Using Rice as a Fuel Source: The Latest in Sustainable Energy

Rice is an excellent energy source for fuelling your workouts. But, did you also know it can be used to power a factory? 

Energy is required for the production of everything, some sources being more sustainable than others. Burning fossil fuels is clearly less than ideal for the production of gym equipment. The processing of steel is always something that is a high energy requirement, not only for cost but for the environment.

Much of the Body Iron line up is produced in Thailand. What many people do not know is that the factory which produces the Body Iron range of racks and strength equipment uses a very unique energy source, one that is not usually spoken about. Risk husk. 


Rice husk's are the hard protective covering of rice grains that are discarded once the rice is harvested. They are a by-product of rice growing, which is one of Thailand's main productions. In fact, approximately 50-60% of Thailand's local food production is rice. 


Rice husk has been used as a fuel for more than 100 years. The first recorded use of rice husk as an energy source was in 1889, in Myanmar. 

To produce energy, rick husks are collected and combusted in a boiler. This produces high pressure steam which is used to turn a turbine, which drives a generator and generates electricity.

The prevalence and year-round production of rice crops on both an industrial and small scale means that rice husks are an attractive biomass fuel as they are not only readily available in large quantities but are also easy to collect. Using rice as an electric source also solves the problem of husk waste disposal. 

Rice Husk Farm


Reducing Carbon Emissions

Rice husk contains about 30–50% of organic carbon, and has a high heat value to process energy. It can be used to generate fuel, heat, or electricity through thermal, chemical, or bioprocesses. 

Although carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced by combustion of biomass such as rice husk, the carbon produced is absorbed by plants through the process of photosynthesis. Hence, the combustion of biomass and biogas reduces the global warming effect since CO2 net emission becomes zero. While combustion of conventional fossil fuels adds additional CO2 into the environment.

Essentially what this means is that for any amount of electricity produced by coal there will be some emission of CO2. However, if the same amount of energy was produced using rice husk, then the amount of carbon dioxide emitted will be zero. Limiting the emissions of CO2 is crucial for better air quality and creating a healthier environment.

The amount of available biofuel not only in Thailand but over much of southeast asian countries has the potential to reduce carbon emissions across the board. While production of goods increases we must take into account how we power these production facilities, large and small.

Providing More Job Opportunities

We can take this a step further, not only as a fuel source, but the generation of local employment. The employment opportunities generated from rice husk are from the raw material collection, transportation, trading, and power plant working personnel. The increase in locals would be great especially in developing countries, where manual labor is still the main source of employment.

It is believed that exploiting the renewable energy potential and utilising agricultural waste will be beneficial to any country’s energy portfolio, while adding several social and environmental benefits, such as; reducing carbon dioxide emissions, improving air quality, and decreasing the unemployment rate. 

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