Effect of Microaerobic Fermentation in Preprocessing Fibrous Lignocellulosic Materials


Amending soil with organic matter is common in agricultural and logging practices. Such amendments have benefits to soil fertility and crop yields. These benefits may be increased if material is preprocessed before introduction into soil. We analyzed the efficiency of microaerobic fermentation (MF), also referred to as Bokashi, in preprocessing fibrous lignocellulosic (FLC) organic materials using varying produce amendments and leachate treatments. Adding produce amendments increased leachate production and fermentation rates and decreased the biological oxygen demand of the leachate. Continuously draining leachate without returning it to the fermentors led to acidification and decreased concentrations of polysaccharides (PS) in leachates. PS fragmentation and the production of soluble metabolites and gases stabilized in fermentors in about 2–4 weeks. About 2 % of the carbon content was lost as CO2. PS degradation rates, upon introduction of processed materials into soil, were similar to unfermented FLC. Our results indicate that MF is insufficient for adequate preprocessing of FLC material.

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This work was supported by a sustainability initiative grant from the Miller Foundation at PSU, by a grant from the Graduate School at PSU and by Bokashicycle LLC.

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Correspondence to Radu Popa.

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Alattar, M.A., Green, T.R., Henry, J. et al. Effect of Microaerobic Fermentation in Preprocessing Fibrous Lignocellulosic Materials. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 167, 909–917 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12010-012-9717-5

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  • Lignocellulose
  • Microaerobic fermentation
  • Bokashi
  • Polysaccharides
  • Carbon recycling
  • Soil fertilizers