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  1. #1
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    Default Coconut and rice wastes

    As a matter of curiosity, can somebody tell me:
    - if coconut shells and rice husks are available here?
    - what do they use these wastes for?

    Thank you,
    Barnabé

  2. #2
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    Default Husks

    Coconut husks are generally just thrown in a pile. I do not know if anyone here hasstarted using them in an industrial process. (At one time mamoru Matsunaga used coconut husks as filler for his Dojo filler, covered with two layers of canvas. But that was 30 years ago or more)

    Rice husks are (a) Burned to create power; (b) used as mulch for tobacco seedbeds or (c) just piled up and let rot. As far as I know.

    HB

  3. #3
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    There is a wonderful business down Nagua way that has found a way to utilize coconut husks. They put the dry husks through shredders and bale the shredded husks or recompose into sheets. The loose shreds are exported for use in nurseries for a mulch covering for young plants, and also in California in some wine farms, where the ground cover from the shredded husks seems to yield a ground cover with a long term seeping out of nutrients. The grape yields from these farms have been improving. The sheets are used on slopes, as soil stabilizers. The local population gathers truck loads of coconut husks and brings these to the shredding facility. They get paid by the pound. Good for the local population and a very good material. The folks doing this are now working on their certifications for organic status.

    I'd like to take you out there HB, you will be amazed at the process and at the business. The shredded husks even smell sweet if you dig your hands into it and bring a bunch up to your nose to smell - just like fresh rain on soil. Quite a lot of this stuff is currently exported to Spain for the grape and wine farms and at the moment, demand exceeds supply. Main markets currently are Spain and California wine farms. There are a few other fruit types where the material is being tested currently.

    Rice husks are mostly left to rot, and can be picked up for free. I recently saw a cattle farm that use the husks for bedding and floor cover in cattle barns.

    I heard that some of the coco seed husks can be processed into a material used for insulation. I have not been to this facility.

  4. #4
    aka - shadley
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    We use tons of rice husks for bedding, then compost for our farm here.

  5. #5
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    Default That is wonderful news for that area

    Glad to see spomebody is thinking.

    As for rice husks, I had forgotten that they are used to cover the floors for raising broiler chickens. Then the "gallinaza" is scraped up and sold to farmers for fertilizer...

    However, I am sure that this utilizes just a tiny percentage of the total available...

    HB

  6. #6
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    Many years ago (about 20 or so), when I headed a local foundation (for the developlement alternative home fuel sources), with the help of an IDP grant, I did some experiments in producing briquettes from rice hulls and coffee shells with a wax additive, for home cooking, with negative results.
    Now that I live in the foothills north of Azua, I've found out that there's nothing better for a flavorful home cooking fuel than bayahonda (mesquite), both as firewood and charcoal. It's a very fast growing brush tree in arid land. Maybe there's a future for briquettes made from this source. Is there an interest?

    Mirador

  7. #7
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    Default Little late to the party

    Cambrón / mesquite has been used in the Cibao for decades as charcoal an "leńa"(Cooking wood). In fact there are "dry" forests being run in Mao that are dedicated to the production of charcoal. It is a great renewable resource.

    Another one is Leucaena, called the miracle tree. Local varieties are good cattle feed, make acceptable charcoal and regrow fast. Larger-improved- varieties are used for furnature...and building wood.

    HB

  8. #8
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    Thank you everybody for this valuable info.

    Mirador I know there was in Santo Domingo, on the JFK, a brick-making company that was using rice husks. The husks were mixed with the clay. when the brick was put in the oven, the husks inside the brick were burning also, hence reducing the need for fuel, and leaving at the end of the process a lightweight brick with insulating properties. Then the solar was sold and the factory closed.

    At the Alfareria Dominicana, on the Autopista Duarte front of Carrefour, they use coconut husks at a supplement fuel, main fuel beeing gas. (info given by a worker there).

    The lignin content of coconut husks is similar to wood. It burns! In the philippines on the campos many families use them as a fuel. They also use rice husks, the government agencies have developed a type of stove (cost 15US) specifically to burn rice husks.

    Crushed coco husks are widely used for gardening and also for soil stabilizing, including in golf courses.. In fact I wonder if it's not the coir ("the hair" ) that is used. The coir is also used in high end matresses in Europe, mixed with natural latex. India and Sri Lanka export container loads of coir to Europe.

    Rice husk ash, when burned under controlled conditions, is a valuable substitute to cement for the manufacture of lightweight pozzolanic concrete, just like flying ashes (RHA concrete)

    I always wonder why there are apparently almost no efforts in DR to used local wastes in energy or industrial processes, whereas any used household item is reused and reused.

    Always a good surprise to see people in DR innovating the clever way. The day I visit the North Coast I will find this factory in Nagua, thank you Chris for the info.

    SJH I know that husks are given to animals but I read it was a poor diet due to lack of nutritient in the husks, and high silica content that makes digestion difficult. If you don't mind: do you feed cattle, pigs or chicken?

    Barnabé
    Last edited by Barnabe; 05-17-2004 at 09:46 AM. Reason: typing

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barnabe
    The lignin content of coconut husks is similar to wood. It burns! In the philippines on the campos many families use them as a fuel. Barnabé
    There is a company that imports coconut charcoal from Indonesia to the USA! I have purchased a small pallet of the stuff to use in my BBQ smoker.

    For those looking at alternative business opportunities in the DR, especially with an ecological theme, this kind of charcoal is taking off among the BBQing cognoscenti in the US. Very eco friendly as no trees are cut to make the charcoal.

    Here is where I buy it: http://www.kamado.com/New_Kamado_Charcoal.htm

    It's most popular form is a compressed, very dense briquette. Burns very hot and slow with little smoke compared to regular wood charcoal.

    This stuff probably could have saved Haiti!

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