Last update 1/29/2012 3:30:00 PM (GMT+7)

Vietnam tries to make ecological wood from rice hull

VietNamNet Bridge – Hull, the cover of the rice grain, is ground into powder, then it is mixed with glue and additives to create material balls. These allow making ecological wood planks from which people can make wooden furniture products which are much cheaper than that made of natural timber.

This is the result of the scientific research work on making ecological wood TGV cellulose composite from hull in order to more effective use rice hull by Dr Nguyen The Hung from the Physics Institute of the Vietnam Institute of Science and Technology.

Making wood from the huge resources of waste

The main products of rice plant are rice and rice bran. Rice is the main food for people, while bran is used as livestock feed. Meanwhile, the by-products - rice straw, rice husk have been thrown away.

Every year, Vietnam makes out 38-40 million tons of rice, while the amount of rice hull accounts for up to 20 percent, or 8 million tons. Meanwhile, only a small part of rice hull is used for cooking, while the other part has been thrown away or burnt, which causes pollution to the environment, killing fish and making river flow stuck. This is the popular scenery in Mekong Delta.

The scientific research work of Dr Hung and his colleagues began in 2006. In 2008, the research work on making wood from cellulose compound succeeded. In June 2010, the first product was successfully made at the Hanoi University of Agriculture. The total investment capital for the research work was 4 billion dong. A production line has become operation with the capacity of 35 square meter per day.

The hull processing line is a combination of the most advanced achievements of the science in the fields of mechanical engineering, electronic, automation, materials science, chemistry and physics. The nature of the technology is to manufacture wood planks with indefinite length from cellulose powder derived from rice husk.

Big economic efficiency

Dr Hung said that rice hull is grounded with soda in the environment with no oxygen, which aims to decompose hull into cellulose structure. Cellulose particles then are mixed with glue and additives and put into press to eliminate steam. After that they are put into a machine to create the wood plants which have the shapes set up by the machine.

The testing has pointed out that the wood made of hull has the equivalent portability with natural wood, while the ability to bear blending and compression is higher than natural wood.

Especially, the glue used for making hull wood is the know how of the technology of turning hull into wood. This kind of glue does not use formaldehyde; therefore, it does not affect the environment. The ideal temperature for the wood is from -400 oC to +1200 oC, therefore, it fits the heat in Vietnam and the cold in European countries. Therefore, this kind of good can be used to make chairs, beds, wardrobes and many outdoors works.

Hung recalled a long difficult period that he and the associates experienced. “In 2006, we nearly ran out of money, and we did not have money to return to home village to celebrate Tet,” he said. However, the scientists could foresee the success, which served as a driving force for them to go ahead.

According to Hung, some enterprises have come and placed orders, but the orders remain small. However, Hung hopes he would be able to join forces with investors to expand the business operation. Especially, he thinks that the wood can be exported, while people can make more complicated products from rice hull one day.

Source: Lao dong