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Influence of moisture content, particle size and forming temperature on productivity and quality of rice straw pellets

Kazuei Ishii, Toru Furuichi
Waste management 2014 v.34 pp. 2621-2626
bioenergy, bulk density, durability, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, heat, methane, paddies, particle size, pelleting, pellets, rice straw, shredding, temperature, waste management, water content
A large amount of rice straw is generated and left as much in paddy fields, which causes greenhouse gas emissions as methane. Rice straw can be used as bioenergy. Rice straw pellets are a promising technology because pelletization of rice straw is a form of mass and energy densification, which leads to a product that is easy to handle, transport, store and utilize because of the increase in the bulk density. The operational conditions required to produce high quality rice straw pellets have not been determined. This study determined the optimal moisture content range required to produce rice straw pellets with high yield ratio and high heating value, and also determined the influence of particle size and the forming temperature on the yield ratio and durability of rice straw pellets. The optimal moisture content range was between 13% and 20% under a forming temperature of 60 or 80°C. The optimal particle size was between 10 and 20mm, considering the time and energy required for shredding, although the particle size did not significantly affect the yield ratio and durability of the pellets. The optimized conditions provided high quality rice straw pellets with nearly 90% yield ratio, ⩾12MJ/kg for the lower heating value, and >95% durability.