Fungal upgrading of wheat straw for straw-thermoplastics production
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- Houghton, T.P., Thompson, D.N., Hess, J.R. et al. Appl Biochem Biotechnol (2004) 113: 71. doi:10.1385/ABAB:113:1-3:071
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Combining biologic pretreatment with storage is an innovative approach for improving feedstock characteristics and cost, but the magnitude of responses of such systems to upsets is unknown. Unsterile wheat straw stems were upgraded for 12 wk with Pleurotus ostreatus at constant temperature to estimate the variation in final compositions with variations in initial moisture and inoculum. Degradation rates and conversions increased with both moisture and inoculum. A regression analysis indicated that system performance was quite stable with respect to inoculum and moisture content after 6 wk of treatment. Scale-up by 150× indicated that system stability and final straw composition are sensitive to inoculum source, history, and inoculation method. Comparative testing of straw-thermoplastic composites produced from upgraded stems is under way.