Megan Marshall, Farzaneh Rezaei, Tom Richard
Postdoctoral scholar, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University
The benefits of switchgrass as a perennial lignocellulosic feedstock include fewer inputs and reduced erosion. Ensilage is a traditional wet biomass storage technique, relying on moist anaerobic conditions, which could be used to preserve the feedstock prior to bioconversion. The goals of this work were to assess how well lab-scale ensilage simulates bales in the field and also to evaluate, in lab-scale experiments, the potential benefits of added enzyme during ensilage. Critical silage parameters were measured, including pH, monosaccharides, structural composition (cellulose and hemicellulose), and digestability (by simultaneous saccharification and catabolism).