alexa Processing cereal straws by steam explosion in a pilot plant to enhance digestibility in ruminants.
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Journal of Fundamentals of Renewable Energy and Applications

Author(s): Viola E, Zimbardi F, Cardinale M, Cardinale G, Braccio G,

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Abstract Wheat, barley and oat straws were treated by steam explosion (SE) and then washed with 50g/l NaOH solution. The SE treatment was optimized at batch scale on the basis of carbohydrate recovery. Stocks of fodder (300kg) were produced at 198 degrees C for 2.5min by a continuous reactor and used for in vivo digestibility tests carried out on sheep. The flow-sheet and the mass balances were obtained for the entire process. For the three straws, the water consumption has been 7.3kg/kg of straw. To delignify and improve the digestibility of the straws, 20g of NaOH/kg straw was used. The yield of fodder, lignin and hemicellulose is dependant on the nature of the starting straw. Delignified fodder (insoluble fraction) can be produced with a yield of 0.64, 0.59, 0.55, respectively, from wheat, barley and oat straw. SE improved the digestibility of the straw by 25\%; alkaline washing further increased it by 9\%. Balanced rations containing, on a DM basis, 1/4 of treated straw, had digestibility coefficients similar to those of commercial rations based on alfalfa. This article was published in Bioresour Technol and referenced in Journal of Fundamentals of Renewable Energy and Applications

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