The use of biomass in the production of renewable energy is one of Etea’s defining characteristics. Over the years our Group has developed and industrialized its own technology for the combustion of rice hulls, a by-product of the rice milling process which is widely available in Northern Italy.

Biomass combustion has a neutral effect on carbon dioxide emissions. The CO2 emitted during combustion is equal to that absorbed by the plants’ for growth and that would have been released back into the atmosphere through the decomposition of the organic material at the end of plants’ life cycle. For that reason, the combustion of biomass does not have a negative impact with regards to the carbon dioxide balance.

Our company droblins is a 50/50 joint venture between the Etea Group and a large Italian rice producer. In 2000 the Etea Group designed and built co-generation plant producing electrical energy and technological steam from rice hulls. The plant, located in Crova (Vercelli, Italy), was refurbished in 2010 and has an installed capacity of 8 MW, equal to an annual production of 55.000 MWH.

The innovative use of rice hulls as biomass in the Corva plant has resolved significant environmental problems linked to the methods previously used for rice hull disposal. Finally, the resulting ash by-product is used as a thermal insulator in the steel industry, maximizing the re-use potential of this natural resource.


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