Thermochemical Conversion and Use
of Energy from Rice Straw-81



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Project Leader and Principal UC Investigators

John R. Goss, Dept. of Agricultural Engineering, UC Davis


". . . the two major components needed to assemble and test f a portable farm power plant] have been acquired."

The first long-term goal of this project is to assemble and test a 100 kilowatt portable farm power plant. Its main fuel will be gas generated from rice straw. The major components of the plant are a trailer-mounted, dual-fueled, diesel engine generator; a fluidized bed gas producer; a collection of conveyors, live-bottom cattle feeding wagons; and an ash handling system.

The 100 Kw portable farm power plant was designed and built by the Department of Agricultural Engineering for Deere and Company in 1977 and was returned to the campus in May, 1981, as a gift to the University from Deere and Company. A contract has been entered into for the completion, testing and long-term loan of a fluidized bed gas producer. Thus, the two major components needed to assemble and test the power plant have been acquired. University of California equipment is used for the fuel processing and handling at the power plant test location. A 40- by 20-foot temporary shelter has been constructed for the system.

An initial supply of 1,500 rice straw bales is stored at UC Davis, and the stationary cuber mill has been rebuilt so that the baled straw can be cubed. Advanced instrumentation, automated data acquisition-analyses and process control systems have been acquired. Some laboratory data have been obtained on the chemistry and melting temperatures of rice straw ash and slag. Tests have been conducted on chopping baled rice straw as one means of preparing it for fueling the fluidized bed gas producer.

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