Aboitiz firm using ash waste from burned rice husks to make cement

Published August 15, 2020, 8:00 PM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

Pilmico Foods Corporation (Pilmico), the food and agribusiness arm of Aboitiz Group, has started to use ash waste from burned rice husks as cement for its construction needs.

Waste ash, a by-product of the rice husks used in the biomass boiler, is now used by Pilmico to augment concrete mixtures used in concrete slabs, curbs and gutters, perimeter fences, and concrete slats in swine pens. The mix is composed of 20% waste ash and 80% cement, together with necessary aggregates for concrete mixtures. (Pilmico photo)

In a statement, Pilmico said that civil engineers of the Pilmico Animal Nutrition Corporation (PANC) discovered that ash wastes from burned rice husks can be used as an alternative mix for cement for the facilities’ construction needs.

This was after PANC’s engineers conducted research to explore other supplemental uses of waste ash from the biomass boiler to minimize cost and further reduce wastes from Pilmico’s Tarlac feeds and farms facility.

After a series of experiments, they were able to establish a concrete mix from waste ash that would reduce actual cement usage by 20 percent.

It was in 2018 when Pilmico started using a biomass boiler that utilized rice husks as an alternative to bunker fuel for its feed production process.

The boiler generates steam to cook and sanitize the feeds by burning rice husks which are by-products of rice production sourced from the company’s partner rice mills.

The biomass boiler is part of Pilmico’s efforts to reduce production cost and carbon footprint. Through the use of rice husks, Pilmico was able to cut more than 60 percent of its bunker fuel use.

Meanwhile, Pilmico said the waste ash is already being used in Pilmico’s Slaughterhouse and Meat Cutting facility in Tarlac.

The waste ash mixture supplemented the concrete mix for road perimeters including curb and gutter that controls water flow by coursing it to specific drainages. This helps avoid flooding around the facility.

The perimeter fence that surrounds the entire facility is also made of the same waste ash and cement mixture, the company said.

“When we started using the biomass boiler almost two years ago, we saw process improvement and reduced costs. But in Pilmico, we know that the challenge does not stop there,” Maintenance Mechanical Supervisor for PANC’s Central Maintenance Department (CMD) Michael Cayabyab said.

“If you find a solution for something, you continue to improve that to ensure that it stays relevant,” he added.