Energy and Power 2013, 3(3): 27-36

DOI: 10.5923/j.ep.20130303.01

Use of Rice Crops Waste for Energy Production in
Ecuador
Ricardo A. Narváez C.1,* , Richard Blanchard2 , Alfredo Mena3

1
National Institute of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (Instituto Nacional de Eficiencia Energética y Energías Renovables, INER),
Quito, EC170102, Ecuador
2
Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, United
Kingdom
3
Energy Researching Corporation in Ecuador (Corporación para la Investigación Energética, CIE), Quito, Pichincha, EC170118, Ecuador

Abstract The purpose of this paper is to assess the feasibility of energy production fro m rice husk in the Province of Los
Ríos, located in Ecuador. The overall aim is to determine the most convenient energy generation technological path,
considering the amount of resource available, between direct bio mass burning for heat production and electricity (on-grid)
production through steam turbine usage, pyrolysis gasification and plasma gasification, together with silica gel recovery fro m
the rice husk ash. The decision is made based on the technology state of the different options, the energy production rate and
the financial analysis which has a scope of ±30%. Th is purpose requires developing a basic process design with output
streams forecast, cost estimation and financial analysis for each one of the options analysed. A survey identifies three zones in
the study area where rice resource is concentrated with the potential to develop and install suitable power p lants. The
pyrolysis gasification technology presents the most promising solution and a scenario including silica gel recovery increases
the profitability of potential pro jects in all cases.
Keywords Agricultural Waste Bio mass, Rice Husk, Bio mass Energy, Bio mass Burning, Pyrolysis Gasification, Plas ma
Gasification, Bioenergy in Ecuador

producing energy and undertake an economic evaluation of
1. Introduction these. Consideration was also given to creating added value
by producing coproduct silica fro m the post thermo
Significant amounts of agricultural wastes and residues conversion ash residue.
are produced each year. This has been estimated to be 3,758 The first part of the paper describes the rice producing
million tons per year[1] and presents opportunities to use region of Los Rios, by identifying the resource potential and
some of this material for energy generation. Rice is a major identifying suitable locations for energy p roduction fro m rice
world food stuff and about 672 million tons of rice grain crop waste. Subsequently an analysis of different energy
were produced in 2010[2]. In addition, for every ton of rice producing technologies was performed to evaluate the
grain about 1.5 tons of straw are produced and interestingly efficacy of heat production for drying and three electricity
about 200 kg of rice husk. Rice husk is the coating of raw production methods, namely co mbustion, pyrolysis-
rice that is removed in rice milling and is a mixture of gasification and plasma gasification. Following this the
cellu lose, hemi-cellulose and lignin but has a high ash potential for rice husk to produce a co-product were
content of appro ximately 20%[3]. In addition; rice husk ash investigated. This focused upon the production of silica, the
is typically 80-90% silica[4] and could represent a major co mponent of rice husk ash. A financial analysis was
co-product to an energy production system that uses rice then performed on the d ifferent electricity generation
husk as the fuel feedstock. technologies with and without silica production for
In th is s tud y a crit ical tech no -econo mic rev iew is comparative analysis. Conclusions are drawn on the most
performed on energy technologies that can utilize rice husk promising systems.
was te. The aims o f t h is paper were t o q u ant ify t he
availab ility o f rice hus k in the study reg ion Los Rios,
Ecuado r, to co mpare different technolog ical solutions to
2. Los Rios Rice Production Systems
Los Rios is an admin istrative region in central Ecuador. A
* Corresponding author:
ricardo.narvaez@iner.gob.ec (Ricardo A. Narváez C.)
closer analysis of the study region shows access to electricity
Published online at http://journal.sapub.org/ep at around 80% to 86% with higher figures for the southern
Copyright © 2013 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved area[5]. Los Ríos hosts 778 115 inhabitants according to[6],

Like the previous parameter.1.1. Narváez C. It was based in the cropping activities in any given polit ical d ivision plus the yearly rice production together with the seasonal reports database of rice d rying plants within geographical zones presented in[7]. Zones Summary Map rice drying p lants database. In order to correlate the local production winter is appro ximately three times bigger than the summer with the availab ility of rice husk.1. The geographical analysis identified operation plant (7008 wo rking hours per year) and a time concentrations of rice production in specific zones of the considered for maintenance (1752 working hours per year). using the Figure 1.1. a solid fuel. It shows the amount of land utilized for rice regardless the technology to be applied. Resource Evaluation available storage structures for rice husk at the same rice drying facilities.1. 2. this information to obtain rice husk figures due to the base In Ecuador there are two rice harvests annually. The informat ion is given in tons of raw rice or rice cropping analysis of the harvesting data available shows the harvest in hectares per year. Besides this information.85 tons of raw rice identified in Los Rios and are shown in Figure 1 namely : per hectare is taken as the production for rice in the study Northern Zone: San Carlos – Quevedo region[7]. In addition. et al. following sections. Th is enabled the identification of the zones The resource location was the main parameter taken into shown in Figure 1 and establishes the rate of husk fuel account for defining appropriate zones for energy production availability. made by correlat ing the rice cropping information with the Operating the plants with this strategy would require them to capacity of all the rice dry ing plants located in the same operate during July and August outside the rice harvesting political subdivision. then road transportation is required with the possibility of river transportation The proposed limit is that potential sites must be located close to the main routes (equal or lower than 5 km). 2. a correlation with the facilit ies using rice husk. This same informat ion can then be used to This maintenance period is coincident with the dry season in define the annual availability of rice husk per zone. Transportation Facilities This particular parameter considers if power plants are close to the place where the resource is more abundant in order to minimize t ransportation costs. This same parameter is useful to filter the database to eliminate rice dry ing installat ions that are located far fro m the main routes shown in the routes GIS database[9] in the region (above 5 km). Three case study rice producing regions were kg raw rice is considered[8]. 2.2. additional parameters harvesting time for the product was required in order to were investigated using a geographical in formation system establish the daily load for each facility and the production (GIS) to help refine the potential locations as described in the program during a year. The time fro m November to January is . However. this one is considered with the purpose of avoiding high transportation costs. The figure 2.: Use of Rice Crops Waste for Energy Production in Ecuador see Figure 1. the factor 0.28 Ricardo A. study region. facilit ies were identified with 2. Transmission Lines Availability The third factor considered was the availability for grid connection in sitting a facility. Middle zone: Ventanas Southern Zone: Babahoyo 2. Energy Production Facilities Capacity The facilit ies capacity was defined based on the informat ion availab le in the official rice reports provided by the Local Agriculture Authority[7]. Ti me Line for Resource 2.3.22 kg rice husk/ harvest[7].3.2. Rice Production Indexes The available daily load for energy generation had to be The base information for rice production was taken defined and it was related to the electric energy generation fro m[7]. This is the country that incidentally causes electricity shortages. In addition. The production plan included a fully inside the region. it is necessary to convert periods. Again this was principally due to attempting to avoid costly transmission line construction so as to lower investments costs for the project[10]. Considering any potential project has to work with rice husk.

The fo llo wing figures are the starting point for the Figure 2. 15.827 36 (1.5) Ventanas 82 (3.617 Total 68. 3(3): 27-36 29 considered for maintenance.886 .5. in this particular case. which in other words means the figures represent composition and energy content for a 200 single mass unit. Ultimate Analysis Dry Basis Humidity Content % wt. T ime Line for Rice Husk: Production & Potential Consumption power production facilities designing since the final energy output that is considered as the nominal power capacity are The site summary locations and capacities are presented as the result of the raw energy input method each technology follows in Tab le 1. Th is assumption is considering 75% of the Low Calorific Value (dry basis) kJ/ kg 13481 resource that is collected for energy purposes (68. Rice Husk Properties structures are already present. The energy estimation for this survey requires assuming 100 the entire rice husk available along the Province of Los Rios 0 has similar figures for energy content and composition. Table 1. certain transportation costs and rice husk production) and the case proposed for rice husk facilit ies sizing such as solid transporters and gas movers.9) 33. Field observations indicate The main values are presented in Table 2. days obtain an actual raw energy input. uses for the conversion fro m raw energy to electricity. San Carlos – Quevedo 36 (1. so the plants are not planned to 2. It was planned to collect properties necessary to estimate Figure 2 shows the harvest timeline (or non normalized energy and product streams. storage facilities are already availab le. The normalization proposed is to process 250 ton per day Property Units Total Average of rice husk.33 900 Ashes Content % wt. Rice Husk Properties operate during this time.625 214 Total 214 (8. The program requires part o f the resource Porosity % 64. ton O - 500 2.74 SiO2 Content Total % wt. lo w calorific value is used to Time. 7. Energy Avail ability Esti mation 400 It is important to mention that rice husk properties were 300 expressed in an intensive scale. 15.96 700 Elementary Analysis Dry Basis C - 600 H .025 rice husk per year). Energy and Power 2013.64% to be stored after winter harvest. ton/ yr ton/ day (ton/ h) Zone Babahoyo 26. 17.677 Rice Husk. 1 15 46 74 105 135 166 196 227 257 288 319 349 Considering the energy source flow (rice husk) has been already defined on a daily basis.497 O0.4.625 ton Apparent Density kg/m3 102. a kilogram.979 San Carlos – Quevedo 9. storage matters do seem not to be a matter fo r concern because Table 2. Hosting Potential Power Plants Zones Summary Table 3.328 . MW Ventanas 22.0) 14.4) 12.63 800 Fixed Carbon % wt. 59.266 96 (4.0) ton/ day (ton/ h) Input.4) Babahoyo 96 (4. Therefore. management (normalized). CH1.30 Volatiles % wt.732 Remaining Areas 9.646 82 (3.5) 5. Non Normalized Normalized Raw energy inputs were calculated for the already established potential power plants zones and are presented below. Hosting Potential Power Plants Zones Summary Resource Facility Capacity Zone Facility Capacity Raw Energy expected.

5 yr % Negative Negative Rice Steam Enthalpy Overheated Enthalpy Outlet Husk NPV. Raw energy is electricity purposes. Narváez C. Fired Heaters Transfer Areas technical brochure method for this stage of the process. The steam carries the energy to a steam turbine 2 8. The proposal includes a steam cycle with a condensation since it consumes less energy to be carried to . kcal/ kg ton/ h 4. 5yr.6 4. Steam leaves the turbine does not create positive revenues due to the low price paid at its saturation conditions. 0% debt ratio $ -7609.: Use of Rice Crops Waste for Energy Production in Ecuador 3. et al. Steam Turbine Working Conditions Savings from Fuel $/ yr 310. Direct Biomass Burning for 3. an energy balance for the steam generator was ton raw rice/ h Method. kcal/ kg X=97%. This process includes mechanical for fossil fuels in Ecuador even if the rice husk can be and heat losses that can are included in the efficiency value obtained with no cost for this scale. Since Transfer Area Transfer Area the steam flo w rate is required to obtain the steam turbine Capacity.30 Ricardo A. The power rat ing was obtained by applying and 2 ton raw rice/ h) in order to substitute fossil fuels for referential efficiency values for each p iece of equip ment rice husk in the zones where the resource is not to be used for obtained from their technical b rochure. (Wimpress (Fourier Method. Rice Drying Process Flow Diagram In this point it is proposed to design two fired heater steam generator.34 -11803. LPG for Agriculture $/ ton raw rice 1. An efficiency value of 82% referred to the ASME PTC 4 – 1998 was taken fro m the equip ment Table 4. The efficiency nominal value considered for this particular case Table 5. Heat Production for Rice Drying Plants Figure 3. energy output.4 14217 716. Results are presented below: equipment surfaces. The figures for this of this equipment.5 6272 This stage is part of the evaluation of the electricity The next steam cycle stage required the working fluid generation case.3 which shaft is attached to an asynchronous generator. Figure 3 is included in liberated in the steam generator through combustion and order to present the data used for the calculat ion. Results for Heat Production for Rice Drying Purposes Financial Model (77%) was obtained fro m the working curve of the steam turbine selected by using the steam flow rate prev iously Capacity ton raw rice/ h 1 2 Working Hours h/ yr 160 300 calculated.78 Flow. m2 ) m 2) 1 4. Both methods deliver the heat transfer area or also from the hot combustion gas stream by convection. The transferred to the working fluid wh ich is water in this case.2 8.0 16726 4. condenser with cooling tower and options for small scale rice drying plants (1 ton raw rice/ h recycling pu mp.2 bar Load. turbine.94 1.94 Table 6. designing was made by using the Wimp ress method[11] for The steam generator is formed by a fired heated boiler furnaces evaluation and Fourier equation derived equation in therefore energy is transferred fro m the flames radiat ion and parallel. Steam conditions are presented below. kg/ h bar. turbine working curves developed by the manufacturer. This heating exchange area (area where the heat is transported to a mechanis m allows a partial energy loss to the environment flu id) and the results are considered valid as long as the with the co mbustion gases and the high temperature figures are similar.4 1164 IRR.7782027 622.73053 Electricity Generation 1. The steam turbine takes the energy from h igh enthalpy steam and The financial analysis revealed the technology change transforms it to mechanical energy.1 developed. Steam at 280°C 15 Steam at 1. The efficiency is obtained from the steam process are presented in Table 5. A process flow.

3 that was considered equation applied to the Bourdon equation.4 5510 2414 4. Energy and Power 2013. and the the energy removed fro m the steam cycle working flu id. Condensation corrected with the gas flo w density considerations described requires a heat exchanger connected to a cooling tower.62% the heat is transferred to a cool water stream that comes from for the generator set efficiency. the results are based on an CH4 0. Plasma Estimation Deliverables was evaluated with HSC Chemistry® to obtain carbon mono xide and hydrogen as potential co mbustible gases at a Fuel Rate.6% 18% ± 2% conversion to hydrogen and carbon monoxide which CO2 13. Syngas Composition Comparison temperature range for plas ma gasificat ion (9000 °C) with a Compound Simulation CIE Reactor Data[10] nitrogen plasma torch. Steam turns into liquid water inside the heat exchanger since The value considered for conversion is 75% and 29. The main difference with the N2 44. The nitrogen ionizat ion enthalpy (1. Nm / h3 5703 6703 1000 °C). at FAO[13] (under 0. manufacturer brochure since it is a commercial model and its This process puts into contact the warm water stream with an capability is already fixed. presented in Table 9. Simulation. kW 2330 2370 (1) 0.497 O 0.7H 2 + 0. kW 2740 2780 The syngas composition is taken fro m a Corporación para la Investigación Energética (CIE) pilot scale gasifier and Plas ma gasification proposal is a generation option similar validated by the simulat ion as shown in Table 8. The power output estimation started Generation fro m the rice husk elementary analysis. It was required to develop a mass balance to the air stream. 3(3): 27-36 31 the steam generator when it is on liquid state. ton rice husk / h 3.39O 2 → Power Consumed by Plasma. Load. The purpose of condensed water is pumped back to the steam generator in the mass balance was to obtain the syngas stream of each one order to close the loop. kW kW kW Table 9. Direct Burning Results model wh ich SFC at full wo rking capacity approximates to Aspen® the syngas flow rate previously calculated. The conversion value is the the cooling tower. Because the lack of data for CO 18. Th is co mposition Table 10. Nm3 / Power Output. The energy estimation on this case simu lating the processes for each one of the fuel rates required the syngas flow rate and the electrical generator previously defined with Aspen HYSYS® and RETScreen®.0% thermodynamic data and another one for the kinetic data Reactors sizing was developing by taking kinetic data fro m Basu[12] in order to size the reactor vessels.0% Above 3% extrapolation made by HSC Chemistry® for the Total 100. a reduction zone was sized with the plug flo w reactor (PFR) nitrogen/ biomass mass ratio of 0. ton/ h Simulation. manufacturer working curves database. a gas filter bank 6. was considered as the specific fuel consumption (SFC) and the nominal capacity of the generator set was selected for the Table 7.4% 50% pyrolysis case is the absence of carbon dioxide and a full H2 23.air mean while the remaining bio mass leaves the reactor without contact area and part of the water is evaporated and dragged chemical changes. Gas Flow. Pyrolysis Gasification for Electricity Generation This option proposes the use of a gasifier.7% 19% ± 3% the given temperature range.4 4. Plasma available at Basu et al[12] applied at the continuous stirred torch energy consumption calculation was based on the tank reactor (CSTR) equation for reactor sizing. Reactor shape was according to the data of similar solutions developed by High . to the one considered for pyrolysis.9 m3 / cm2 h) obtaining a conic shape. The thermochemical simu lation was also developed for this stage using a proper Table 8. Pyrolysis Estimation Deliverables 4.0 1296 1385 1475 3.5 486 519 523 ton rice husk / h h kW 3. kW 4700 5520 CH1. The cooling tower receives a warm water nominal figure of the p ilot gasifier found on the stream fro m the heat exchanger and reduces its temperature. The syngas flow rate The power output estimation is presented in Table 7.367CO 2 Power Delivered. The chemical react ion (1) prev iously developed. the the air stream is released to the environment together with nominal conversion efficiency of the equip ment.0 temperature range according to gasification process (around Gas Flow.6CO + 0. 1.0% 100. This process was validated by of the analysed capacities.3% 10% ± 3% enhance the gas energy content. Thermochemical simulat ion delivers the equation: Total Power Produced. The amount of steam that was dragged by of the gasifier considering the initial rice husk input.0 6496 2845 5.79 x 105 kJ/ kg-mol). Plasma Gasification for Electricity and a generator set.4 1101 1178 1254 Fuel Rate.677 + 0. Th is figure can be interpreted as air stream fro m the environment and the result is the water the percentage of bio mass that is transformed into syngas temperatures lows down since the heat reaches the water. The findings are Gen Rice Husk HYSYS RET Screen® Output.

Silica Gel Recovery through Microwave Heating determine the volume and the wall thickness of the process vessels in order to estimate the amount of material required The reaction enforced in the micro wave heater is for its construction. Process vessels cost calculation required to size and design the gasifiers previously. ton/ yr Quality. the energy production process. The process is presented in Figure 4. compressors. the conversion is considered close to 4. for the Ecuadorian continental territory.69%). Silica Gel Production legislation. electrical motors and electrical generators. according to the equipment type. This control. 8. This price considers manufacturing (60% o f cost) energy generation stage. Indirect costs were factored using procedure chosen for the silica gel recovery was described the recommended ratios found developed by NREL®. Because of the 3. 8. suitably sized All the thermal conversion methods described in this pieces of equipment were defined for each case in order to paper yield rice husk ash as a process stream that can be used estimate installation costs and total costs using multip lying in silica gel feedstock production. Auxiliary equip ment costs were obtained fro m local .5 69 1305 to a higher co mbustible gases generation. An additional water in let was considered in ton rice husk / h Quality. biomass energy projects below 5 MW are silicon o xide which is the main co mponent in silica gel.60/ estimated it forms around 17% of total rice husk material and kWh if above. an extra percentage the plasma torch technology case allo ws the ashes to melt to is considered in order to cover the accessories cost (10% of form a liquid state therefore. Silica Gel 923 Silica Gel Common [15] (77. and the findings are shown in Table 11. It is necessary to Figure 4. ton/ yr order to maximize the carbon conversion to gas which leads 1.1.4 156 2963 nature of the process. Financial Analysis presented in Table 10.32 Ricardo A. Two processes have been factors appropriate for the industry (NREL Bio mass Plants.05/ kWh and cUSD 9. The by Rungrodnimitchai et al (2009)[16] and consists of input data for the software required to be organized forming an alkaline co mplex aided by microwave heating. Rice husk is a material rich in Among others.2. and an efficiency value calculated by the model described by Venkatraman i (2002) Fuel Rate. In the current survey. Equip ment can be divided into process vessels which require particu lar designing and construction such as gasifiers and reactors. The second approach applies to the ash feedstock software estimates equipment. about 80% if the post thermal conversion ash residue. analysed depending on the conditions the ashes leave the 2005)[18]. Narváez C. An additional material cost factor was Silica gel y ields were developed based on its content considered on the cases where a material different fro m together with the chosen processes capability and feasibility carbon steel was required. it was necessary to analyse the financial appropriate co-product due to wide range of applications and aspects of the proposed options for utilizing rice husk as an value. Silica Gel Potential Yields Temperature Technologies®[14]. energy and co-product material Therefore. The pricing model recovery a process through crystallization and temperature included data obtained by using the software Est$ Pro®. It is awarded with a tariff of cUSD 11. RE Local Supporting The local RE development is described in the local 7. et al. processes and installations fro m the other processes where the ash does not reach costs based on manufacturing data. In addition. The population characteristics. Regulat ion 004-11 produced by CONELEC The profitability of bio mass to energy products can be (National Electricity Council)[17] is the official document to enhanced where certain biomass materials. the first case utilizes silica total) and transportation (10% of total). qualify and award the concerning grants to renewable energy allo w the possibility to obtain alternative co-products from by giving specific tariffs depending on the type of generation. local salary level and melting point and is available as a solid material. it was adopted a described as: cost factor expressed as currency unit per kilogram of carbon NaOH + SiO2 → NaSiO3 + H 2 O (2) steel occupied on the construction and installation of a The neutralizat ion together with solution cooling process vessel in the local market conditions. This figure was enhances the silica settling process: obtained from the local industry. Economical Assessment Therefore. The results are 8.0 186 3542 100%. rice husk ash has the potential of obtaining co-products that increase the profitability of energy pro jects In addition to the technical efficacy of the energy regardless the chosen technology.: Use of Rice Crops Waste for Energy Production in Ecuador Table 11. The temperature range expected for and material (40% of cost). Energy estimation was developed under the same method used for the gasification analysis. The weights of the process vessels were mult iplied by the mentioned factor owing to 2 NaSiO3 + H 2 SO4 → 2 SiO2 + Na 2 SO4 + H 2 O (3) estimate their cost. and au xiliary equip ment such as pumps. Silica gel seems to be an generation systems. such as rice husk.

5 Negative . Developing a rice husk trading p lan for the project maintenance. fuel price and other supplies as costs were requires political guidelines and long term agreements with carried out using RETScreen® and considered the same the same rice producers in order to ensure they sell the general variables value for all cases. and strategic development. a proper similar pro ject or piece of equip ment with a different scale is agreement must ensure the product availability for the available[19]. is relat ively high so burning it requires equipment It was recognized that the energy project development designed and operated in such a way to solve this issue.00 Generation The nature of this project makes it easier to develop than 4 Negative 23. it is not desirable to sponsor a rice base case and the scaled one. 3(3): 27-36 33 retailers once they were previously sized. build ing a larger co mbustion chamber resulted informat ion developed fro m the authority reports is in increased equipment costs but.80 Considering 1. Discussion chamber size on the calculat ion itself.50 61. Th is fact caused an increase in the chamber within the study zones and their pro ximity to populations and pressure which allows for a positive augmentation of the transport networks. Another fact that may method. the other options described in this paper because of the lower Silica 3. the authors still Assessed ton rice maintain the projections are valid so an average price is Options husk / h IRR IRR IRR taken. 1.4 55. For example. The However.40 175. 9. had the added advantage of considered reliable because those are the official figures. Heat Production Opti on Only Energy 3. .70 number of agents that are involved in it. IRR for Analyzed Options credits (USD 28/ ton CO2 ). The volatiles percentage of bio mass.2. Energy and Power 2013. It was necessary to include the displacement of other agricultural products and also a lack of non-electrical energy selling inco mes (silica gel earnings). Nevertheless external economical Pyrolysis Plasma Fuel Rate. The The remain ing part of the financial analysis included the reason is that this could have a negative effect because of the annual cost requirements. Nevertheless it was reasonable to think the rice husk market Cash flows based on energy production rates. The mathemat ic model biomass material to the project. environ mental and safety convection heat transfer. This clearly means the damper opening on the chimney as the operating control more detailed maps of the zones are necessary for this factor.1.60 technically analysed using two different methods so it can be considered that the required heating area results are reliab le although only one of them considers the combustion 9. The increase in co mbustion chamber size did not purpose not only due to the working technical reasons but result in the need for a larger heat exchange tube array. the time so its use followed the restriction mentioned by the Although the findings indicate that silica gel production authors Williams et al (1947) about similarity between the can yield higher values. method allows estimating expenses if the cost detail of a Even if the rice husk is actually being produced. The aim fro m the project below can be used to estimate the cost of any industrial development point of view was to reduce the trading chain to installation therefore it was adopted for this survey. .10 .5 34. carbon is going to have the same variab ility as the local rice market credits and co-products as revenues and operation & has.10 66. influence the project plan is the biomass gathering itself.4 Negative 19. cropping expansion even greater than the current one. Furthermore. Th is option was Production 4 58.6 biomass price.90 193. A general financial factor that can affect the calculat ions is the price taken for the carbon Table 12. other diverse economic activities in the regions. The also because of the terrain conditions or other risk factors size was obtained fro m one of the results of the Wimpress like gas stations located nearby. This avoid excessive prices and du mping for external agents. management plans for managing combustible rice husk The exhaust gases retention time was increased by making biomass and product gas would be required along with the combustion chamber larger in the design and managing particular design detail considerations. ensuring the exhaust gases are the products of co mplete . This price is based on projections Direct made for this purpose[20].70 11.90 10. The value of USD 40/ ton (10% of the current  Capacity 1  Investment 1 price paid for a ton of raw rice) was considered because the   = (4)  Capacity 2  Investment 2 harvesting cost can be paid to the p roducers which is an The model was applied for a single piece of equip ment at attractive option for supplying rice husk. in particular rice 9. matters such as the specific location chamber. Burning factors are reducing their current price. Further fix costs and variable costs. This being considered in this research would require further consideration was included in the design stage by giving the stages of planning due to the work required to bring a project exhaust gases a higher retention time inside the burn to fruition. project. General Consi derations husk. The values obtained for internal stages of the project clearly require a bio mass price analysis return rates (IRR) are presented as deliverables in Tab le 12. This is because the most sensitive variable is the 0.

plasma is similar to the one obtained from the data[15]. a This additional process was analysed under the same criteria further study should include a kinetic data development. The method clearly The technical analysis on this case delivers reliable results requires a proper study of this variable as part of the further because the chosen technology is mature and the efficiencies investigations. for the different pieces of equip ment can be obtained fro m In addition. hazardous waste materials Generation or when material recycling cannot be done in an efficient The analysis included a review of the gasifier design as manner. This would bring more benefits not only fro m the well calculating the energy produced using an internal environmental point of view but also to the economical combustion engine coupled to a generator. current stage. Gasificati on through Plasma Torch for Electricity option is financially non-competitive. properties. used for assessing the energy production to complement that The financial analysis of the project indicates positive activity. It is recognized silica gel production is a fixed for the mass balance in the process. However. The scenario for rice husk The gasifier reactor sizing was clearly affected by the proposes paying for the fuel whereas waste material fuel may chosen kinetic model for the desired reaction. solution is acceptable for this stage of the project however. through this method. The heat production Generation project itself is a change of technology in part of a drying Plas ma torch gasification is a relatively new technology plant so another option could be adapting the fire heater to and consequently some of the findings require further review. Silica Gel Production from Rice Husk husk gasification.34 Ricardo A. it have a negative cost if landfill taxation is avoided. Additionally. Thus. Therefo re. Even if the equip ment is reactors are designed for the largest volume p lus the fully operational the necessity of a cooling tower means a requirement to develop an extrapolation of the considerable amount of energy is going to be wasted. showed similar figures which ratifies the consistency of the it is a good option to increase the profitability of this type of chosen method (Aspen® HYSYS and RETScreen®). Th is case required a ratio of 0.: Use of Rice Crops Waste for Energy Production in Ecuador combustion. Gasificati on through Pyrolysis for Electricity with than rice husk. The selection was made by taking into Whilst the primary product expected fro m this account the most conservative model in order to get the investigation is electricity. the amount of rice husk that can be collected in each of The financial figures for plas ma torch gasification are the locations is not enough to provide an economically viab le positive. Even if these Besides this consideration. This path a ratio between 0.4. The installation due to the low cost of utilizing water in the differences are caused by the different sources of steam system.3 kg N2/ kg of b io mass is accepted for the figures turn positive in some cases.3 kg N2/ kg pressure and controlling the damper in order to allo w the of bio mass.6. In this case. even with environ mental benefits this 9. Nevertheless plants are not standard and Even if the energy required for converting the gas into would require analysis in each indiv idual case. consumption was the lowest possible.72 for bio medical waste. Th is action would ensure the such as silica gel seems to increase the profitability of the minimu m conversion to be obtained was going to be the one project options. obtaining secondary products largest reactor volume.72 kg N2/ kg of b io mass would mean the process losses the possibility of generating its own energy. Narváez C. The simulat ion prepared for this option increased by adding water to the reaction chamber. One of the argu ments to be discussed is similar to the one Nevertheless the energy output is relatively low mentioned for the gasificat ion reactor design. Both assumptions rest it was not reasonable to choose this particular technology for reliability to the results moreover a mo re detailed design a new rice husk installat ion. revenues and the internal return rate increases as the plant The main contribution made for this development was capacity is enlarged. this stage of the encourage this option as well. rice husk fuel. But. as a competitive option. For examp le. Electricity Generation through Direct B urning 0.3. the financial analysis does not considerations have to be taken into account. The plas ma considering other analysed options. the Adapting an existing furnace would mean assessing if the amount of gas appropriate for treating a quantity of bio mass retention time can be increased by working at a higher needs to be fixed. However. et al. The scale of the systems is too project required the assumption of some facts to perform the small for steam generation due to high installation costs. a process like plas ma torch treat ment should be used to treat biomass that is more difficult to deal 9. would reduce investment costs and it is possible the financial The figure 0. revenues for plasma technology. The proposed suitable option due to the high concentration in rice husk. other gasification methods deliver better steam power plant. According to the . These reasons allow the consideration finding a suitable method for ash treat ment where resource of gasification. results. it has to be considered that a ratio of 9. calculation. The only figure found in similar installations has volatile co mponents to have enough time to burn. thermochemical data in simu lator HSC Chemistry® due to Considering there are mo re options with higher conversions the working temperature range. the simu lation reveals the power output can be published sources.5. require to develop this type of in formation. was required to obtain a kinetic equation fro m data availab le in[12] because of the lack of a proper kinetic model for rice 9.35 and 0.

the p lasma torch to be pointed the figures look so pro mising that a potential case provides the best return due to the lower supply payment for using patented processes could be afforded. Energy and Power 2013. the micro wave heating method requires less energy electricity projects are close to the main populations cores in although it still needs some other resources namely sodium the region namely . Science. Th is fact case brings promising figures. and Quevedo.4% and Indeed.9% and 23. There are potentially suitable for electricity generation fro m rice husk. The calculation was taken only fro m para la Investigación Energética. calculation. The results in the management in a larger scale.7% of return rate fro m rice husk ashes increases the profitability in a notable against 10. installation prices resources which makes the process of producing silica by and financial results the pyrolysis gasificat ion technology is this method to be more pro fitable. Babahoyo 4 ton/ h.0% and 11. Nevertheless. Vali dati on Considerati ons means a potential imp lementation of large-scale plas ma In this research project a number of d ifferent energy and torch installations would require a greater pro ject lead time resource recovery techniques have been investigated. silica recovery as the first option. Environment International. Ho wever. Ho wever. The Province of Los Ríos has enough rice husk resource to [2] Food and Agricultural Organization.4 ton/ h hydroxide and sulphuric acid[16]. related to this project and the development of this work. . economic figures turn attractive by adding this option. In when co mpared with the installat ion of a pyrolysis order to ascertain the reliability o f the results it was gasification process. It has When considering silica gel recovery. the most suitable fo r all the rice husk pro ject locations for The financial figures prove adding silica gel recovery electricity generation (19. because the internal return rates). the financial figures are discouraging when the technology can be considered mature because of its using steam production as part of the process (negative similarity to glass manufacturing In addition. even if that can be obtained from rice husk.San Carlos 1. Even the proposed technologies with discouraging more power than the pyrolysis option). Furthermore. The gasification through pyrolysis method with the use of ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS an internal co mbustion engine was validated by including The authors are grateful to the National Secretary of efficiency values fro m manufacturers and RETScreen® and Superior Education. it conjunction with any energy generation method. This 9. due to the global price of silica gel and the amount 66. REFERENCES [1] R. silica p roduction is even the plasma torch technology combined with silica recovery more profitable than the energy generation itself. Master were necessary during the kinetic and thermochemical program. some ext rapolations this project and the EUREC Agency. Belgiu m.8% for plasma torch case. 4. has to be mentioned that plasma torch will require a greater initial investment because of higher installation costs. Lal (2005) World crop residues production and implications of its use as a biofuel. this would mean using an identified in the analysis therefore leads to the exclusive type of b iofuel in a technology capable of treating recommendation of developing silica gel production in a more co mplex variety of matter. Technology & Innovation of for each case study area delivered values with acceptable Ecuador (SENESCYT) for sponsoring the master study similarity. three project case study areas deliver similar figures and so the results are considered as reliable. Food and source.9% fo r the pyrolysis gasification case). necessary to validate the findings against other credible Considering this research project was focused on rice husk sources.5 ton/ h. CIE) fo r assisting during reference source[15]. around 2% manner. 3(3): 27-36 35 research. requirement (return rates above 100% against 61. The heat production equipment design is considered usage it is suggested to consider pyrolysis gasification with as reliab le due to both methods producing similar results. liquid state is reached the process does not require additional Considering the potential power rates. Conclusions Vol 31. issues in handling substances at high temperatures however. Besides this statement. Rome 2012. p575-584. The Plas ma torch gasification requires further validation on the Energy Researching Corporation in Ecuador (Corporación efficiency values. The zones where rice husk is more abundant for Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Ventanas 3. should a The steam cycle calculation was validated by simulating it broader waste management plan be developed in Ecuador on Aspen HYSYS® and recalcu lating it when the financial then plasma torch technology could bring options for waste calculation was made on RETScreen®. 10. FAO Statistical develop energy projects exclusively utilizing it as a fuel Yearbook 2012: World Food and Agriculture. Another method considered was particular for the h igh The technology review shows in all cases that they are temperature plas ma torch technology. Silica gel y ields are assumed fro m the source quoted for the microwave heating method and delivered promising data hence considering an 85% for recovery rate seemed acceptable for the case.7.

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