Awhile ago, I read about a complaint that our atmosphere is getting screwed up from our cows producing methane. Apparently it’s even more true of rice production, but no one mentions it?
Apparently from 1 hectare of land, the yield of rice is about 2.5 Tons. A hectare is about 2.5 acres, so estimate 1 ton of rice per acre.
I’ve seen podponics ( http://www.podponics.com ) growing vegetables and factories using robotic farming and I plan to implement those techniques with shipping containers in the near (1-2 years) future for my own growing needs, along with aquaculture for fish.
So, in a DIYBio sense, but not really an analytical sense, one might be able to produce a reactor for organic material (rice chaff), 1/2 to 1 ton of rice and a considerably large amount of methane.
Wetlands and Rice Paddys do produce quite a bit of methane.
China’s been working to reduce it.
It might be hazardous to cultivate the rice in a closed or even semi-closed shipping container like with podponics, however as a reactor to produce methane and a biomass, this might be pretty damned useful if managed in a carefully controlled manner. I’ve seen biogas energy setups that work well, but none that use rice. Apparently there’s 30 million homes in China using biogas. If only they completely harnessed the gases from their rice paddies.
For those that are interested in off the grid and self sufficient living and have already (or will look) looked into biogas production as a fuel source for electricity and other things, this might be a really good idea that no one has looked into.
Podponics claims that in a standard 40x8x8 shipping container they can grow 1 acre’s worth of some crops. With a water recycling system less water would be needed to be used (much is lost to evaporation and run-off in a paddy as seen here at Nova, in “build a rice paddy” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/rice-paddy.html ) which is a benefit of a closed environment as well. Some rice paddies are some of the earliest use of aquaponics (predecessors to it, really) and keep fish in the paddies, which I suppose is some reason there might be resistance to draining them to prevent methane building (storing fish in another wet area just produces more wetlands, though mass ponds might work IMO).
100s of shipping containers could be put on one acre is stacked. If leaving some room around them for equipment and paths, 50 could fit snugly and if double stacked, 100, if triple stacked 150, etc.
I wonder how much biogas would be yielded by 100 shipping container aquaponics pods. Anyone have any idea on the math?
I figured that some of you may find it novel and food for thought and perhaps may want to discuss it or give it some thought.
The method their using with podponics doesn’t need light from outside (solar light). I’ve also been curious if anyone has managed to design a configuration that could use relector mirrors and other optics for solar exposure. Also, another question I have is “how diffused can the light be and still to allow photosynthesis?”. Furthermore, thinking about it, could the methane and other gases produced by the process be enough to power LED lighting systems to provide artificial lights to the plants? If so, that would be pretty damned cool.
I imagine the CO2 produced in the paddy-environment would create a faster growing cycle too, if it can be re-harvested if the methane needs to be siphoned off so as not to hard the rice plants. All in all, even if it needed solar panels, if you could use the methane for power for LED light arrays and water cycling, plus the co2 to help the plants grow, it might even be enough to require little or no solar power.
It’d be amazing to have a garden-pod that powered it’s own LED lighting or even almost did, especially if you could toss in duck grass, edible day lilies and floating planters for other plants to gain from the LED lighting and CO2 inside the pod.
Hehe, I imagine such a thing (able to power itself or near it) would be pretty damned useful in remote locations, whether in the middle of nowhere, underwater in a sea habitat, floating on boats, on an island or in the future in space. If it does indeed 1,000 to 2,000 pounds of rice, plus other plants as well… just wow, that’d be ideal. I’m definitely going to look into it more and if anyone else interested can offer up any more information or suggestions, please do.
Wow, just wow. I’ll cite some sources later but from the research and math I did just two or three minutes ago, it’d work and more.
1.25 kg/hr rice husk = 1 Kw of electricity 2 – 2 1/2 tons = 5,000 pounds 1 kg = 2 pounds, so 3 pounds per 1kW hour for a rough estimate
1,300 kW of electricity from just rice husks, not including biomethane and bioethanol production omfr other plants or passive biogas production during rice growrth.
112 days growth cycle for rice – 11+ kW per day based upon the rice husks gasification alone, Leaving rice wheat for other uses (or additional biogas biomass) and additional biogas for day to day use and in left over from rice husk biogas production in the digester for other uses.
This yields excess biogas, possibly bioethanol, 1 ton of rice, plus other unused rice pieces for other uses. possibly rice hay to feed livestock?
If the yield from one container / acre of rice is more than 5 m3 of biogas per hour, that’s far more than enough energy. .6 to 1 m3 of biogas equal 1 kW of energy and in some cases more, such as in 20kW generators that use 12 m3 of biogas per hour.
Also, off but on topic, landfills of (100 acres) 40 hectares with a waste height of 100 to 125 meters 100 to 125 metres of waste produce 135 m3 of gas per minute for 15 years. 1kW per M3. That’s easily 200kW of energy going to waste in a 100 acre landfill.
Cost of container: $2,000 to $3,000 Cost of growing LED lights, water, growing materials, hydro/aquaponic systems: $4,000 Cost of generator and biogas digestor, use and storage equipment: $6,000
Total: $10,000 to $13,000
Still, if you managed to do the cultivation without electricity (solar reflectors or what have you), it’d be a great way to power your home. Grow rice, power even a 3-4 person average middle-class United States home for under $10,000.