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Renewable energy and high-tech Bio-silicates from rice hulls

    Customers are now able to produce Silicates not only sustainably but also economically.

                                                                                                                                 Andreas Pörner, CEO Pörner Group

    Advantages of the Bio-Silicate technology

    The Pörner Bio-Silicate technology can be beneficially integrated along the value chain from the rice plant to the high-tech Bio-Silicate. It offers utilization of the by–product rice hull and savings in energy. Pörner designs and realizes the Bio-Silicate Plant either as stand-alone or - if not yet existing - including the upstream biomass power plant.

    the pörner technology value creation process

    The Bio-Silicate technology offers several economic benefits, ...

    • to the rice farmers - an organic fertilizer and/or crop protection agent from rice hulls (previously worthless waste product) for their fields
    • to the rice mills - the profitability of the business is increased by including a biomass power plant, covering the energy demand locally and the waste product rice hull ash is processed to high-tech Bio-Silicate products
    • to the silicate manufacturer - economically produced "green" high-purity silicates that are obtained from a renewable sustainable raw material

      The Pörner Bio-Silicate technology integrated with a Biomass Power Plant, ...

      • stabilizes the energy supply in rural areas and provides access to clean energy and high-tech products
      • solves a serious ecological problem - currently the rice hulls rot in wild landfills or are burned in open fires polluting the environment (damage to air, soil and groundwater)
      • offers a better environmental balance - CO2 emissions alone are reduced by up to 70 % (compared to conventional production, in combination with a biomass power plant)
      • improves the quality and purity of high-tech silicates - traceable metals are reduced to one tenth (compared to conventionally produced silicates)

      Economic comparison


      The process

      Pörner Bio-Silicate Technology

      Rice is the main food source for half of the world's population. Each grain of rice is wrapped in a pellicle, the rice hull, a perfect protection against external influences. Its high resistance is explained by its material, mainly silicates and cutins. The weight of the rice hulls is equal approximately 20 % of the total rice grain. Accordingly, in rice processing, large quantities of rice hulls are a waste product that must be disposed of in landfills, as they rot slowly due to their chemical composition. However, the hulls contain high potential to be used for sustainable power generation.

      The Pörner technology converts rice hulls in modern biomass power plants into climate-friendly, renewable "green energy". During the combustion of the hulls, rice hull ash is obtained in a CO2-neutral cycle in addition to electrical and thermal energy. This rice hull ash contains more than 90 % silicon dioxide (SiO2), which is modified into high-quality silicates by the Pörner Bio-Silicate Process.

      From the subsequent filtration step, a filter cake is obtained, which consists mainly of pure carbon. This valuable By-Product can be used as filter aid material.

      The filtered Silicate is a high purity product and can - after subsequent decolorization - be used as an industrial water glass. By advanced treatment even highest silicates qualities can be produced for the high purity silicate market.

      Pilot plant in Freiberg

      Pörner operates a modern demonstration plant in Freiberg/Germany. This plant is specifically designed to define and optimize the key parameters of the process.

      In accordance with customer specifications, high-quality silicate products are developed in liquid form from the ashes provided. Using state-of-the-art process and laboratory equipment, analytical investigations can be carried out efficiently.


      A Product for the world market

      The use of silicates is diverse - the spectrum spans from bleach in the paper industry to additives in detergents, paints, building materials, cosmetics, tires and construction chemicals. Furthermore, silicon can be processed with potassium into environmentally friendly fertilizer, with potential to improve plant growth, and increase yield and crop quality by up to 25%.

      The world market for silicates is growing continuously. It is forecasted to reach about $ 6.5 billion by 2025, with detergents accounting for around one quarter of the market. At present, precipitated silica is the fastest-growing market for car tire production (keyword "green tires").