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Article

Establishment of a Laboratory Scale Set-Up with Controlled Temperature and High Humidity to Investigate Dry Matter Losses of Wood Chips from Poplar during Storage

1
Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB), Max-Eyth-Allee 100, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
2
Department for Environmental, Process and Energy Engineering, Management Center Innsbruck, Maximilianstrasse 2, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
3
Department of Microbiology, University of Innsbruck, Technikerstrasse 25d, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Blas Mola-Yudego
Forests 2022, 13(3), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13030459
Received: 26 January 2022 / Revised: 3 March 2022 / Accepted: 12 March 2022 / Published: 15 March 2022
The aim of this work was to improve the understanding of dry matter losses (DML) that occur in wood chips during the initial phase of storage in outdoor piles. For this purpose, a laboratory scale storage chamber was developed and investigated regarding its ability to recreate the conditions that chips undergo during the initial phase of outdoor storage. Three trials with poplar Max-4 (Populus maximowiczii Henry × Populus nigra L.) chips were performed for 6–10 weeks in the storage chamber under controlled temperature and assisted humidity. Two different set-ups were investigated to maintain a high relative humidity (RH) inside the storage chamber; one using water containers, and one assisted with a humidifier. Moisture content (MC) and DML of the chips were measured at different storage times to evaluate their storage behaviour in the chamber. Additionally, microbiological analyses of the culturable fraction of saproxylic microbiota were performed, with a focus on mesophilic fungi, but discriminating also xerophilic fungi, and mesophilic bacteria, with focus on actinobacteria, in two trials, to gain a view on the poplar wood chip-inhabiting microorganisms as a function of storage conditions (moisture, temperature) and time. Results show that DML up to 8.8–13.7% occurred in the chips within 6–10 storage weeks. The maximum DML were reached in the trial using the humidifier, which seemed a suitable technique to keep a high RH in the testing chamber, and thus, to analyse the wood chips in conditions comparable to those in outdoor piles during the initial storage phase. View Full-Text
Keywords: dry matter losses; short rotation coppices; poplar wood chips; laboratory scale; cultivable saproxylic microbiota dry matter losses; short rotation coppices; poplar wood chips; laboratory scale; cultivable saproxylic microbiota
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hernandez-Estrada, A.; Pecenka, R.; Dumfort, S.; Ascher-Jenull, J.; Lenz, H.; Idler, C.; Hoffmann, T. Establishment of a Laboratory Scale Set-Up with Controlled Temperature and High Humidity to Investigate Dry Matter Losses of Wood Chips from Poplar during Storage. Forests 2022, 13, 459. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13030459

AMA Style

Hernandez-Estrada A, Pecenka R, Dumfort S, Ascher-Jenull J, Lenz H, Idler C, Hoffmann T. Establishment of a Laboratory Scale Set-Up with Controlled Temperature and High Humidity to Investigate Dry Matter Losses of Wood Chips from Poplar during Storage. Forests. 2022; 13(3):459. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13030459

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hernandez-Estrada, Albert, Ralf Pecenka, Sabrina Dumfort, Judith Ascher-Jenull, Hannes Lenz, Christine Idler, and Thomas Hoffmann. 2022. "Establishment of a Laboratory Scale Set-Up with Controlled Temperature and High Humidity to Investigate Dry Matter Losses of Wood Chips from Poplar during Storage" Forests 13, no. 3: 459. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13030459

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