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Quality and Property Changes in Rice Straw During Long Term Storage

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  036091,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15406)
Authors:   S. L. Blunk, M. W. Yore, M. D. Summers, G. K. Lau, S. T. Tang, and B. M. Jenkins
Keywords:   Biomass, crop residues, rice straw, storage, bales, biodegradation, quality, properties, self-heating, bioenergy

The annual harvest of rice straw makes long-term storage necessary if the straw is to be available throughout the year. Rice straw has potential applications in many areas including erosion control, power generation, fuels, animal feed, and building materials. This yearlong experiment evaluated quality changes of baled rice straw in various stack configurations under different environmental exposure. Large rectangular bales (0.9 x 1.2 x 2.4 m, approximately 400 kg each) were placed indoors, under a simulated pole-barn, or left in the open. The outdoor stacks were either tarped both top and bottom, top tarped only, or left uncovered. The core temperature of each bale was continuously recorded. Core samples of each bale were collected at 3 month intervals to determine moisture, heating value, chemical and structural composition including NDF, ADF, lignin, and cell contents, proximate analysis, and concentration of acidinsoluble ash. Although not all analyses are so far complete, dry matter and organic matter losses over one year storage were found to be proportional to the horizontal surface area exposed to precipitation with 40 to 60% loss for fully uncovered bales and 10 to 20% loss for half-open bales. Short exposures to single storm events such as by loss of tarp was also sufficient to cause 10-20% loss of organic matter.

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