The solid state (substrate) fermentation of the wheat straw with Pleurotus ostreatus is a complex process implying biological, chemical and physical phenomena linked to the fungus growth and the degradation of the straw. Heat and mass transfer during the removal of the metabolic heat and products is an interesting aspect for scaling up to high-capacity facilities. Accurate heat and mass balances help to forecast the utilities needed in the fermentation rooms. In this work, a heat and mass transfer study was worked out for this agro-industrial process at a larger scale than the standard growth of P.ostreatus in small plastic bags and trays. The study consisted on performing heat transfer and mass (water) transfer balances, finding the accurate description of the transfer mechanisms and calculating the transfer coefficients. The practical goal of the study was to measure the metabolic heat and the water vapour adsorbed from air, in order to design the cooling and venting utilities for the fermentation room, as well as the external spraying need.
Pleurotus ostreatus, SSF, mass and heat transfer