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A PV-battery-powered 12V gas membrane with wood desiccants for postharvest hermetic grain storage

McHenry, M.P., Doepel, D., Onyango, B.O., Lac, S. and de Boer, K. (2015) A PV-battery-powered 12V gas membrane with wood desiccants for postharvest hermetic grain storage. In: McHenry, M.P., Kulshreshtha, S.N. and Lac, S., (eds.) Agriculture Management for Climate Change. Nova Science Publishers, pp. 95-107.

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Around half of agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa is 'lost' or 'wasted' due to lack of an available market, poor handling at postharvest (methods and technology), and through poor road access. Effective postharvest processing is critical to ensure small producers best access local markets in nearby villages. This chapter explores small portable (renewable energy-powered, oil-less) compressors and high-pressure gas membrane technology as technical zero-emission alternatives to selectively purge seed and grain storage systems. The gas membrane uses inert and non-toxic gasses (including nitrogen) which are effective in preventing production loss to pests (fungus, insects, and others) by use of physical and environmental barriers only (i.e., no chemical fumigants) to reduce conducive conditions (especially moisture). Furthermore, the use of simple dry wood desiccants may be also a cost-effective solution for moisture management in sealed seed and grain storage. This chapter demonstrates that while proprietary gas membrane technology is expensive for sub-Saharan African smallholders, commercial arrangements (including generic drug provision at cost) may create a viable tool and foster food security by improved storage for various production conditions under variable climate.

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Nova Science Publishers
Copyright: © 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
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