Keywords: renewable energy, anaerobic treatment, rice straw, biogas, life cycle analysis, LCA: energy potential, environmental potential, economic potential, Cuba, rice residual biomass, cogeneration, rice harvesting waste, electrical power, thermal power, greenhouse gases, GHG emissions
Energetic, environmental and economic potentialities of the anaerobic treatment of rice straw for the case of the Cuban enterprise 'Sur del Jíbaro'
Rice harvesting and production generates a residual biomass that does not possess an environmentally sustainable disposition route; however, it could be an important carbon source for energetic processes. In this paper the energetic potential via cogeneration that can be obtained from the biogas resulting from the anaerobic treatment of the rice–harvesting wastes (rice straw), for the case of the Cuban Enterprise 'Sur del Jíbaro', is estimated. Through a life cycle analysis, an assessment of the environmental profile, when using this treatment alternative, is carried out. The results prove that with the anaerobic treatment of the rice straw available, it could be profitably obtained a potential to generate 10 MW of electrical power and 15 MW of thermal power. This would also decrease the total greenhouse gas emissions in Cuba by 0.2% and the equivalent emissions of the Cuban energetic sector by 3.2%.