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A comparative lifecycle assessment of rural parboiling system and an integrated steaming and drying system fired with rice husk

Kwofie, E.M., Ngadi, M.
Journal of cleaner production 2017 v.140 pp. 622-630
acidification, climate change, computer software, drying, environmental impact, environmental indicators, life cycle assessment, paddies, parboiling, particulates, rice hulls, steaming, villages
The study presents a comparative life cycle assessment of the current rural parboiling system (RPS) used in a rural village setting and a newly developed integrated steaming and drying system (ISDS). With a functional unit of 1 tonne of paddy processed, the environmental impact of the two systems was evaluated. Four environmental indicators namely climate change, terrestrial acidification, particulate matter formation and photo-oxidant formation were considered and were applied to the ReCiPe version 1.08 evaluation method available in the GaBi 6 LCA software. The normalized environmental impacts were at least 68.2% higher for RPS than ISDS in all impact categories. Overall, up to 80% reduction in total environmental impact can be achieved by replacing the existing process with ISDS. The sensitivity of the results has been examined using an alternative evaluation method, TRACI version 2.1, and a variation in rice husk availability.