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  • Author: André Ferraz x
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Abstract

In biopulping, efficient wood colonization by a selected white-rot fungus depends on previous wood chip decontamination to avoid the growth of primary molds. Although simple to perform in the laboratory, in large-scale biopulping trials, complete wood decontamination is difficult to achieve. Furthermore, the use of fungal growth promoters such as corn steep liquor enhances the risk of culture contamination. This paper evaluates the ability of the biopulping fungus Ceriporiopsis subvermispora to compete with indigenous fungi in cultures of fresh or poorly decontaminated Eucalyptus grandis wood chips. While cultures containing autoclaved wood chips were completely free of contaminants, primary molds grew rapidly when non-autoclaved wood chips were used, resulting in heavily contaminated cultures, regardless of the C. subvermispora inoculum/wood ratio evaluated (5, 50 and 3000 mg mycelium kg−1 wood). Studies on benomyl-amended medium suggested that the fungi involved competed by consumption of the easily available nutrient sources, with C. subvermispora less successful than the contaminant fungi. The use of acid-washed wood chips decreased the level of such contaminant fungi, but production of manganese peroxidase and xylanases was also decreased under these conditions. Nevertheless, chemithermomechanical pulping of acid-washed samples biotreated under non-aseptic conditions gave similar fibrillation improvements compared to samples subjected to the standard biodegradation process using autoclaved wood chips.

Abstract

The effect of different culture conditions have been evaluated concerning the extracellular enzyme activities of the white-rot fungus Ceriporiopsis subvermispora growing on Eucalyptus grandis wood. The consequence of the varied fungal pretreatment on a subsequent chemithermomechanical pulping (CTMP) was addressed. In all cultures, manganese peroxidase (MnP) and xylanase were the predominant extracellular enzymes. The biopulping efficiency was evaluated based on the amount of fiber bundles obtained after the first fiberizing step and the fibrillation levels of refined pulps. It was found that the MnP levels in the cultures correlated positively with the biopulping benefits. On the other hand, xylanase and total oxalate levels did not vary significantly. Accordingly, it was not possible to determine whether MnP accomplishes the effect alone or depends on synergic action of other extracellular agents. Pulp strength and fiber size distribution were also evaluated. The average fiber length of CTMP pulps prepared from untreated wood chips was 623 μm. Analogous values were observed for most of the biopulps; however, significant amounts of shorter fibers were found in the biopulp prepared from wood chips biotreated in cultures supplemented with glucose plus corn-steep liquor. Despite evidence of reduced average fiber length, biopulps prepared from these wood chips presented the highest improvement in tensile indexes (+28% at 23° Schopper-Riegler).

Abstract

In the present study, it was evaluated how two different culture conditions for the biotreatment of Eucalyptus grandis by Ceriporiopsis subvermispora affect a subsequent high-yield kraft pulping process. Under the varied culture conditions investigated, different extracellular enzyme activities were observed. Manganese-peroxidase (MnP) secretion was 3.7 times higher in cultures supplemented with glucose plus corn-steep liquor (glucose/CSL) as compared to non-supplemented (NS) cultures. The biotreated samples underwent diverse levels of wood component degradation as losses of weight and lignin were increased in glucose/CSL cultures. Mass balances for lignin removal during kraft pulping showed that delignification was facilitated when both biotreated wood samples were cooked. Delignification efficiency did not correlate positively with MnP levels in the cultures. On the other hand, biopulps from NS and glucose/CSL cultures saved 27% and 38% beating time to achieve 28° Schopper-Riegler freeness during refining, respectively. Biopulps disposed of decreased tensile and tear resistances, thus easier refining of the biokraft pulps seems to be a consequence of less resistant fiber walls. Improved beatability of biopulps was tentatively related to short fibers and fines formation during refining. We suggest that to some extent polysaccharide depolymerization occurred during the biotreatment, which also resulted in diminished pulp yields in the case of glucose/CSL cultures.

This paper proposes the application of computational intelligence techniques to assist complex problems concerning lightning in transformers. In order to estimate the currents related to lightning in a transformer, a neural tool is presented. ATP has generated the training vectors. The input variables used in Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) were the wave front time, the wave tail time, the voltage variation rate and the output variable is the maximum current in the secondary of the transformer. These parameters can define the behavior and severity of lightning. Based on these concepts and from the results obtained, it can be verified that the overvoltages at the secondary of transformer are also affected by the discharge waveform in a similar way to the primary side. By using the tool developed, the high voltage process in the distribution transformers can be mapped and estimated with more precision aiding the transformer project process, minimizing empirics and evaluation errors, and contributing to minimize the failure rate of transformers.

Abstract

Eucalyptus globulus Labill. is a short-fibre resource for pulp and paper production. Ten different E. globulus genotypes with varied pulpwood quality and chemical composition were evaluated under kraft pulping conditions. Characterisation of the wood and pulp samples by thioacidolysis indicated that the content of syringyl units in β-O-4 linkages (S-β-O-4) was distinct for the studied genotypes. The highest S-β-O-4 levels were detected in the samples with the lowest original lignin and highest glucan levels. This group of samples provided the pulps with the lowest final lignin content at higher yields. UV microspectrophotometric (UMSP) evaluation of the wood chips revealed that the samples with the lowest lignin levels have the lowest UV absorbances at 278 nm (A278 nm) in the secondary walls (S2). During kraft pulping, lignin from the S2 was dissolved, whereas lignins from the middle lamella and cell corner lignin was not removed not even for prolonged reaction periods, independently of the evaluated genotype. The A278 nm values of the S2 were significantly lower in the pulps from the genotypes with less original lignin content.

Abstract

Pinus radiata D. Don wood chips were submitted to a hydrothermal (HT) process, which is a pretreatment with pressurized water at P-factors of 20 (E1) and 1200 (E2), leading to 27% and 56% of hemicellulose removal, respectively. The residual wood chips were pulped by the chemithermomechanical (CTMP) and kraft processes. The pulp yield in the HT/CTMP process was in the range of 56–75%. The cellulose yields were not affected by the HT pretreatment, whereas the solubilization of hemicelluloses and lignin was intensified. The HT process provided energy savings in the refining of CTMP pulps, and the E1/CTMP pulp had a similar tensile and increased tear strength as the control wood. For kraft pulping, the HT wood chips demanded more active alkali (AA) to achieve a κ number (KN) of 30, and consequently, a decrease in pulp yield was observed (47.2% yield in the control and 44.4% and 37.8% in the E1 and E2 pulps, respectively). The fiber length decreased in the E1 and E2 kraft pulps compared with their control samples. In the E1 pulps, the tensile, tear, and burst indexes decreased by 10%, 25%, and 30%, respectively. Considering the low hemicellulose content and pulp viscosity in the range of 800–900 ml g-1, the mild HT process of P. radiata would be better suited for preparing cellulose-rich materials instead of paper-grade pulps under the biorefinery concept.

Abstract

Biopulping of Eucalyptus grandis wood chips with Phanerochaete chrysosporium RP-78 was evaluated under non-aseptic conditions in laboratory and mill wood-yard. The ability of P. chrysosporium to compete with indigenous fungi present in fresh wood chips was notorious under controlled laboratory experiments. A subsequent step involved an industrial test performed with 10-ton of fresh wood chips inoculated and maintained at 37±3°C for 39 days in a biopulping pilot plant. Biotreated wood chips were pulped in a chemithermomechanical pulping mill. Net energy consumption during refining was 745 kWh ton-1 and 610 kWh ton-1 of processed pulp for control and biotreated wood chips, respectively. Accordingly, 18.5% net energy saving could be achieved. Biopulps contained lower shive content and had improved strength properties compared to control pulps. Tensile index improved from 25±1 N m g-1 to 33.6±0.5 N m g-1 and delamination strength from 217±19 kPa to 295±30 kPa.

Abstract

Background

The aim of the present study was to investigate the correlation between the triglyceride/glucose index (TyG index) and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Additionally, we compared the ability of the TyG index and triglycerides/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (TG/HDL-c) index and the combination of these two indices (TyG index plus TG/HDL-c) to predict insulin resistance (IR) in South American overweight and obese children and adolescents.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was carried out in 345 overweight adolescents aged 10–18 years, from both the sexes. The TyG index was calculated as Ln (fasting triglycerides [mg/dL] × fasting glucose [mg/dL])/2, while the TG/HDL-c index was calculated by the division of TG (mg/dL) by HDL-c (mg/dL). HOMA-IR was calculated with the formula: fasting insulin (FI) (U/mL) × fasting glucose (mmol/L)/22.5. The cut-off point used to determine the presence of IR was HOMA-IR ≥ 3.16.

Results

The TyG index showed a positive correlation with HOMA-IR. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of the TyG index was 0.74, indicating good sensitivity (75.7%) and specificity (67.4%). Furthermore, the TyG index cut-off point of >4.44 was established for IR prediction in this population.

Conclusions

The TyG index is a simple and cost-effective surrogate marker of IR in South American overweight children and adolescents. Moreover, due to its good accessibility, it can be used in large epidemiological studies.