Maize Straw as a Valuable Energetic Material for Biogas Plant Feeding

Materials (Basel). 2019 Nov 22;12(23):3848. doi: 10.3390/ma12233848.


Maize has great potential, especially as a substrate for biofuels production. The aim of this paper is to analyze the possibility of usage in methane fermentation maize straw harvested in different weather conditions, which had an influence on different physical parameters, mainly the dry mass content. The research has shown that maize straw harvested in Central-Eastern Europe can have a broad spectrum of dry mass content, which is related to diverse weather conditions during autumn. However, independently from moisture content, maize straw can be a good (for more wet material) or very good (for more dried straw) substrate for the biogas plant. With the methane productivity reaching 201-207 m3/Mg of fresh mass, this material is a significantly better substrate than that typically used in Europe maize silage (approximately 105 m3/Mg FM). It was noted that the retention time for maize straw (36-42 days) is longer than in the case of maize silage (less than 30 days). However, this difference is quite small and can be accepted by the biogas plant operators.

Keywords: biogas; corn stover; maize straw; methane production; substrate.