Development and Utilization of High-Value Products from Woody Biomass

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Wood Science and Forest Products".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (11 January 2024) | Viewed by 7165

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-6125, USA
Interests: biomaterials from lignocellulosic sources; novel composites; nano-biocomposites; engineered wood-based composites

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the depletion of petroleum resources and the growing concern about sustainability and energy demand, the production of high-value products from renewable resources, especially woody biomass, has become a trending research topic. Woody biomass comes from trees and woody debris or residues that cannot be used for timber. It is a by-product of forestry operations and the forest industry. This material, highly available, represents a huge untapped biomass resource, and its removal could not only improve forest health and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, but also play an important role in helping to achieve climate targets through decarbonization processes.

There are many challenges regarding the use of woody biomass. Its use in efficient energy-conversion facilities, the chemical processing of biofuels, composite materials, nanomaterials, organic chemicals, biomaterials, etc., are some examples of its potential economic utilization. The logistics of accessing and pre-treating woody biomass also present challenges for consideration.

We welcome and solicit manuscripts in the following areas: the catalytic conversion of woody biomass; improved woody biomass biochemical and thermochemical processes to produce liquid and/or gaseous biofuels; new strategies for woody biomass pre-treatments and in situ utilization; novel technologies to achieve highly selective dissolution and the efficient conversion of lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose; the fractional conversion of cellulose and lignin for the maximum retention of small molecules and structures; the utilization of woody biomass products, etc.

Maximizing sustainable woody biomass utilization through efficient and sustainable processes to generate bioenergy, and/or diversified high-value products, will help not only climate change mitigation, but will also contribute to reducing our dependence on fossil resources. 

Dr. Gloria Oporto
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • woody biomass
  • woody bioenergy
  • renewable materials
  • biomaterials
  • nanocellulose
  • lignin
  • cellulose
  • hemicellulose
  • sustainable materials

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 4809 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Properties of Furniture Joints Using Loose Tenons and Connectors
by Seda Bas, Levente Denes and Csilla Csiha
Forests 2024, 15(2), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15020343 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 651
Abstract
The investigation conducted in this study focused on assessing the withdrawal resistance of T-joints and the bending moment capacity in the tension and compression of corner joints. For samples, preparation glued-in loose tenons (Domino dowels) and dismountable connectors were used as connecting elements. [...] Read more.
The investigation conducted in this study focused on assessing the withdrawal resistance of T-joints and the bending moment capacity in the tension and compression of corner joints. For samples, preparation glued-in loose tenons (Domino dowels) and dismountable connectors were used as connecting elements. The joints were made of European beech wood and a D3-grade PVAc adhesive was utilized for bonding. The effect of the joint type, the shoulders’ bonding, and the load application direction were investigated. The test results revealed that the withdrawal resistance of Domino dowel joints exhibited twice the strength compared to Domino connectors. Moreover, the presence of a bonded area on the shoulders did not significantly impact the strength of the joints. In the case of corner joints, the bending moment capacity in compression was notably influenced by the bond line on the shoulders, although such an effect was not significant in tension. Domino dowel joints provided a robust and reliable permanent connection between wooden elements, surpassing Domino connectors; however, in both cases, the strength values exceeded those of conventional dowels and cam lock connector joints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Utilization of High-Value Products from Woody Biomass)
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17 pages, 4983 KiB  
Article
The Potential of Platanus orientalis L. Bark for High-Grade Resource Utilization
by Hanyin Li, Yunming Zou, Jingyi Liang, Zijie Zhao, Na Zhou, Yan Gao, Ruohan Yan, Qiongqiong Zhou and Cheng Li
Forests 2023, 14(10), 2002; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14102002 - 06 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1199
Abstract
Forest wood biomass can be used as a renewable resource for the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals. In this study, the methanol, methanol/ethanol, and ethanol/benzene solvent extracts of Platanus orientalis L. bark were analyzed using FTIR, IH NMR, 13C NMR, [...] Read more.
Forest wood biomass can be used as a renewable resource for the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals. In this study, the methanol, methanol/ethanol, and ethanol/benzene solvent extracts of Platanus orientalis L. bark were analyzed using FTIR, IH NMR, 13C NMR, 2D-HSQC NMR, GC-MS, and TOF-LC-MS. The results revealed that the bark of Planus orientalis contained a wide variety of chemical compounds, such as 30-triacontanol, 1-Hexanol, hexadecanoic acid, methyl ester, 2-ethyl-, γ-Sitosterol, and 3,4,5-tri methoxy-Phenol. In addition, the fast pyrolysis of P. orientalis L. bark (POL-B) with nano-catalysts (Co3O4, Fe2O3, and Co3O4/Fe2O3) was investigated using pyrolysis/gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS) and a thermogravimetric analyzer coupled with an FTIR spectrophotometer (TG-FTIR). The TG results revealed that the nano-catalysts significantly affected the pyrolysis of P. orientalis bark. The nano-Fe2O3 catalyst was shown to increase acid and ketone compound production during the catalytic pyrolysis of cellulose. According to the Py-GC-MS results, the pyrolytic products contained several value-added chemicals and high-quality bio-oil. The nano-catalysts promoted the production of aromatics, phenols, ketones, olefins, furans and alkane compounds. These natural-product active molecules and bio-oil, as high-grade raw materials, could be used in many industrial and agricultural fields for the production of wetting agents, stabilizers, plasticizers and resins. In addition, a number of active molecules could be used as drugs and biomedical active ingredients for anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Utilization of High-Value Products from Woody Biomass)
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13 pages, 2749 KiB  
Article
Quantification of Hydrolytic Sugars from Eucalyptus globulus Bio-Oil Aqueous Solution after Thermochemical Liquefaction
by Luciana Silva, Sofia Orišková, Diogo Gonçalves, Ivo Paulo, José Condeço, Miguel Monteiro, Nuno M. Xavier, Amélia P. Rauter, João M. Bordado and Rui Galhano dos Santos
Forests 2023, 14(4), 799; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14040799 - 13 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1485
Abstract
Eucalyptus globulus sawdust is a residue from the pulp and paper industry which has been underutilised and undervalued. The thermochemical liquefaction of sawdust can be considered an alternative for recycling this residue, as it results in the production of a bio-oil that, when [...] Read more.
Eucalyptus globulus sawdust is a residue from the pulp and paper industry which has been underutilised and undervalued. The thermochemical liquefaction of sawdust can be considered an alternative for recycling this residue, as it results in the production of a bio-oil that, when extracted in water, allows the obtention of an aqueous solution composed of carbohydrates. The sugars resulting from the aqueous fraction of bio-oil can be valued by and applied in the industry to produce sustainable materials. For the first time, the sugar composition of the aqueous extract of bio-oil was disclosed, identified, and quantified by a high-pressure liquid chromatograph (HPLC) coupled to a refractive index (RID) detector containing fructose (36.58%) and glucose (33.33%) as the main components, sucrose (15.14%), trehalose (4.82%) and xylose (10.13%). The presence of these sugars was further confirmed by two-dimensional (2D) 1H-13C heteronuclear single-quantum correlation–nuclear magnetic resonance (HSQC–NMR) spectroscopy. Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR-ATR) and elemental analyses were also used. In addition, the pathway leading to the identified sugars is also suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Utilization of High-Value Products from Woody Biomass)
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Review

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23 pages, 1504 KiB  
Review
Policy and Regulations for Mobile Biochar Production in the United States of America
by Carlos Rodriguez Franco, Deborah S. Page-Dumroese, Derek Pierson, Margaret Miller and Thomas Miles
Forests 2024, 15(1), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15010192 - 18 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1361
Abstract
Pyrolysis is a combustion process of woody biomass conducted under low or no oxygen conditions. It converts any kind of biomass into biochar, bio-oil, or biogas. Hence plants’ woody material can also be converted into bioenergy products. Valorization of woody biomass in the [...] Read more.
Pyrolysis is a combustion process of woody biomass conducted under low or no oxygen conditions. It converts any kind of biomass into biochar, bio-oil, or biogas. Hence plants’ woody material can also be converted into bioenergy products. Valorization of woody biomass in the form of energy-rich compound biochar is a more sustainable technique as compared to conventional burning which leads to toxicity to the environment. Innovations and the need to limit open burning have resulted in numerous mobile and fixed plant pyrolysis methods that burn a variety of woody residues. Production technologies that reduce the need for open burning, the main source of potential pollutants, fall under the regulations in the Clean Air Act of 1990. This Act is the legal instrument to regulate air pollution at its source across the United States of America and it is implemented and enforced through the Environmental Protection Agency, in coordination with sister agencies. One newer innovation for reducing wood residues and emissions is an air curtain incinerator. Currently, the Clean Air Act regulates stationary solid waste incinerators, and this is also applied to mobile air curtain incinerators burning woody biomass. However, other woody biochar production methods (e.g., flame cap kilns) are not subjected to these regulations. Discrepancies in the interpretation of definitions related to incineration and pyrolysis and the myriad of differences related to stationary and mobile air curtain incinerators, type of waste wood from construction activities, forest residues, and other types of clean wood make the permit regulations confusing as permits can vary by jurisdiction. This review summarizes the current policies, regulations, and directives related to in-woods biochar production and the required permits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Utilization of High-Value Products from Woody Biomass)
24 pages, 3385 KiB  
Review
The Role of Microorganisms in the Isolation of Nanocellulose from Plant Biomass
by Esam Bashir Yahya, Suhail Salem Elarbash, Rahul Dev Bairwan, Montaha Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed, Niaz Bahadur Khan, Putri Widyanti Harlina and H. P. S. Abdul Khalil
Forests 2023, 14(7), 1457; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14071457 - 16 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1907
Abstract
The isolation and bottom-up assembly of nano-cellulose by using microorganisms offers unique advantages that fine-tune and meet the main key design criteria of sustainability, rapid renewability, low toxicity and scalability for several industrial applications. As a biomaterial, several properties are required to maintain [...] Read more.
The isolation and bottom-up assembly of nano-cellulose by using microorganisms offers unique advantages that fine-tune and meet the main key design criteria of sustainability, rapid renewability, low toxicity and scalability for several industrial applications. As a biomaterial, several properties are required to maintain the quality and functional period of any product. Thus, researchers nowadays are extensively using microorganisms to enhance the yield and properties of plant nanocellulose. A microbial process requires approximately 20%–50% less energy compared to the chemical isolation process that consumes high energy due to the need for intense mechanical processing and harsh chemical treatments. A microbial process can also reduce production costs by around 30%–50% due to the use of renewable feedstocks, fewer chemical additives, and simplified purification steps. A chemical isolation process is typically more expensive due to the extensive use of chemicals, complex processing steps, and higher energy requirements. A microbial process also offers higher yields of nanocellulose with well-defined and uniform dimensions, leading to improved mechanical properties and enhanced performance in various applications, compared with the chemical isolation process, which may result in a wider range of nanocellulose sizes, potentially leading to variations in properties and performance. The present review discusses the role of different microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts and fungi) in the isolation and production of nanocellulose. The types and properties of nanocellulose from different sources are also discussed to show the main differences among them, showing the use of microorganisms and their products to enhance the yield and properties of nanocellulose isolation. Finally, the challenges and propositions regarding the isolation, production and enhancement the quality of nanocellulose are addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Utilization of High-Value Products from Woody Biomass)
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