Open-Air Drying of Cut and Windrowed Short-Rotation Poplar Stems.
Civitarese, V.; Spinelli, R.; Barontini, M.; Gallucci, F.; Santangelo, E.; Acampora, A.; Scarfone, A.; Del Giudice, A.; Pari, L.
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Two-pass harvesting of short-rotation forestry plantations
offers the opportunity to accumulate large biomass
stores without occupying costly industrial areas, while letting
the biomass dry before comminution. This study aimed at
developing a simple model for predicting moisture content
reduction of short-rotation forestry poplar stems felled and
windrowed in the field. In a controlled experiment, cut stem
windrows were built and left in the field for up to 6 months
(from early December to early June). Thus stored, poplar
stems incurred a reduction of moisture content between 10
and 20 percent points. Drying rate varied with the period of
storage, and it was faster for later felling dates. Precipitation
accounted for 20 to 40 % of the drying rate. No dry matter
losses due to microbial activity were recorded during the
whole storage period, lasting up to 6 months. The models
developed with this study are simple and robust, and allow
precision management of collection operations in order to
guarantee a constant flow of biomass to user plants.