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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 325426, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/325426
Research Article

Changes in the Material Characteristics of Maize Straw during the Pretreatment Process of Methanation

1College of Agronomy, Northwest A&F University, P.O. Box 95, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
2The Research Center of Recycle Agricultural Engineering and Technology of Shaanxi Province, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
3College of Forestry, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
4Institute of Geography Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

Received 26 March 2012; Revised 30 July 2012; Accepted 30 July 2012

Academic Editor: Anuj K. Chandel

Copyright © 2012 Yongzhong Feng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Pretreatment technology is important to the direct methanation of straw. This study used fresh water, four bacterium agents (stem rot agent, “result” microbe decomposition agent, straw pretreatment composite bacterium agent, and complex microorganism agent), biogas slurry, and two chemical reagents (sodium hydroxide and urea) as pretreatment promoters. Different treatments were performed, and the changes in the straw pH value, temperature, total solid (TS), volatile solid (VS), and carbon-nitrogen ratio (C/N ratio) under different pretreatment conditions were analyzed. The results showed that chemical promoters were more efficient than biological promoters in straw maturity. Pretreatment using sodium hydroxide induced the highest degree of straw maturity. However, its C/N ratio had to be reduced during fermentation. In contrast, the C/N ratio of the urea-pretreated straw was low and was easy to regulate when used as anaerobic digestion material. The biogas slurry pretreatment was followed by pretreatments using four different bacterium agents, among which the effect of the complex microorganism agent (BA4) was more efficient than the others. The current study is significant to the direct and efficient methanation of straw.