Eco-friendly Uses of Rice Husk.

Sustainability: Uses of Rice Husk.

Image of rice husks on a flat surface

Rice Husks. Credit: Reset.org

You have probably seen or eaten rice before but do you know about rice husk or what happens after removal?

Plant biomass like rice husk, coconut coir, and bagasse, etc. are used to make eco-friendly cutlery, tableware, and packaging products.

Rice is not only a delicious source of carbohydrates but it has helped in creating cool eco-friendly products. And, the cutlery you used at the eat-out yesterday may be one!

Natural fibers from agricultural waste like rice husk are finding their way into the silicone industry.

This is because of its many advantages such as being eco-friendly, low cost, and lightweight.

Rice is the staple food for over half of the world’s population because it provides 20% of the world’s dietary energy supply.

So, this means rice husk is constantly available in large quantities.

But what do we do with all the husks? Keep reading!!! 🙂

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What is Rice Husk?

Rice husks

Myanmar Insider

Rice husk is the natural hard protecting sheath that forms around rice grains and is a by-product of rice milling.

It’s a major agricultural waste in rice production and it contains 30-50% organic carbon.

Because of their tough structure and size, rice husks have few uses.

We use rice husk for food packaging, drinks packaging, and homeware.

Rice husk used to be seen as a waste product and it was either burned or dumped in landfills, so there are very few companies that make packages from it.

In the agriculture sector, a small quantity of rice husk is used for the manufacturing of fertilizer, bedding, and for the stabilization of soils.

Properties of Rice Husk (Hull).

1. It is a very good insulating material that does not flame or smolder easily.

2. It is highly resistant to moisture and fungal invasion.

3. Rice husk is odorless and does not emit gas.

4. It has two interlocking halves and is naturally very tough and abrasive.

5. Although hard, it is also elastic.

10 Amazing Uses of Rice Husk (Hull).

The idea of recycling farm waste produces like rice hull is to reduce the carbon footprint.

And, make the environment more conducive for animals, humans, and plants.

1. It is used in the production of cement, insulation, and composites like particleboard.

2. It is a renewable source of fuel.

Solid fuels (biomass) made from Rice hull.

Researchgate.net

In Myanmar, they grow more than 13 million tons of rice yearly and have opened a biomass gasification power plant that uses rice husks to generate electricity.

3. It is a supplemental construction material in sustainable building methods such as earth-bag or rammed-earth technology.

Earthbag made from Rice husk

Credit: Researchgate.com

 

It helps to add natural bulk to building materials, is durable, and does not harbor fungus or mold because it can’t absorb moisture.

4. It serves as excellent bedding for pigs/ poultry deep litter systems.

This is because of its ability to absorb odors and maintain a mostly dry environment compared to other materials.

Rice hull used as poultry bedding

Alibaba.com

5. It is used for growing mediums in aquaponics and hydroponics system.

When growing plants in a soilless system, materials like rice hulls are a very practical option because they don’t absorb water.

Preppology.com

6. Convert to disposable products like cups, cutlery, and plates. Tableware made from it is very durable and glossy.

Disposable Cups made from Rice Husk

ODM Group

7. Some industries use it as the main ingredients for the adhesive they making product packaging.

8. Add to livestock feed. Although it’s a low-valued feed material, it can be used as filler or appetite stimulants.

Rice Husk in Animal Feed

Echocommunity.org

9. Rice husks are converted into a product called biochar. And, this type of charcoal is very unique because of the addition of manure and compost.

Rice Husk c.onverted into Biochar.

Credit: Echocommunity.org

10. In potting mix production rice hull is a cheaper alternative to perlite, which is usually expensive or scarce.

Rice hull for potting mix by echocommunity.org

Echocommunity.org

Conclusion.

Rice husk is affordable and eco-friendly, but it still has some disadvantages for its usage in the silicone industry.

For example, products made from rice husks like cups and cutlery are more expensive than the ones made from plastic.

When used to make biodegradable plastics, greenhouse gases is released which is very toxic to the environment.

And, this last factor may hinder the market growth.

But, if properly utilized, rice hull will play a great role in many sectors.

And, recycling is the best way to dispose of this strong and durable farm waste produce.

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AUTHOR’S NOTE.

Rice in ice cream scone

Credit: Punstabble.com

Thanks for coming this far!

I find it impressive that individuals and industries constantly search for ways to improve on existing products or create new ones using waste products.

I am curious to know something, what do you think about the usage of farm waste?

Do you know or work with a company that makes use of rice husk or uses them to make products?

Can’t wait to read from you soon! Have a nice day! (: