Can I use straw as a raw material input?

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Bob
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Can I use straw as a raw material input?

Postby Bob » Mon May 12, 2008 10:25 am

Here is a message copied from Private Messages to new public topic:
PeterM wrote:A couple of in principle questions about methane digestion.

Can I use straw as a raw material input?

Can straw be chopped up and added to the input to systems where the predominant input is say cow manure? My idea is to take straw that is left over from cereal harvesting and digest this to produce methane. It may be that the manure provides the bacteriology necessary and the straw the predominant source of cellulose.

I guess the answer is already there if I look at the feed bin in a dairy in the milking shed. I am talking about adding large amounts to the manure but not going through a cow's stomachs first.

Conversion to methanol

Is there a process where methane can be converted to methanol? To me, the chemistry sounds simple, take off a hydrogen atom and put a hydroxyl group in its place. However, I am no chemist and the steps involved may be very convoluted, expensive and therefore prohibitive. The idea is that methanol may be a useful way to convert the methane into a liquid product which may have higher value than the methane. It would extend sideways the possible uses for this energy source, including transportation.
The short answer is yes, it's digestible, but the longer answer is that it is not as digestible. It will either take longer, or require more pre-treatment. Both of which might make it less feasible to do. There was quite a bit of discussion about it here a few years ago. Though it was oriented more toward hydrogen production rather than methanol.
Check out this topic.

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Bob
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Re: Can I use straw as a raw material input?

Postby Bob » Mon May 12, 2008 10:44 am

Here is a link to an FAO Document about the feasibility of treating straw for animal feeding. I would guess that the methods required to make it digestible by microbes would be similar.

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nathan_lamothe
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Re: Can I use straw as a raw material input?

Postby nathan_lamothe » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:36 am

<grin>

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Re: Can I use straw as a raw material input?

Postby Bob » Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:26 pm

Whoa! A Nathan sighting. :D

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Re: Can I use straw as a raw material input?

Postby nathan_lamothe » Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:42 pm

ha!

Finally finding time to read that article on straw digestibility and treatments to increase it. Love that some of the data is from 1919. This is some good stuff Bob, thanks for the link!

I am currently unemployed, so I think I will spend some time this winter surfing & write up a version of my idea with data/sources currently available on the net - incredible how much more stuff there is in the 8 years since I first worked with this.

And if time & money allows...

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Re: Can I use straw as a raw material input?

Postby Bob » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:20 am

Wow. Has it been 8 years? Sorry to hear about unemployment, Nathan, but glad that it affords you opportunity to pick this up again. I skimmed the straw treatment article, and found the ammonia treatment (para 79) and the biological treatment (White rot fungi, para 84) sections most interesting. Will be interested to hear more as you get into it.

(Private Mail sent...)


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