0.054 to 2.109. The capacity of chelating metal ion of the composite also increased from 42.35% to 86.71% compared to that of pure chitosan. An underlying mechanism was proposed to account for the improvement of the chemical properties of the chitosan in the composite.
Microwave-assisted alkali extraction of bagasse hemicellulose enhanced by an enzymatic pretreatment process
Jizhen Huang, Yuxin Liu, Bing Sun, Zhen Shang
2017, 2(3): 105-109. doi: 10.21967/jbb.v2i3.117
Extraction of hemicelluloses is a primary step in the conversion of plant biomass to valuable biofuels and chemicals. Hemicellulose is distributed in the fiber cell wall, and the compact structure of the fiber cell wall barricades the transport of hemicelluloses in the extraction process. In this paper we presented a novel microwave-assisted extraction process enhanced with an enzymatic pretreatment to improve the hemicelluloses extraction rate from bagasse. Experimental results showed that the enzyme dosage, alkali concentration and microwave irradiation time were main factors governing the yield of hemicellulose. The optimal conditions of the enzymatic pretreatment were:enzyme dosage of 138 IU/g bagasse and irradiation time of 30 min. Under these conditions, 86% of the hemicellulose in bagasse was extracted. After the enzymatic pretreatment the surface area of bagasse increased significantly which facilitated the subsequent microwave-assisted extraction process.
Fabrication of cellulose based superhydrophobic microspheres for the production of magnetically actuatable smart liquid marbles
Xinxing Lin, Wei Ma, Hui Wu, Liulian Huanga, Lihui Chen, Atsushi Takahara
2017, 2(3): 110-115. doi: 10.21967/jbb.v2i3.132
Cellulose microspheres were fabricated on the basis of sol-gel transition using NaOH/urea/H2O as the solvent system. These microspheres had an average diameter of about 30 μm. Upon modification with Fe3O4 and poly (DOPAm-co-PFOEA), superhydrophobic magnetic cellulose microspheres were generated, which were analyzed by FTIR, TG, XRD, XPS and water contact angle tests. Magnetic cellulose microspheres contained approximately 15 wt% of Fe3O4. Poly(DOPAm-co-PFOEA)/Fe3O4/cellulose microspheres and had a low surface energy and a high water-repellency. These superhydrophobic microspheres were also converted into liquid marbles via an easily scalable process.
Recycled fibres and fibrous sludge as reinforcement materials in injection moulded polypropylene (PP) and poly(lactic acid) (PLA) composites
Elina Pääkkönen, Lisa Wikström, Heidi Peltola, Kyösti Valta, Elias Retulainen
2017, 2(3): 116-122. doi: 10.21967/jbb.v2i3.140
Wood flour or sawdust is often used as filler in conventional wood plastic composite (WPC) materials. However, there has been an increasing interest to the use of wood pulp fibres in reinforced plastic applications, because they can provide enhanced strength properties and better biodegradability characteristics for the composite. This research compares the effect of recycled fibres or side streams of paper as reinforcement in poly(lactic acid) (PLA) or polypropylene (PP) composites. Fibres from liquid packaging board and non-deinked old newspapers, and fibrous sludge from recycling processes are compared with virgin softwood kraft pulp fibres. Composites were produced by melt processing to a fibre content of 30% (or 10% fibrous sludge), and the mechanical properties were investigated. Recycled fibres provided comparable, or even higher, plastic reinforcement than virgin softwood fibres. In PP composites, the differences in mechanical properties between different fibre types were relatively small. Fibrous sludge decreased the mechanical performance of composites but can be considered as cheap filler in cases when mechanical properties are not crucial. The possibility to use low-cost materials like recovered paper or deinking sludge in wood plastic composites is an interesting option for future sustainable applications.
Modeling and Optimization of Lipid Extraction Process from Municipal Secondary Sludge for Biodiesel Production
Samir N. Hag Ibrahim
2017, 2(3): 123-131. doi: 10.21967/jbb.v2i3.146
In the current study, the potentiality and optimization of lipid extraction from secondary sludge for biodiesel production were investigated. Four lipid extraction parameters were examined and used for process optimization and model development using Design of Experiment (DoE) method (namely methanol to hexane ratio-%, solvent to sludge ratio-ml/g, temperature-oC and extraction time-h). During the optimization process, free fatty acid (FFA) and saponifiable lipids (SLs) content of the extracted lipid were analyzed. The results revealed that, the maximum lipid extraction yield (Ylipid) predicted through numerically optimized conditions by the model for highest desirability (0.99) was 16.5% at methanol to hexane ratio (%) of 84%, solvent to sludge ratio (v/wt) of 45 ml/g, temperature at 90oC for 6 hours extraction time. The extracted lipid contained a maximum amount of 31% (wt/wt) FFA, where palmatic acid was predominant. The FAMEs yield produced from ex-situ acid-catalyzed esterification/transesterification of the methanol-hexane co-solvent extracted lipid ranged between 4.5-5% (wt/wt) based on sludge weight. Fatty acid profile of FAMEs was found to be dominated by methyl palmitate (C16:0) representing 36% of FAMEs composition, followed by palmitoleic acid methyl ester (C16:1), oleic acid methyl ester (C18:1) and stearic acid methyl ester (C18:1) representing 24%, 18% and 10% of the FFA composition respectively. PCA analysis showed that solvent to sludge ratio (ml/g) has the highest significant positive effect on FAMEs yield (p-value <0.05) where methanol to hexane ratio (X1), temperature (X3) and extraction time (X4) were inversely correlated with FAMEs yield. The results indicated the feasibility of using secondary sludge as an alternative feedstock for biodiesel production. However, the optimized conditions for maximizing extracted lipid content should not be considered suitable for FAMEs yield as well.
Supramolecular assembly of Cp1-11 peptide and insulin for rapid-acting formulation
Weigang Wang, Sheyu Li, Zhouxiang Zhao, Anna Zhou, Yanpeng Liu, Yantao Chen, Mingchang Lin, Guosong Chen, Chunmei Ding, Jianshu Li
2017, 2(3): 132-141. doi: 10.21967/jbb.v2i3.150
In order to improve the life quality of diabetic patients, it is very important to develop rapid-acting insulin formulations that can mimic the physiological meal-time secretion profile of insulin in healthy people. Although several insulin analogues have been designed to provide postprandial glycemic control, still there are some serious disadvantages. A supramolecular strategy is presented here to inhibit insulin aggregation and improve its bioactivity by using Cp1-11 peptide. As a fragment of C-peptide in proinsulin, Cp1-11 peptide was found to influence insulin oligomerization by supramolecular interactions. This work demonstrates that the Cp1-11 peptide can interact with oligomeric insulin and facilitate its disaggregation into the physiologically active monomeric form. Computer simulation indicates that Cp1-11 can insert into the space between the C-terminal tail and the N-terminal helix of the B-chain of insulin, causing dissociation of the insulin dimer. The supramolecular assembly of Cp1-11 and insulin can improve the bioavailability and therapeutic effect of insulin on the control of in vivo blood glucose levels. These results suggest that Cp1-11 peptide can modulate the intermolecular interaction of aggregated insulin and prevent the transition from monomeric to multimeric states, and shows great potential for the development of an effective rapid-acting strategy to treat diabetes.
Synthesis and application of a novel waterborne polyurethane emulsion for sand fixation
Leihao Zheng, Yan Xue, Weilin Lin, Jialing Li, Sha Qian
2017, 2(3): 142-149. doi: 10.21967/jbb.v2i3.148
Desertification is one of the severe ecological and environmental issues in the world today. Sand fixation against wind erosion is an effective solution to the problem. In the present study, a novel waterborne polyurethane emulsion was prepared as a sand-fixing agent. Lignin and polylactic acid were incorporated as a chain extender and soft segments, respectively. The structure, viscosity and thermal stability of the polyurethane emulsions were studied by FTIR, rheological testing and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The sand fixation properties of the waterborne polyurethane were evaluated in terms of the water retention, compressive strength, thermal stability and anti-wind erosion ability of sand crusts formed by spraying the emulsion on sands. With the increase of lignin content, both the water retention and compressive strength increased with the highest values of 39.22% and 1.13 MPa, respectively. All the sand specimens treated by the waterborne polyurethane presented good thermal stability and wind erosion resistance.