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Rice Straw Agri-Silica

Background:

Rice is one of the most prevalent food crops in the world. In 2005, the International Rice Research Institute estimated global production at 618 million tonnes. Each tonne of rice produces an equal amount of straw and 200 kg of husk as bi-products. In many countries, the rice straw bi-product is burned in open fields, generating smoke and hazardous breathable dust.

An extensive research program was conducted during the past eight years at Western University in order to develop an economical and environmentally friendly solution for disposing of rice bi-products.

Description of the Invention:

Rice straws are rich in silica, which is known to be very effective in enhancing the strength and durability of concrete. To create this innovative clean technology, Western's research team set about to convert pre-processed rice straws into Rice Straw Ash (RSA) through combustion in a proprietary reactor.

Research on this process, named Rice Straw Agri-Silica, demonstrates that RSA acts as an excellent concrete admixture that enhances the strength, the durability and the chemical and salt resistance of concrete. One tonne of rice straw produces about 150 kg of RSA.

Two further beneficial bi-products are produced: energy (from steam) and potassium. The steam energy powers the process and provides a significant amount of overage that is converted to electricity and can be inserted into the local electrical power grid. The potassium-rich liquid bi-product can be used as fertilizer in the irrigation of local agricultural land.

This technology will be manufactured in Ontario and exported to various countries around the globe that produce rice.

Potential Advantages / Applications:

• High quality product - the RSA out-performed the industry standard concrete additive Silica Fume (SF) in compressive strength and rapid chloride penetration tests
• High demand product - the RSA can be sold as a stand-alone admixture to contractors to add to concrete on-site or it can blended with cement during production to produce a special highly durable and extra-strong product
• Electricity generation - energy produced in the form of steam can be transformed to electricity by adding a generator and a turbine to the process

Patent Status:

Pending patent application in Egypt.

Patent Information:

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