Tao Shui | ALES Graduate Seminar

Date(s) - 24/06/2020
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES PhD Final Exam Seminar by Tao Shui. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.

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Conference ID:   545459497

Thesis Topic: Thermally Hydrolyzed Specified Risk Materials Modification for Tackifier and Torrefied wood binder Applications

PhD with Dr. David Bressler.

Seminar Abstract:

Tackfiers are widely applied for adhering hydraulic mulch, straw mulch or other fibers for the re-plantation of the lands. Commercially, the tackifiers that are usually used are artificial resins that are chosen for the great adhesion, outstanding water solubility and high viscosity in aqueous solution. Often there are concerns regarding their bio-degradability and potentially toxicity to the soil. On the other hand, the increasing demands for wood pellets as an alternative energy source lead to the development of torrefied wood binder to produce pellets with higher density and durability. However, few recipes were found effective for the pellets production.

In recent studies, peptides collected from the Specified Risk Materials (SRM) via thermal hydrolysis have shown the potential to be used as the feedstock for tackifier and wood binder applications in the aspects of adhesion, water-solubility, bio-degradability as well as the potential non-toxicity to the environment. Nevertheless, even with the competitive properties of SRM-derived peptides, there are still two factors requiring optimization prior to the tackifier and wood binder applications: the resistance against water exposure and the binding property for fibers or torrefied wood particles. Two strategies are thus applied to address these factors. To target at water resistance, the amine side groups in the hydrolyzed SRM have been cross-linked with glutaraldehyde in a non-aqueous condition. Through the cross-linking, the partially water-insoluble tackifier products are successfully approached without compromising the binding property. However, this strategy has no improvement for peptides as torrefied wood binders. On the other hand, to improve the binding property, SRM-derived peptides are employed to react with epoxidized polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) to increase the hydrophilicity. Tackifier products with competitive binding strength to commercial starch and psyllium are finally obtained. Moreover, adding these cross-linked peptides as binders, the density and compression strength of pellets get improved than the normal pellets without compromising the water-resistance of pellets. Through these strategies, promising tackifiers and torrefied wood binder can be developed from not only SRM-derived peptides but also other proteinaceous waste.