Generating a positive energy balance from using rice straw for anaerobic digestion


About 150 million metric tons of rice straw is produced in Southeast Asian countries every year. Several barriers impeding the collection of rice straw from the fields as well as the lack of knowledge on alternative uses of rice straw led to the practice of burning which causes air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. To identify the benefits and uses of rice straw for energy generation is the main objective of this research. The study evaluated the energy balance of the rice straw supply chain and energy conversion through anaerobic digestion (AD). The input energy was categorized either as direct and indirect energy. Direct energy included agricultural inputs, fuel consumption and manpower. Fuel consumption was measured directly from the vehicles and equipment used in the experiment while manpower was measured using the metabolic equivalent of task (MET) based on labor time per ton of straw. Indirect energy was calculated based on the energy for the manufacture, lubrication, and maintenance of machines and equipment. The net energy of the rice straw supply chain for biogas generation through AD is 3,500 MJ per ton of straw. This rice straw management option can provide a 70% net output energy benefit. The research highlighted the potential of rice straw as a clean fuel source with a positive energy balance, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared with the existing practice of burning it in the field.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)
Funding Information: This research is part of the “Rice Straw Energy Project” funded by DFID, DECC and the UK Research Councils, led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) . Grant Ref: EP/L002477/1 . We also would like to acknowledge the support pro
Additional Information: ©2016 International Rice Research Institute. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anaerobic digestion,Bioenergy,Biogas,Energy balance,Rice straw,Energy(all)
Publication ISSN: 2352-4847
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2024 07:28
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2019 11:09
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2016-11-01
Published Online Date: 2016-05-30
Accepted Date: 2016-05-16
Authors: Nguyen, V. H.
Topno, S.
Balingbing, C.
Nguyen, V. C.N.
Röder, M. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-8021-3078)
Quilty, J.
Jamieson, C.
Thornley, P. (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-0783-2179)
Gummert, M.

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