SOSTRICE, “CO2 emissions reduction of the rice cultivation through energy valorisation of the rice straw”, is a demonstration project that aims to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) derived from the rice cultivation by means of a sustainable rice straw management model based on the energy valorisation of this residue by means of the anaerobic digestion and combustion technologies.
The Project is being implemented in two of the areas where rice cultivation has reached considerable importance in Spain: Las Marismas del Guadalquivir (Andalusia), with about 35.000 ha, and L’Albufera (Valencia), with 15.000 ha. In both cases there is an interaction between agricultural activity and the proximity to areas of high environmental protection, such as Doñana Natural Park in Andalusia and L’Albufera Natural Park in Valencia. These wetlands have a high biological value because of the large number and diversity of environments and animal and plant species they contain.
SOSTRICE Project is co-financed by the LIFE Programme and leaded by the Andalusian Institute of Technology (IAT) in collaboration with other organisations coming from the Region of Valencia: the Agri-Food Technology Institute of the Valencian Community (AINIA) and Ludan Renewable Energy España, S.L. (LUDAN), and from the Region of Andalusia: the Agrifood Innovation and Technology Centre (CITAGRO) and the Advanced Technology Center for Renewable Energy (CTAER)
With an expected duration of 36 months, SOSTRICE has the vocation of lasting over time in order to consolidate project results and widen its application beyond current time and geographic horizons.
The project aims to achieve the following environmental objectives:
1. Reducing the GHG emissions associated to the rice cultivation process and derived from the operational practices (farming, irrigation, etc.) and from other natural processes (fermentation of the rice straw in flooded areas).
2. Reducing the water, energy and fertilizers consumption in the rice cultivation through the valorization of the residue and its obtained by-products (bio-fertilizers, bio-fuels and electric energy).
3. Reducing the CO2 footprint of the rice cultivation through best environmental practices.
ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS AND EXPECTED RESULTS
Main environmental benefits of the project are given by the reduction of raw materials used in the rice cultivation, particularly:
• Reduction in the use of inorganic fertilizer replacing them by bio-fertilizer elaborated in the anaerobic digester.
• Replacement of the electric energy and combustibles from non-renewable sources used in different agricultural machinery and irrigation equipment by electric energy and bio-fuels produced in the rice straw valorisation (combustion and anaerobic digestion).
• Reduction in the water consumption used to prepare and irrigate the field crops before and during rice cultivation, due to avoid the straw burial in the fields and to the optimization of the water consumption and the quality of the supplied water.
The results expected from the activities carried out during the project are:
- • Reduction of CO2 emissions:
- » 1,110-1,226 KgCO2eq per ton of rice produced.
- » 0,25% of the total Spanish GHG emissions; 0.07-0.1 % of the total GHG emissions in EU-27
- • Production of raw materials for rice cultivation:
- » Electric energy › 1,800 kWh/t rice
- » Bio-fuel › 1,540 kWh/t rice
- » Bio-fertilizers › 2.52 KgN/t rice, which is 42% of the total nitrogen needed FOR rice cultivation
- • Reduction of the water consumption:
- » 10-15% › 55.64hm3/year (in Doñana and L’Albufera)