The Rice Straw Energy Project aims to better understand the social, economic, and technical challenges to using rice straw as fuel. Bioenergy technology experts from the UK’s SUPERGEN bioenergy hub have teamed up with rice straw experts, engineers, social scientists, and extension staff from IRRI to undertake the following four work packages:
Rice straw is a bulky and low-value material that is left in the field. The cost of handling and transporting it is high in terms of manpower, energy, and money.
Rice straw is an inconvenient material to use for fuel because of its physical and chemical properties. Little is known about technologies that can be effectively used to convert it into a modern energy resource.
It is important to understand the social context in which straw is produced and energy is demanded. Focus group discussions are being held to assess the priorities, preferences, and responses of rice farmers, energy users, and local communities.
Information from the project has been disseminated among users, such as farmers, NGOs, governments, and the international scientific community.
More information on rice straw and rice by-products can be found in the Rice Knowledge Bank website.