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Using waste from rice processing to generate energy

Cuba planta electricidadCuban experts, with advice from India, have set up a plant that will allow the use of rice husks to generate electricity. The work is being carried out at the Enrique Troncoso mill, the largest in the province, affiliated with the Los Palacios Agroindustrial Enterprise, where this new technology will make it possible to save more than 200 tons of diesel a year.

MSc Ariel Rodríguez, of the Cubaenergía company, explains that the enormous volume of rice husks that remains after each harvest, as a residue of the drying process, is one of the main pollution problems facing the municipality of Los Palacios.

On the other hand, he points out, this complex is among the largest energy consumers in the territory, using more than a ton of diesel a day to dry rice.Hence the idea of ​​seeking technology that would eliminate the problem of husk disposal and find a way to use this byproduct as a resource.

With the support of the Basal project (Environmental Bases for Local Food Sustainability), affiliated with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, and international collaboration, the machinery was acquired, and the plant erected, now in the start-up process.Broadly speaking, its operation consists of converting husks into a combustible gas, using this as fuel to dry rice.

Plus, up to 2.4 MWh of electricity can be generated to reduce the plant’s consumption from the national grid, and contribute to the system when the plant is not operating.Engineer Yusniel Illas, director of the plant, stated that the goal is to eventually replace all the diesel that is needed in the drying process.

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