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© Neosiam, #168941467, 2019, source: stock.adobe.com

A second life for rice waste

Resources:
Waste
Sector:
Food processing
Cost:
High cost
Read more
Resource savings: Waste:
A large part of the 60 000 tonnes of rice husk waste could be recycled each year
Premises and operation areas:
Production processes, Waste and recycling
Size of company:
Small (less than 50)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
Intermediate

Viable plastic alternative

  • Ten years of R&D pays off by discovering a second use for rice waste 
  • Tackling an agricultural waste issue by transforming rice husk into plastics

La Cámara, cooperative storage and rice processing facilities established by farmers in the Ebro River Delta in 1927, processes about 40 000 tonnes of rice per year, which accounts for around a third of the Delta production.

On average, the company produces up to 60 000 tonnes of waste husk in the process. These husks were thrown away as biodegradable waste.

To improve its sustainability and protect the Delta environment, La Cámara invested in a research programme which after ten years led to a new technology, called Oryzite, which transforms rice husk/waste into a resin used as a filler that can be incorporated into thermoplastics (cutlery, automotive parts, furniture, etc.).

Key results

The company estimates that this new technology can replace 80 % of the plastic in these kinds of products, requiring only minor technological adjustments. 

By recycling this byproduct, La Cámara has tackled a significant agricultural waste issue affecting the Delta area. The new technology stands to boost productivity, while reducing energy consumption and raw material costs.

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