Biochar from pyrolyzed Tibetan Yak dung as a novel additive in ensiling sweet sorghum: An alternate to the hazardous use of Yak dung as a fuel in the home

Yanfu Bai, Muhammad Khalid Rafiq, Shanshan Li, A. Allan Degen, Ondřej Mašek, Hongwen Sun, Huawen Han, Ting Wang, Stephen Joseph, Robert Thomas Bachmann, Rajesh K. Sani, Ruijun Long, Zhanhuan Shang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Yak dung is used as fuel in Tibetan homes; however, this use is hazardous to health. An alternative use of the dung that would be profitable and offset the loss as a fuel would be very beneficial. Sweet sorghum silage with yak dung biochar as an additive was compared with a control silage with no additives and three silages with different commercial additives, namely Lactobacillus buchneri, Lactobacillus plantarum and Acremonium cellulase. Biochar-treated silage had a significantly greater concentration of water-soluble carbohydrates than the other silages (76 vs 12.4–45.8 g/kg DM) and a greater crude protein content (75.5 vs 61.4 g/kg DM), lactic acid concentration (40.7 vs 27.7 g/kg DM) and gross energy yield (17.8 vs 17.4 MJ/kg) than the control silage. Biochar-treated and control silages did not differ in in vitro digestibility and in total gas (507 vs 511 L/kg DM) and methane production (57.9 vs 57.1 L/kg DM). Biochar inhibited degradation of protein and water-soluble carbohydrates and enhanced lactic acid production, which improved storability of feed. It was concluded that yak dung biochar is an efficient, cost-effective ensiling additive. The profit could offset the loss of dung as fuel and improve the health of Tibetan people.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123647
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Volume403
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • In vitro fermentation
  • Methane emission
  • Silage agent
  • Yak dung biochar

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