Joel J. Pawlak

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Cellulose nanocrystals (CN) were used to reinforce nanofibers in composite mats produced via electrospinning of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) with two different concentrations of acetyl groups. Ultrathin cross-sections of the obtained nanocomposites consisted of fibers with maximum diameters of about 290 nm for all the CN loads investigated (from 0 to 15% CN(More)
Black liquor is a pulping waste generated by the kraft process that has potential for downstream bioconversion. A microorganism was isolated from a black liquor sample collected from the Department of Forest Biomaterials at North Carolina State University. The organism was identified as Paenibacillus glucanolyticus using 16S rRNA sequence analysis and was(More)
The effect of humidity on the morphological and thermomechanical properties of electrospun poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) fiber mats reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals (CNs) was investigated. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images revealed that the incorporation of CNs improved the morphological stability of the composite fibers even in high humidity(More)
Films of microfibrillated celluloses (MFCs) from pulps of different yields, containing varying amounts of extractives, lignin, and hemicelluloses, were produced by combining refining and high-pressure homogenization techniques. MFC films were produced using a casting-evaporation technique and the physical and mechanical properties (including density,(More)
The objective of this research was to synthesize and characterize high-value foam gel materials with unique absorptive and mechanical properties from starch citrate-chitosan. The effects of starch citrate concentration, pH, solid to liquid ratio, reaction time, and temperature on absorbency, weight loss in water, and strength were determined. The(More)
The interactions with water and the physical properties of microfibrillated celluloses (MFCs) and associated films generated from wood pulps of different yields (containing extractives, lignin, and hemicelluloses) have been investigated. MFCs were produced by combining mechanical refining and a high pressure treatment using a homogenizer. The produced MFCs(More)
Lignocellulose is a term for plant materials that are composed of matrices of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Lignocellulose is a renewable feedstock for many industries. Lignocellulosic materials are used for the production of paper, fuels, and chemicals. Typically, industry focuses on transforming the polysaccharides present in lignocellulose into(More)
Clostridium ljungdahlii is an important synthesis gas-fermenting bacterium used in the biofuels industry, and a preliminary investigation showed that it has some tolerance to oxygen when cultured in rich mixotrophic medium. Batch cultures not only continue to grow and consume H2, CO, and fructose after 8% O2 exposure, but fermentation product analysis(More)
Ultrathin films of aligned cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) were assembled on mica supports by using electric field-assisted shear. The relationship between polarization gradients and strain mechanics of the obtained films was examined by monitoring their deflection with an atomic force microscope operated in contact mode. The piezoelectric response of the(More)