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Title: Influence of Airflow on Laboratory Storage of High Moisture Corn Stover

Storing high moisture biomass for bioenergy use is a reality in many areas of the country where wet harvest conditions and environmental factors prevent dry storage from being feasible. Aerobic storage of high moisture biomass leads to microbial degradation and self-heating, but oxygen limitation can aid in material preservation. To understand the influence of oxygen presence on high moisture biomass (50 %, wet basis), three airflow rates were tested on corn stover stored in laboratory reactors. Temperature, carbon dioxide production, dry matter loss, chemical composition, fungal abundance, pH, and organic acids were used to monitor the effects of airflow on storage conditions. The results of this work indicate that oxygen availability impacts both the duration of self-heating and the severity of dry matter loss. High airflow systems experienced the greatest initial rates of loss but a shortened microbially active period that limited total dry matter loss (19 %). Intermediate airflow had improved preservation in short-term storage compared to high airflow systems but accumulated the greatest dry matter loss over time (up to 27 %) as a result of an extended microbially active period. Low airflow systems displayed the best performance with the lowest rates of loss and total loss (10more » %) in storage at 50 days. Total structural sugar levels of the stored material were preserved, although glucan enrichment and xylan loss were documented in the high and intermediate flow conditions. By understanding the role of oxygen availability on biomass storage performance, the requirements for high moisture storage solutions may begin to be experimentally defined.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: BioEnergy Research
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; biomass, corn stover, aerobic storage, aeration ra