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Mountain Pine Beetle-Killed Lodgepole Pine for the Production of Submicron Lignocellulose Fibrils

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The elevated levels of tree mortality attributed to mountain pine beetle (MPB) (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) in western North American forests create forest management challenges. This investigation introduces the production of submicron or nanometer lignocellulose fibrils for value-added materials from the widely available resource represented by dead pines after an outbreak. Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud.), trees from two different times since infestation and a noninfested live tree as a control were used for mechanical fibrillation. Fiber deconstruction down to the micro-/nanoscale from infested wood was performed using mechanical fibrillation, without any chemical (pre)treatment. The effects of fibrillation were monitored as a function of processing time, and the respective products were characterized. The changes in fibril morphology, cellulose crystallinity, water retention value, and cellulase adsorption capacity were determined. Interestingly, no significant differences were found between fibrillated samples from the live and the MPB-killed trees. It can be concluded that MPB-killed lodgepole pine is a suitable feedstock for the production of lignocellulose micro-/nanofibrils.
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Keywords: cell wall deconstruction; cellulose nanofibrils; lignocellulose fibrils; mechanical fibrillation; mountain pine bark beetle

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2014-06-01

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  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
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