Tuesday, April 1, 2014

UK Ambassador visits IRRI and looks into creating energy from rice straw

In his visit to IRRI on the 24th of March 2014, UK Deputy Ambassador H.E. Trevor Lewis discussed several UK-supported initiatives, including a new one that looks at how to harness bioenergy from rice straw.

The initiative, which began last year is called the “Rice Straw Energy Project” and is a research partnership between UK-based SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub and IRRI. The project aims to study promising ways to use rice straw for energy, such as by creating electricity from burning it or producing gas for cooking.

Craig Jamieson, coordinator of the project, explained why they were investigating this: rice straw is often simply burned by farmers after harvesting, and this contributes to climate change and serious health issues.
Engr. Martin Gummert, head of IRRI’s Postharvest Unit, said that using rice straw for generating energy rather than burning it in the field also provides opportunities for farmers to add value to what is currently considered a waste and thus increase incomes from rice production. The project runs until 2016.

The team recently held a workshop last week which ended on 27th of March 2014.

Several UK-supported initiatives such as sourcing renewable energy from rice straw were the topics of discussion in this week’s visit by the UK Deputy Ambassador.

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