Wheat straw based composting generates a selective substrate for mushroom production. The first phase of this process requires 5 days, and a reduction in time is wished. Here, we aim at understanding the effect of gypsum on the duration of the first phase and the mechanism behind it. Hereto, the regular process with gypsum addition and the same process without gypsum were studied during a 5-day period. The compost quality was evaluated based on compost lignin composition analysed by py-GC/MS and its degradability by a commercial (hemi-)cellulolytic enzyme cocktail. The composting phase lead to the decrease of the pyrolysis products 4-vinylphenol and 4-vinylguaiacol that can be associated with p-coumarates and ferulates linking xylan and lignin. In the regular compost, the enzymatic conversion reached 32 and 39% for cellulose, and 23 and 32% for xylan after 3 and 5 days, respectively. In absence of gypsum similar values were reached after 2 and 4 days, respectively. Thus, our data show that in absence of gypsum the desired compost quality was reached 20% earlier compared to the control process.
Mouthier, T. M. B., Kilic, B., Vervoort, P., Gruppen, H., & Kabel, M. A. (2017). Potential of a gypsum-free composting process of wheat straw for mushroom production. PLoS ONE, 12(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185901