Special Issue "Biomass-Derived Polymers"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Barbara Gawdzik
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Guest Editor
Department of Polymer Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin (UMCS), plac Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej 3, 20-031 Lublin, Poland
Interests: synthesis of new monomers and polymers; chemical modification of synthetic and natural polymers; synthesis of novel polymer-based adsorbents having desired properties for health and environmental protection; synthesis and investigations of carbon adsorbents from synthetic and natural polymers; chromatographic analysis; use of recycled polymers in synthesis; wasteless processes
Prof. Olena Sevastyanova
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Guest Editor
Wallenberg Wood Science Center, Department of Fibre and Polymer Technology, KTH-The Royal Institute of Technology, Teknikringen 56-58, Stockholm 10044, Sweden
Interests: wood chemistry; chemistry of pulping and bleaching; extraction and structural characterization of biomass-derived polymers; physical and chemical modification of natural polymers; development of novel materials from biomass-derived polymers for uses in environmental protection and healthcare
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Most of the currently used polymers, such as polyethylene or polypropylene, are petroleum derivatives whose durability is an important feature. However, this is not always an advantage due to disposal problems after use. With the objective of a more sustainable circular economy, the utilization of renewable resources, including biomass, as feedstock for the production of polymer‐based materials is becoming increasingly important. Although conventional biomass-derived polymers are relatively soft and weak and lacking thermoplasticity, new approaches have been developed to obtain biomass-derived polymers with high mechanical and thermal stability and improved thermal processability.

This Special Issue will highlight recent advances in the understanding of the structure of polymers available in nature, such as cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, chitin, and pectins in the form of biomass constituents or as byproducts from various technological processes; chemical and physical modification techniques for biomass and fiber processing to improve their properties and compatibility; material properties; and most importantly, their possible applications.

Prof. Dr. Barbara Gawdzik
Prof. Olena Sevastyanova
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Physical, Mechanical and Acoustic Properties of Arundo donax L. Biomass in Low Pressure and Temperature Particleboards
Polymers 2020, 12(6), 1361; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12061361 - 17 Jun 2020
Abstract
Traditionally, plant fibres have been used as a raw material for manufacturing construction materials; however, in the last century, they have been replaced by new mineral and synthetic materials with manufacturing processes that consume a large amount of energy. The objective of this [...] Read more.
Traditionally, plant fibres have been used as a raw material for manufacturing construction materials; however, in the last century, they have been replaced by new mineral and synthetic materials with manufacturing processes that consume a large amount of energy. The objective of this study was to determine the mechanical, physical and acoustic properties of panels made from giant reed residues. The article focuses on evaluating the acoustic absorption of the boards for use in buildings. The materials used were reed particles and urea–formaldehyde was used as an adhesive. The panels were produced with three particle sizes and the influence that this parameter had on the properties of the board was evaluated. To determine the absorption coefficient, samples were tested at frequencies ranging from 50 to 6300 Hz. The results showed that the boards had a medium absorption coefficient for the low and high frequency range, with significant differences depending on the particle size. The boards with 2–4 mm particles could be classified as Class D sound absorbers, while boards with particle sizes of 0.25–1 mm showed the greatest sound transmission loss. Unlike the acoustic properties, the smaller the particle size used, the better the mechanical properties of the boards. The results showed that this may be an appropriate sound insulation material for commercial use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass-Derived Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Adding Offcuts and Trims with a Recycling Approach on the Properties of High-Density Fibrous Composites
Polymers 2020, 12(6), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12061327 - 10 Jun 2020
Abstract
The sizeable global production of wood-based products requires new sources of raw material, but also creates large quantities of wastes or composites that do not comply with requirements. In this study, the influence of different shares of recovered high-density fiberboards (HDF-r), reversed into [...] Read more.
The sizeable global production of wood-based products requires new sources of raw material, but also creates large quantities of wastes or composites that do not comply with requirements. In this study, the influence of different shares of recovered high-density fiberboards (HDF-r), reversed into the production, on industrial HDF properties, has been examined. HDF-r may be a suitable partial substitute for raw pinewood for industrial HDF production. Although most of the mechanical properties, as well as thickness swelling and water absorption, had a linear decrease with the increase in the share of HDF-r share, the elaborated boards met most of the commercial requirements (EN 622-5). The property that did not meet the requirements was the internal bond strength for panels with 10% of HDF-r. The presented results show that, after some adjustments, it should be possible to produce HDF boards with up to 10% of recycled HDF being able to meet all commercial requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass-Derived Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation, Thermal, and Mechanical Characterization of UV-Cured Polymer Biocomposites with Lignin
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1159; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051159 - 19 May 2020
Abstract
The preparation and the thermal and mechanical characteristics of lignin-containing polymer biocomposites were studied. Bisphenol A glycerolate (1 glycerol/phenol) diacrylate (BPA.GDA) was used as the main monomer, and butyl acrylate (BA), 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (EHA) or styrene (St) was used as the reactive diluent. [...] Read more.
The preparation and the thermal and mechanical characteristics of lignin-containing polymer biocomposites were studied. Bisphenol A glycerolate (1 glycerol/phenol) diacrylate (BPA.GDA) was used as the main monomer, and butyl acrylate (BA), 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (EHA) or styrene (St) was used as the reactive diluent. Unmodified lignin (L) or lignin modified with methacryloyl chloride (L-M) was applied as an ecofriendly component. The influences of the lignin, its modification, and of the type of reactive diluent on the properties of the composites were investigated. In the biocomposites with unmodified lignin, the lignin mainly acted as a filler, and it seemed that interactions occurred between the hydroxyl groups of the lignin and the carbonyl groups of the acrylates. When methacrylated lignin was applied, it seemed to take part in the creation of a polymer network. When styrene was added as a reactive diluent, the biocomposites had a more homogeneous structure, and their thermal resistance was higher than those with acrylate monomers. The use of lignin and its methacrylic derivative as a component in polymer composites promotes sustainability in the plastics industry and can have a positive influence on environmental problems related to waste generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass-Derived Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of the Thermal Insulation and Fire-Resistance Capacity of Particleboards Made from Vine (Vitis vinifera L.) Prunings
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1147; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051147 - 17 May 2020
Abstract
In Europe, vine (Vitis vinifera L.) prunings are one of the most abundant types of agricultural waste. It is, therefore, essential to organize the removal of vine waste from the fields in order to prevent the spread of fires, pests, or diseases. [...] Read more.
In Europe, vine (Vitis vinifera L.) prunings are one of the most abundant types of agricultural waste. It is, therefore, essential to organize the removal of vine waste from the fields in order to prevent the spread of fires, pests, or diseases. Using plant biomass in buildings will help achieve greater energy efficiency and cause less environmental pollution. The objectives of this work were to minimize burning of agricultural waste, reduce the use of natural wood, and obtain a product by using vine pruning waste to manufacture particleboards, assessing their use as an insulating material and their fire-resistance qualities. Eight types of boards were manufactured with vine prunings (two particle sizes, two times, and two pressures), using 9% by weight of urea-formaldehyde as a bonding resin. Experimental tests were conducted to determine the physical, mechanical, thermal, and fire-resistance properties. In general, the panels manufactured performed well as a thermal insulating material with a conductivity between 0.0642 and 0.0676 W/m·K and a classification of Bd0 according to the European standards on fire resistance; some of them may be used to manufacture furniture, interior décor, and load-bearing panels in dry conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass-Derived Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Consolidation of Fir Wood by Poly(vinyl butyral-co-vinyl alcohol-co-vinyl acetate) Treatment: Study of Surface and Mechanical Characteristics
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1039; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051039 - 02 May 2020
Abstract
The ability of poly(vinyl butyral-co-vinyl alcohol-co-vinyl acetate) (PVBVA) to consolidate Fir wood was studied in terms of the surface and mechanical properties’ changes. Two variables were considered to treat the wood: (i) the concentration (5 and 10 wt.%) of [...] Read more.
The ability of poly(vinyl butyral-co-vinyl alcohol-co-vinyl acetate) (PVBVA) to consolidate Fir wood was studied in terms of the surface and mechanical properties’ changes. Two variables were considered to treat the wood: (i) the concentration (5 and 10 wt.%) of PVBVA solutions and (ii) the method of application (brushing and immersion). The presence of PVBVA on the wood surfaces was confirmed by infrared spectroscopy. Surface roughness measured by optical profilometry did not reveal changes in the topography of the samples, and appropriate visual appearance was confirmed. Contact angle measurements showed that a droplet of the 10%-PVBVA solution needed ~50 s to reach the same contact angle decreasing rate as that measured for the 5%-PVBVA solution, suggesting there was some kind of induction time till the spreading process was no longer controlled by the viscosity, but by the solution-wood interactions. Water contact angle (WCA) measurements proved a more hydrophobic surface of the PVBVA-treated samples, compared to untreated wood. Mechanical characterization of the samples was done macroscopically by a three-point bending test and locally by the Shore D and Martens hardness (MH). Only results from MH experiments provided comparative results, indicating that treatment with PVBVA solutions increased wood hardness locally, being enhanced with solution concentration. The best surface mechanical properties were obtained for the samples immersed in the 10%-PVBVA solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass-Derived Polymers)
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