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Submitted by on Aug 19, 2021

Straw is an agricultural byproduct made up of the dry stalks of cereal plants that have been stripped of their grain and chaff. It accounts for almost half of cereal crop yields such as barley, oats, rice, rye, and wheat. It may be used for various things, including firewood, animal bedding and feed, thatching, and basket weaving.

Straw is typically harvested and kept in a straw bale, a securely tied bale of straw using twine, wire, or thread. Straw bales can be square, rectangular, or circular, and depending on the type of baler employed, they can be enormous.

Straw is used in a variety of ways today and the past, including:

Straw can be provided to cattle or horses on a near-maintenance energy need as part of the roughage component of their diet. It has a minimal amount of digestible calories and nutrients (as opposed to hay, which is much more nutritious).

In cold climes, the heat created by microbes in a herbivore’s stomach digesting straw can be beneficial in regulating body temperature. It should always be limited to a portion of the diet due to the danger of impaction and its low nutritional profile. It can be fed whole or cut into small pieces, referred to as trash.

Bee skeps and linen baskets are fashioned from continuous lengths of coiled and tied straw. Lip work is the term for this procedure.

In many regions of the world, the straw-filled mattress, also known as a palliasse, is still utilized.

It’s widely used as ruminant and horse bedding. It may be used as bedding and food for tiny animals, but because straw is exceptionally sharp, it frequently causes damage to the mouthnose, and eyes.

Straw is increasingly being used as a carbon-neutral energy source, particularly for biobutanol. Briquettes made of straw or hay are a biofuel alternative to coal.

Straw, which had previously been processed into briquettes, was fed into a biogas plant at Aarhus University in Denmark as part of a test to determine whether better gas yields could be achieved.

In the EU, the use of straw in large-scale biomass power plants is becoming more common, with many units already operational. Straw is either utilized directly as bales or is densified into pellets, allowing the feedstock to be transported over greater distances. Finally, straw torrefaction with pelletization is gaining popularity since it improves the resource’s energy density, allowing it to be transported even further.

Because torrefied straw pellets are hydrophobic, this processing step makes storage considerably easier. Torrefied straw pellets may be directly co-fired with coal or natural gas at excessively high rates, using existing coal and gas processing infrastructure.

Because torrefied straw pellets have better structural, chemical, and combustion characteristics than coal, they may be used to completely replace coal and convert a coal plant into a biomass-fueled power plant. In current IGCC facilities, first-generation pellets are limited to a 15% co-firing rate.

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