International Sugar Journal

Researchers develop slow-release fertilizers using cellulose [Full subscriber]

Researchers at the Federal University of São Carlos in Araras, São Paulo state, Brazil, have produced and tested cellulose-based materials for enhanced-efficiency fertilizers to improve the supply of nutrients to crops and reduce the release of non-biodegradable chemicals into the ecosystem.

Read more …

Lighting up homes with luminescent wood [Full subscriber]

Most materials used for optical lighting applications need to produce a uniform illumination and require high mechanical and hydrophobic properties. However, they are rarely eco-friendly. Now, researchers Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Switzerland’s ETH Zurich have developed a biobased, luminescent, water-resistant wood film that could someday be used as cover panels for lamps, displays and laser devices.

Read more …

Researchers create superglue out of cellulose and water [Full subscriber]

Researchers from the universities of Aalto, Tokyo, Sichuan and British Columbia have developed a biobased superglue.

Read more …

High-density jet fuel produced from cellulose [Full subscriber]

Researchers from China’s Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics have been successful in producing high-density aviation fuel from cellulose that is superior to the currently available jet-fuel.

Read more …

Chemically nanoengineered cellulose fibrils prevent scaling [Full subscriber]

The elimination of scale accumulation in evaporator tubes could bring substantial cost savings to factories processing sugarcane. Researchers at McGill University scientists have created a new type of cellulose nanoparticles called hairy nanocellulose that could prevent the build-up of scale.

Read more …

Eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging made from crab shells chitin and cellulose [Registered]

Cellulose and chitin are the world’s first- and second-most common biopolymers, found in plants and crustacean shells (among other places) respectively. Georgia Tech scientists have now devised a method of combining the two, to replace the flexible plastic packaging used to keep food fresh.

Read more …

Biodegradable cellulose microbeads developed by Bath university researchers [Registered]

Microbeads are tiny balls of plastic (less than 0.5 mm in size) whose alleged powers of exfoliation have made them a mainstay of cosmetics ranging from facial cleanser to toothpastes. However, they are too small to be removed by sewage filtration systems and so end up in rivers and oceans, where they are ingested by birds, fish and other marine life. Now researchers from the University of Bath have developed biodegradable cellulose microbeads that could potentially replace harmful plastic ones.

Read more …

Super strength glue from plant polymers could hold key to wooden skyscrapers [Registered]

Researchers from universities of Cambridge and Warwick have identified super-strength ‘glue’ in cell walls of plants that could be the key to dramatically reducing energy requirements in a variety of industries, and could enable the construction of wooden objects as large as skyscrapers.

Read more …

Modus operandi of cellulase enzyme decoded [Registered]

Research led by Matthew Lang at Vanderbilt University involved cellulase produced by the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei, one of the microorganisms used commercially to decompose cellulose. T. reesei produces a cocktail of three different enzymes that it uses for this purpose, 60 percent of which (by mass) is TrCel7A.

Read more …

Ionic liquids foster conversion of cellulose to valuable chemicals [Registered]

Researchers at Umeå University in Sweden discovered how enzymes can perform their catalytical processes in a switchable ionic liquid, paving way for converting cellulose to valuable molecules and industrial products.

Findings published in the journal ChemSusChem.

Ionic liquids are salts in fluid form at room temperature – compared with regular cooking salt, sodium chloride, which melts at 800°C. This characteristic means that ionic liquids properties make them useful solvents.

Researchers discovered that hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin can be selectively separated and dissolved using a new type of so-called switchable ionic liquid. Further, enzymes can function in this particular ionic liquid.

“Our discovery is a scientific breakthrough! This is the launch that enables us to extract small key molecules directly from wood,” said the lead researcher Magnus Wolf-Watz.

Read more …