Rice is part of the grass species and it feeds more than half of the human population. It is the third largest cereal culture in the world, only surpassed by corn and wheat. Brazil is at ninth place in regards to world rice production, of which 70% originates in Rio Grande do Sul. The state´s harvest in the years 2016 and 2017 was more than 8.7 million tons, naming Alegrete, Itaqui and Uruguaiana as main producing cities.
In the milling process the rice industry deals with husk, meal and rice. The rice and meal are destined to food purposes, but the husk still lacks an ecologically appropriate disposal. The husk is environmentally harmful because it emits most harmful methane gas as well as carbon dioxide. The husks can spontaneously combust due to the high temperatures caused by the decomposition process. In addition to this, it generates leachate, which together with rainfall water, infiltrates the soil surrounding the dumps, damaging the environment, causing the soil to become inhospitable.
Oryzasil produces functionalized, nanostructured, high performance silica (SiO2) from rice husk ash. Our products are even better when analyzing the sustainable aspect. Our competitors, in turn, produce precipitated silica through the use of depleting raw materials, such as sand for example, and with the intensive use of energy. Oryzasil is able to reconcile the use of a basic raw material from a renewable source and working at temperatures below 200 degrees Celsius.
Natural silica or quartz is a chemical compound of a group of minerals whose constitution is silicon dioxide (SiO2), its molecules are solid, crystalline and large. This element is found in sand, which is removed from the environment in its natural form and consequently causes environmental harm. Quartz is one of the most used raw materials to generate synthetic silicas, among them amorphous precipitated silica, within the conventional production process. Oryzasil uses rice husk, which is a by-product of the rice industry and abundant in the region, as a renewable raw material for the production of amorphous precipitated silica. The production of this silica means there are zero effluents being put into nature and the production works with the energy generated by the rice husk biomass itself.