Straw Innovations has created innovative technology that overcomes the barriers to harvesting it in all weathers, unlocking a potential 300Mt of rice straw generated in Asia every year. Rice straw has high ash content (around 20%), comprising about 75% silica. This, combined with other components in the straw (chlorine, potassium) causes melting and slagging / fouling in boilers when combusted. Hence, it is not an easy fuel to chop or combust.
PyroGenesys have developed a lower-temperature pyrolysis process which can convert rice straw into Biochar, a carbon-sequestering fertiliser that can be used by the rice farmers, and biofuel. The carbon sequestered can be traded on carbon removal markets. Surplus biofuel not used to generate electricity can be sold. Electricity is a low-value commodity and renewable electricity projects will typically require very large scale to be profitable and attract funding required from investors. PyroGenesys’ process solves this problem by opening up two very high-value revenue streams.