Management of Rice Straw by Use of Cleaner Technologies

Rice Straw
Rice Straw

What is the research all about?

One of the major aspects of our research is to promote the idea of cottage bio-refineries where the management of rice straw can be possible and no need to burn the straw in the open. The scheme of cottage bio-refineries will get success only through the motivation of farmers to make the extra money from the conversion of rice straw into value-added products.

How many years did it take to complete the research?

Research on the valorization of rice straw to various value-added products is continuing since 2017. Conversion of rice straw into ethanol was one of the major parts.

What is the outcome of the research?

In this context, Dr. Gursharan Singh, from Lovely Professional University and Dr. Shailendra Kumar Arya of Punjab University Chandigarh studied in-depth and suggested the many techniques of management of rice straw in the following article published in a highly reputed periodical, Journal of Cleaner Production (Impact Factor, 9.2)

“A review on the management of rice straw by use of cleaner technologies: Abundant opportunities and expectations for Indian farming” (2021). To continue their research, in March 2022, Miss. Rimple Chaudhary a student who is working with the group of Dr. Arya & Dr. Singh published her research outcome (“Melioration of enzymatic ethanol production from alkali pre-treated paddy straw promoted by the addition of surfactant”) in a reputed journal (Biocatalysis & Biotransformation).

Chaudhary revealed in her research, that the utilization of mild chemicals and enzymes (xylanase, cellulase, and laccase) can easily convert the rice straw into sugars like glucose and xylose for the production of alcohol at less cost.  

How and where was the experimentation done to reach a conclusion?

The design of research and experiments were executed equally at Lovely Professional University and Panjab University Chandigarh. Successfully most of the practical research work was done at the biotechnology branch, UIET of Panjab University Chd. 

What is the benefit to the society/common man from the research?

Management of the rice straw through cleaner technologies like conversion into alcohols and other value-added products like a synthesis of enzymes for pulp and paper industry, production of biogas, and use for the animal feed after adding urea is cost-effective and extra money-earning projects.

The cleaner technologies provide sustainable solutions to manage the straw at a large scale but also demonstrate the potential to raise the socio-economic status of farmers and rural populations. 

Do we have the prototype ready with us? Has it been used anywhere?

Yes, it is evidenced-based research, we have all bacterial species that can convert the rice straw into ethanol. We can commercialize this technology after further investigation at pilot scale studies.

Has the patent been filed?

Not yet.

Any other information that you would like to share.

We are planning to get research funding from the government agencies for further research on the management of rice straws through cleaner technologies.

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