Phanerochaete chrysosporium treatment is less effective as a biological pretreatment on feedstock with larger particle sizes. We hypothesized that the improved effectiveness of the pretreatment when smaller particle sizes are used may be due to the inherently higher bulk density with smaller particle sizes. The effects of substrate bulk density and particle size on the efficacy of P. chrysosporium pretreatment of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) was tested experimentally. Phanerochaete chrysosporium was grown on senesced switchgrass (2 different particle sizes) with various bulk densities. In all treatments, the fungal-pretreated samples released more glucose during enzymatic saccharification than the control sample. Substrate bulk density was a statistically significant factor in explaining the variation in the amount of glucose released per gram of substrate used. However, the particle size was not found to be a significant factor. On-farm switchgrass pretreatment may not require particle size reduction if the switchgrass is supplied in high-density bales.

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Published in BioResources, v. 11, no. 3, p. 7500-7511.

Per the editorial policy of BioResources: “Users have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles in the journal, and users can use, reuse, and build upon the material in the journal for non-commercial purposes as long as attribution is given when appropriate or necessary.”

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The authors sincerely acknowledge the financial support of the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture, Biomass Research and Development Initiative grant #2011-10006-30363. This work is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hatch- Multistate project under accession number 1003563.

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This is publication No. 16-05-030 of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and is published with the approval of the Director.