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DA-PhilRice introduces eco heating technology
Time:14 May 2015
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The Department of Agriculture?ˉs Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) has started the introduction and pilot testing of a machine that processes rice hull into biochar which can be used for cooking, baking, sterilizing and heating brooding chicks.

Biochar?acommonly called charcoal?ais obtained from the pyrolysis of biomass, a process that heats and carbonizes biomass in the absence or under reduction of oxygen.

The cogeneration of biochar and heat from rice hull has been made possible with the development of the continuous rice hull (CtRH) carbonizer by PhilRice scientist Dr. Ricardo Orge, who leads the research institution?ˉs Coping with Climate Change Program.

Dr. Orge is also the Central Luzon?ˉs 2015 Gawad Saka Outstanding Agricultural Scientist.

The CtRH, being a smokeless carbonizer, and which uses agricultural waste such as rice hull, is not only environment friendly but is also cost-efficient.

While the machine processes rice hull into biochar, it generates heat that is then recovered in the carbonizer attachments. These include high-volume cooker, baking oven, sterilizer for mushroom fruiting bags, or heater for brooding chicks. Using the CtRH-generated heat replaces conventional sources such as those produced using LPG or electricity.

The high-volume cooker is now being pilot-tested in Bulacan and Aurora.

?°It was developed for farmers who want to sell cooked agricultural products such as corn, banana and peanuts,?± Dr. Orge said.

Dr. Orge added that blueprints are being finalized for its commercialization, together with the CtRH carbonizer.

The biochar produced from rice hull, which could otherwise be burned into useless ash or biodegrade to greenhouse gases, can be used as organic fertilizer when combined with animal manure.

The biochar also resists degradation and traps carbon?aa greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming?ain soils for hundreds of years. Hence, biochar has a significant carbon sequestration value.

Dr. Orge said that based on studies, biochar is a potential solution to address some of the most urgent environmental problems the world currently face such as global warming, soil degradation, water pollution by agro-chemicals, and waste management.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that inventions similar to Dr. Orge?ˉs are important to make agricultural production less costly and harmful to the environment, more efficient, and more adaptable to climate change. He encouraged stakeholders to utilize these technologies, and support efforts to improve and replicate these.

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