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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

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Biodegradation of nonlignocellulosic substances II: physical and chemical properties of sawdust before and after use as artificial soil

Abstract

The physical properties of sawdust including porosity, water retention, and water drainage were analyzed to prove its suitability for use as an artificial soil in the automatic decomposer-extinguisher (GADE) machine. The physical and chemical properties of residual sawdust from the GADE machine were also analyzed, the mechanical abrasion of sawdust in the GADE machine was tested, and the morphology of this residue was observed through a scanning electron microscope to investigate changes of these properties in the medium of decomposing garbage. Sawdust, which showed a lower specific gravity and larger porosity than soil, is considered capable of supplying air to bacteria. It was found that sawdust became worn from the operation of the machine. The spaces of residual sawdust were still observed, but water drainage decreased. The portion of hollocellulose in residual sawdust decreased, although the extractives in it increased. Results indicated that the capacity of sawdust to function as an artificial soil in the GADE machine was decreased owing not only to the destruction of sawdust grain but also to the adherence of products from decomposition, such that sawdust needed to be replaced every few months.

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Correspondence to Sakae Horisawa.

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Horisawa, S., Sunagawa, M., Tamai, Y. et al. Biodegradation of nonlignocellulosic substances II: physical and chemical properties of sawdust before and after use as artificial soil. J Wood Sci 45, 492–497 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00538959

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Key words

  • Garbage
  • Sawdust
  • Porosity
  • Water retention
  • Water drainage