Agricultural solid residues are a potential renewable energy source. Rice harvesting and production in Sancti Spíritus province, Cuba, currently generates residues without an environmentally sustainable disposal route. Rice residues (rice straw, rice husk and rice residues from the drying process) are potentially an important carbon source for anaerobic digestion. For this paper, rice residues were placed for 36 days retention time in anaerobic batch reactor environments at both mesophilic (37 °C) and thermophilic (55 °C) conditions. Biogas and methane yield were determined as well as biogas composition. The results showed that rice straw as well as rice residues from the drying process had the highest biogas and methane yield. Temperature played an important role in determining both biogas yield and kinetics. In all cases, rice straw produced the highest yields; under mesophilic conditions the biogas yield was 0.43 m3 kgVS−1, under thermophilic conditions biogas yield reached 0.52 m3 kgVS−1. In the case of the rice husk, the biodegradability was very low. Methane content in all batches was kept above 55% vol. All digested material had a high carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratio, even though significant biodegradation was recorded with the exception of rice husk. A first-order model can be used to describe the rice crop residues fermentation effectively.

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