Dr. OrgeThe Philippine Society of Agricultural Engineers (PSAE) commended agricultural engineers and researchers of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) for their studies and outstanding contribution in agriculture during the 66th PSAE Annual Convention at Mariano Marcos State University, Batac City, Ilocos Norte, April 24-30.

PhilRice Scientist, Dr. Ricardo F. Orge won the Most Outstanding Agricultural Engineer or Maramba Award, the highest recognition given during the event. The same award was given to PhilRice Scientist, Dr. Manuel Jose C. Regalado in 2015.

Orge is the former center director of the Institute’s Climate Change Center and current program lead of Coping with Climate Change Program.

Researchers Arnold S. Juliano, Romeo B. Gavino, Melissa E. Agulto, Victorino T. Taylan, Armando N. Espino Jr., and Emmanuel V. Sicat won first place in the agricultural power, energy, and waste utilization category for their study Improvement of PhilRice-designed rice hull gasifier engine-pump system for rainfed lowland irrigation.

They developed a rice hull gasifier engine-pump system with a 30cm diameter reactor that uses an average of 8.5kg of fresh rice hull per hour to supply fuel to a 16hp gasoline engine.

The same research team won second place for their study Optimizing water utilization from a developed rice hull gasifier engine-pump system for rainfed lowland farm in the soil, and water conservation category.

The team established an optimization scheme in using the developed gasifier system for three crops in a hectare farm. Results showed that using the gasifier system for continuous pumping operation  can generate savings of P20, 705 per year with an investment payback period of 2.62 years and P1.23 per cubic meter pumping water cost.

Posters derived from these studies won third place in their respective categories.

Regalado, Alexis T. Belonio, Marvelin L. Rafael, Katherine C. Villota, Phoebe R. Castillo, and Eden C. Gagelonia’s Design, testing, and evaluation of hydrous bioethanol distiller for the production of fuel-grade alcohol from nipa sap (Nypafruiticans) won second place in the agricultural power, energy, and waste utilization category.

The distiller is consist of an internal-heated boiler/steamer, a packed-column, and a water-jacketed condenser. It is capable of distilling fuel-grade bioethanol at a rate of 2-4l/hr using fermented sap and 5l/hr for pre-processed feed.

PSAE was founded in 1950 to advance the theory and practice of agricultural engineering. It is an accredited national organization and home to more than 7,000 licensed agricultural engineers in the country.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute