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Planning the Collection and Transportation of Rice Straw in Nantou County, Taiwan

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 32(5): 531-538. (doi: 10.13031/aea.32.10718) @2016
Authors:   Yi-Chich Chiu, Syun-Jhih Guo, Suming Chen, Chao-Yin Tsai, Jin-Ming Tsai
Keywords:   Bioethanol, Collection and transportation, Geographic information system, Rice straw, Waste utilization.

Abstract. The purpose of this study was to design a rice straw collection and transportation method. Four bale forms were designed for processing 75,474 tons of rice straw produced in Nantou County: large large-round bale, small large-round bale, large small-round bale, and small small-round bale. Nine trucks, individually weighing 2, 3, 3.49, 6.2, 7.5, 11, 15.5, 17, and 24 tons, were used for transportation analysis. This study proposed six hypothetical scenarios for rice straw collection and transportation. For each scenario, centralized and noncentralized transportation were implemented, in which centralized transport involves a route from various townships to neighboring farmers‘ associations to the final rice-straw treatment site, and noncentralized transport is direct delivery from various townships to the final treatment site. A geographic information system was consulted to construct a map for the locations of various townships and to assess the optimal routes for rice straw collection and transport. Considering the trucks of varying weights, the transportation costs of various rice straw delivery methods were calculated to determine the optimal collection and transportation locations.

The results revealed that the optimal plant locations for rice straw processing and distribution are the rice straw production areas in Caotun Township, Nantou, Mingjian Township, and Jhushan Township. A centralized transportation of small large-round bale was the optimal method and form. The cost of rice straw collection and transportation is US$31.66 and US$20.7 per ton, respectively. A 3.49-ton truck was used for first-stage transportation, traveling an average distance of 15.9 km; a 15.5-ton truck was used for second-stage transportation, traveling an average distance of 24.9 km. Additionally, US$1.5776 million is required annually for collecting and delivering rice straws in Nantou County. In this study, a rice straw collection and transportation method was devised for Nantou County and plant establishment at the final sites for rice straw treatment was assessed. In the future, a decision-supporting system for rice straw collection and transportation can be further developed.

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