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PhilRice introduces irrigation saving technology

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The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) has developed a new rice hull gasifier engine-pump system that would help farmers save on rising prices of gasoline for irrigation pumps and, at the same time, reduce environmental hazards.

PhilRice engineers and rice science researchers Arnold S. Juliano, Joel A. Ramos, Leo B. Moliñawe, and Eulito Bautista developed the local mobile gasifier engine-pump system which reduces irrigation costs up to 37 percent on gasoline use and 44 percent on diesel use.

The PhilRice team said running the engine-pump with rice hull will only cost farmers less than a peso to generate a cubic meter of water while using gasoline-fueled pumps costs about P2.

“A four-kilogram (kg) rice hull load could run the engine for about one and a half hour at a maintaining speed of 2000 revolution per minute (rpm) and discharges an average of five liters per second water from a ground water table of 2.15 meter,” Juliano said.

The machine, now made compact, mobile, and affordable, also reduces green house gases emissions as rice hull is converted to power the machine.

Juliano said wastes produced after rice hull burning within the system can be used as soil conditioner in seedbed, mulching material, and ingredient in producing organic fertilizer.

“Components of the machines were reduced to 40 percent, which resulted in the significant reduction of weight from 500 to 400 kg, and cost, from P86,000 to P65,000," he said.

"By continuously improving the machine, we hope that more farmer cooperatives will invest not only to save, but to help reduce the contribution of burning rice hull in global warming,” he said.

In using the machine, Juliano advised that the rice hull load should be clean and dry to produce quality gas that can run the engine with high speed and maintain good water pumping performance. Oil should also be changed after an 80-hour operation.

The study on the development of a mobile rice hull gasifier engine-pump system won best paper during the 24th National Rice R&D Conference at PhilRice Central Experiment Station and 61st Annual National Convention of the Philippine Society of Agricultural Engineers in Zamboanga del Norte. (PNA)




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