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High-Valued and New Utilizations of Biomass Material for Function Applications

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomaterials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 October 2024 | Viewed by 7490

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Materials Science and Engineering, Central South University of Forestry and Technology, Changsha, China
Interests: biomass materials; catalysis; water treatment; photo-thermal materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Institute of Materials for Energy and Environment, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Qingdao University, Qingdao, China
Interests: lithium-ion batteries; MOF; nanomaterials; carbon based composite; anode; cathode
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor Assistant
Department of Macromolecular Science, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Interests: applied polymers; self-assembly; hybrid materials; catalysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biomass resources include wood and wood wastes, agricultural crops and their waste byproducts, municipal solid waste, animal wastes, waste from food processing and aquatic plants and algae, which are widely used to meet a variety of needs. Due to biomass being green, renewable, available from a wide variety of sources and low in cost, the use of biomass has always been a hot research topic for designing functional materials, especially in the areas of advanced functional materials in energy, environment, catalysis, biological medicine, etc. However, efficient utilizations of biomass and the industrialization of these utilizations are still huge challenges. There is an urgent need for studies into easy methods of taking full advantage of biomasses, while making the best use of the differing features and properties available from different biomass sources.

The basic ingredients (such as lignin, hemicellulose, cellulose and so on) and the pore structure characteristics of biomass sources are multifarious. In order to discover possible utilizations of biomass that are highly efficient and scalable as functional materials for industrial processes, it is important to consider the utilization of the components and hierarchically porous structure from these biomass resources, such as plastic substitution, intelligent response and bionic functional materials.

This Special Issue welcomes original research articles focusing on high-quality and new utilizations of biomass material for functional applications. Full papers, communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Dr. Gonggang Liu
Prof. Dr. Binghui Xu
Guest Editors

Dr. Yanran Li
Guest Editor Assistant

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • biomass
  • wood materials
  • biomass wastes
  • high-valued utilization
  • energy
  • environment
  • catalysis
  • hierarchically porous structure

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 15514 KiB  
Article
Oriented Interpenetrating Capillary Network with Surface Engineering by Porous ZnO from Wood for Membrane Emulsification
by Yaodong Chen, Xiaolin Liu, Gonggang Liu, Shanshan Chang and Jinbo Hu
Materials 2024, 17(9), 2113; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17092113 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 468
Abstract
Membrane emulsification technology has garnered increasing interest in emulsion preparation due to controllable droplet size, narrower droplet size distribution, low energy consumption, simple process design and excellent reproducibility. Nevertheless, the pore structure and surface engineering in membrane materials design play a crucial role [...] Read more.
Membrane emulsification technology has garnered increasing interest in emulsion preparation due to controllable droplet size, narrower droplet size distribution, low energy consumption, simple process design and excellent reproducibility. Nevertheless, the pore structure and surface engineering in membrane materials design play a crucial role in achieving high-quality emulsions with high throughput simultaneously. In this work, an oriented interpenetrating capillary network composed of highly aligned and interconnected wood cell lumens has been utilized to fabricate an emulsion membrane. A novel honeycomb porous ZnO layer obtained by a seed prefabrication–hydrothermal growth method was designed to reconstruct wood channel surfaces for enhanced microfluid mixing. The results show that through the unique capillary mesh microstructure of wood, the emulsion droplets were smaller in size, had narrower pore-size distribution, and were easy to obtain under high throughput conditions. Meanwhile, a well-designed ZnO layer could further improve the emulsion quality of a wood membrane, while the emulsifying throughput is still maintained at a higher level. This demonstrates that the convection process of the microfluid in these wood capillary channels was intensified markedly. This study not only develops advanced membrane materials in emulsion preparation, but also introduces a brand-new field for functional applications of wood. Full article
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12 pages, 3263 KiB  
Article
Removal of Plastics from Micron Size to Nanoscale Using Wood Filter
by Min Li, Gonggang Liu, Chongqing Wang, Shanshan Chang and Jinbo Hu
Materials 2024, 17(6), 1361; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17061361 - 16 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 661
Abstract
Plastic pollution, particularly microplastic (MP) and nanoplastic (NP) pollution, has become a significant concern. This study explores the use of porous wood for filtration to remove MPs and NPs and investigates their removal mechanisms. Undecorated fir wood with a thickness of 4 mm [...] Read more.
Plastic pollution, particularly microplastic (MP) and nanoplastic (NP) pollution, has become a significant concern. This study explores the use of porous wood for filtration to remove MPs and NPs and investigates their removal mechanisms. Undecorated fir wood with a thickness of 4 mm achieves a 91% removal rate for model polystyrene (PS) MPs (2.6 μm) at a water flux of 198 L/m2h. However, its separation performance for NPs (255.8 and 50.9 nm) is poor. It also shows that fir wood (coniferous wood) has a higher PS removal rate than poplar wood (hard wood). With poly dimethyl diallyl ammonium chloride (PDDA) modification, both MPs and NPs are effectively removed, with NPs’ removal rate increasing from <10% to 90% for PDDA/wood. Characterization results reveal that size-exclusive interception dominates for micron-sized particles, and electrostatic interaction is crucial for nanosized particles. Additionally, intercepted NPs have been used as a strong binder for hot-pressed wood to remarkably enhance the mechanical properties of wood, suggesting a novel recycle utilization of discarded wood filters. Overall, this renewable wood material offers a simple solution for tackling MP/NP pollution. Full article
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30 pages, 5887 KiB  
Article
Thermo-Hydric Study of Wood-Based Materials under Thermal Comfort Conditions
by Mohamed Haddouche, Fahed Martini, Mounir Chaouch and Adrian Ilinca
Materials 2024, 17(5), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17051177 - 2 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 729
Abstract
This paper tackles the issue of moisture variation in wood-based materials, explicitly focusing on melamine-coated particleboard (hereafter referred to as melamine) and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) used in the third phase of wood industry transformation. The approach involves a comprehensive strategy for predicting moisture [...] Read more.
This paper tackles the issue of moisture variation in wood-based materials, explicitly focusing on melamine-coated particleboard (hereafter referred to as melamine) and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) used in the third phase of wood industry transformation. The approach involves a comprehensive strategy for predicting moisture content variation, incorporating numerical simulation, experimental testing, and the application of artificial neural network (ANN) technology to enhance accuracy in furniture manufacturing. The developed ANN models are tailored to predict moisture content changes under specific thermal comfort conditions. Remarkably, these models demonstrate high precision, with an average error margin of only 1.40% for 8% moisture content (MC) and 2.85% for 12% MC in melamine, as well as 1.42% for 8% MC and 2.25% for 12% MC in MDF. These levels of precision surpass traditional models, emphasizing this study’s novelty and practical relevance to the industrial context. The findings indicate that ANN models adapt to diverse environmental conditions, presenting a robust tool for optimizing moisture management in wood-based materials. This research contributes valuable insights for improving the reliability and efficiency of moisture content predictions in the wood industry. Full article
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12 pages, 3078 KiB  
Article
Application of Modified Seed Oils of Selected Fruits in the Synthesis of Polyurethane Thermal Insulating Materials
by Elżbieta Malewska, Maria Kurańska, Maria Tenczyńska and Aleksander Prociak
Materials 2024, 17(1), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17010158 - 28 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1019
Abstract
The use of alternative raw material sources in polyurethane chemistry is necessary given the limited supply of fossil fuels, their rising prices and the concern for sustainability. The production of biopolyols from edible vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil, soybean oil or sunflower [...] Read more.
The use of alternative raw material sources in polyurethane chemistry is necessary given the limited supply of fossil fuels, their rising prices and the concern for sustainability. The production of biopolyols from edible vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil, soybean oil or sunflower oil is often proposed. In order to avoid conflict with the global food economy, non-edible or waste oils are hoped to find application in chemical synthesis. The possibility of using oils from selected fruit seeds to obtain biopolyols is analyzed in this manuscript. Five biopolyols were obtained from watermelon, cherry, black currant, grape and pomegranate fruit seeds using the transesterification reaction of the oils with triethanolamine. Thermal insulating polyurethane foams were then obtained by replacing 75% of petrochemical polyol with the biopolyols in polyurethane systems. Based on an analysis of the foaming process, it was found that the incorporation of triethanolamine molecules into the biopolyols causes a catalytic effect. The use of such biopolyols allows eliminating the catalyst from a polyurethane foam formulation. The polyurethane biofoams obtained with the pomegranate-seed-based biopolyol were characterized by the highest content of closed cells (45 vol.%). The lowest content was found for the foams containing the currant-seed-based biopolyol (9%). The foams were characterized by thermal conductivity coefficients between 32 and 35 kW/m·K and densities of approximately 40 kg/m3. Good dimensional stability and compressive strength between 100 and 250 kPa make them suitable for use in construction. Full article
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12 pages, 5268 KiB  
Article
Preparation Optimization of Enhanced Poplar Wood by Organic–Inorganic Hybrid Treatment via Response Surface Methodology
by Yong Wang, Xia He, Layun Deng, Xiazhen Li and Xianjun Li
Materials 2023, 16(20), 6718; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16206718 - 17 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 785
Abstract
In this work, a strategy for hybrid treatment was proposed, aiming to present a hybrid impregnation agent including lignin-derived resin (LR) and surface-modified montmorillonite (GMMT) to treat fast-growing poplar wood. The treating agents could penetrate the wood, fill the cavities of the wood [...] Read more.
In this work, a strategy for hybrid treatment was proposed, aiming to present a hybrid impregnation agent including lignin-derived resin (LR) and surface-modified montmorillonite (GMMT) to treat fast-growing poplar wood. The treating agents could penetrate the wood, fill the cavities of the wood interior, and strengthen the cell wall structure. The optimal WPG of 36.2% was obtained upon the response surface methodology (RSM) at the conditions of 34% LR, 1.8% GMMT, 1.2 MPa impregnation pressure, and 99 min impregnation time. The density, water uptake (WU), modulus of rupture (MOR), modulus of elasticity (MOE), and compressive strength (CS) of the samples were tested to evaluate the enhancement of the physical and mechanical properties. In addition, these samples were investigated via cone calorimeter (CONE), Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometer (FTIR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results showed that the density of the treated samples increased significantly up to 0.72 g/cm3. Compared with 134.8% of the control, the WU of the treated wood sample could decrease to 60.3%. In addition, the MOR and MOE of the resulting samples reached up to 131.8 MPa and 18.14 GPa, respectively, which were 62.3% and 77.7% higher than the control. Notably, the CS was 84.7 MPa with an increase of up to 94.7%. Moreover, the peak heat release rate (HRR) of the treated sample was obviously reduced to 231.33 kW/m2, a decrease of 17.5% compared to the control (271.71 kW/m2). Full article
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11 pages, 3970 KiB  
Article
Fabrication and Process Optimization of Chinese Fir-Derived SiC Ceramic with High-Performance Friction Properties
by Fuling Liu, Shanshan Chang, Yuanjuan Bai, Xianjun Li, Xiaojian Zhou and Jinbo Hu
Materials 2023, 16(12), 4487; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16124487 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 992
Abstract
In this study, a novel friction material with biomass-ceramic (SiC) dual matrixes was fabricated using Chinese fir pyrocarbon via the liquid-phase silicon infiltration and in situ growth method. SiC can be grown in situ on the surface of a carbonized wood cell wall [...] Read more.
In this study, a novel friction material with biomass-ceramic (SiC) dual matrixes was fabricated using Chinese fir pyrocarbon via the liquid-phase silicon infiltration and in situ growth method. SiC can be grown in situ on the surface of a carbonized wood cell wall by mixing and calcination of wood and Si powder. The samples were characterized using XRD, SEM, and SEM–EDS analysis. Meanwhile, their friction coefficients and wear rates were tested to study their frictional properties. To explore the influence of crucial factors on friction performance, response surface analysis was also conducted to optimize the preparation process. The results showed that longitudinally crossed and disordered SiC nanowhiskers were grown on the carbonized wood cell wall, which could enhance the strength of SiC. The designed biomass-ceramic material had satisfying friction coefficients and low wear rates. The response surface analysis results indicate that the optimal process could be determined (carbon to silicon ratio of 3:7, reaction temperature of 1600 °C, and 5% adhesive dosage). Biomass-ceramic materials utilizing Chinese fir pyrocarbon could display great promise to potentially replace the current iron–copper-based alloy materials used in brake systems. Full article
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15 pages, 4989 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Preservative Performance of Pine Wood through Nano-Xylan Treatment Assisted by High-Temperature Steam and Vacuum Impregnation
by Shutong Fan, Xun Gao, Jiuyin Pang, Guanlin Liu and Xianjun Li
Materials 2023, 16(11), 3976; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16113976 - 26 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1077
Abstract
This study used environmentally friendly nano-xylan to enhance the drug loading and preservative performance (especially against white-rot fungi) of pine wood (Pinus massoniana Lamb), determine the best pretreatment, nano-xylan modification process, and analyze the antibacterial mechanism of nano-xylan. High-temperature, high-pressure steam [...] Read more.
This study used environmentally friendly nano-xylan to enhance the drug loading and preservative performance (especially against white-rot fungi) of pine wood (Pinus massoniana Lamb), determine the best pretreatment, nano-xylan modification process, and analyze the antibacterial mechanism of nano-xylan. High-temperature, high-pressure steam pretreatment-assisted vacuum impregnation was applied to enhance the nano-xylan loading. The nano-xylan loading generally increased upon increasing the steam pressure and temperature, heat-treatment time, vacuum degree, and vacuum time. The optimal loading of 14.83% was achieved at a steam pressure and temperature of 0.8 MPa and 170 °C, heat treatment time of 50 min, vacuum degree of 0.08 MPa, and vacuum impregnation time of 50 min. Modification with nano-xylan prohibited the formation of hyphae clusters inside the wood cells. The degradation of integrity and mechanical performance were improved. Compared with the untreated sample, the mass loss rate of the sample treated with 10% nano-xylan decreased from 38 to 22%. The treatment with high-temperature, high-pressure steam significantly enhanced the crystallinity of wood. Full article
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Review

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19 pages, 3019 KiB  
Review
Designing Surface and Interface Structures of Copper-Based Catalysts for Enhanced Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 to Alcohols
by Yanbo Hua, Chenyuan Zhu, Liming Zhang and Fan Dong
Materials 2024, 17(3), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17030600 - 26 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1103
Abstract
Electrochemical CO2 reduction (ECR) has emerged as a promising solution to address both the greenhouse effect caused by CO2 emissions and the energy shortage resulting from the depletion of nonrenewable fossil fuels. The production of multicarbon (C2+) products via [...] Read more.
Electrochemical CO2 reduction (ECR) has emerged as a promising solution to address both the greenhouse effect caused by CO2 emissions and the energy shortage resulting from the depletion of nonrenewable fossil fuels. The production of multicarbon (C2+) products via ECR, especially high-energy-density alcohols, is highly desirable for industrial applications. Copper (Cu) is the only metal that produces alcohols with appreciable efficiency and kinetic viability in aqueous solutions. However, poor product selectivity is the main technical problem for applying the ECR technology in alcohol production. Extensive research has resulted in the rational design of electrocatalyst architectures using various strategies. This design significantly affects the adsorption energetics of intermediates and the reaction pathways for alcohol production. In this review, we focus on the design of effective catalysts for ECR to alcohols, discussing fundamental principles, innovative strategies, and mechanism understanding. Furthermore, the challenges and prospects in utilizing Cu-based materials for alcohol production via ECR are discussed. Full article
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