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Ensilage Technology for Biomass Pre-treatment and Storage

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

Citation:  Paper number  016019,  2001 ASAE Annual Meeting. (doi: 10.13031/2013.7304) @2001
Authors:   Tom L. Richard, Sophie Proulx, Kenneth J. Moore, Shawn Shouse
Keywords:   Ensilage, biomass, storage, solid-state fermentation, corn stover

As annual crops dry down in the fall the concentration of soluble carbohydrates drops, and ensiling characteristics and product quality change. To determine whether ensilage would be possible with corn stover collected in the fall after the grain harvest, a set of preliminary experiments were conducted during the summer and fall of 2000. These preliminary experiments ensiled post-harvest corn stover at moisture levels ranging from 53 to 85% (wet basis). In all treatments pH dropped to 5 or less within the first week, and remained there for at least six weeks of the eight week experiment. While the higher moisture treatments appeared to remain stable at eight weeks, an increase in pH was observed at this last sampling date in the 53 and 58% moisture treatments, to pH 5.2 and 5.3 respectively. Acetic acid was the dominant acid in this fermentation, in contrast to the lactic acid dominance of conventional ensilage. Significant differences were noted in the specific acids formed at different moisture contents, with butyric and iso-butyric acids increased at high moisture levels, while lactic and propionic acids were maximized at the lower moisture levels in the trial.

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