ITAQUI CITY, Brazil—Oryzasil is expanding production of rice-husk silica, less than two years after launching its first manufacturing plant for the rubber filler product.
The southern Brazil company, part of MPC Bioenergia, started up at its Itaqui City plant in December 2018, with construction work on the expansion phase slated to start later this year, a spokesman informed ERJ.
"Phase 1 currently has the capacity to produce 5 kilotonnes per annum of silica and construction on the second phase will start as soon as we have the pandemic crisis controlled," business director Paulo Garbelotto said in a written statement.
Oryzasil initially is selling the reinforcing filler to rubber goods makers, while grades for tire companies are undergoing approval processes.
Approvals can take "two years or more, which means we will be ready to deliver products from the phase 2 capacity," Garbelotto said, adding that the expansion project could take up to 24 months to complete.
"We burn rice husk to generate energy and with ( the resulting) ash we produce chemical products, silica and sodium sulphate," the Oryzasil spokesman said.
According to the company official, sodium sulphate is not usually recovered from conventional silica production processes.
"But our concept is effluent-free and we transform the by-product into raw material for detergent market," Garbelotto pointed out.