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3.2 Research design

Literature Search

Data Collection

Quantitative Survey Qualitative Interview

Field survey Web based +Postal

Interview (Face to face) Survey finding


Future strategic Literature Search

Data Collection

Quantitative Survey Qualitative Interview

Field survey Web based +Postal

Interview (Face to face) Survey finding


Future strategic

future strategic for developing paddy residue based power generation in Malaysia.

The overall structure of the research design is show in Figure 3.2. This research focused on analyzing the utilization of paddy residue in Malaysia from three viewpoints; energy, environment and economics under the LCA scheme. The economic and environment impacts are analyzed using LCA scheme from this combustion. Then, the paddy residue co-firing to the existing coal power plant is applied to analyze the economic and environment impact. Furthermore, the result obtained is compared with the fossil fuel based power generation in terms of emission and cost-effectiveness. The most critical part in the process is the logistic issue, and then the optimum design output with minimum emission and cost are identified

Figure 3.1: Flow

chart process for

the study


Figure 3.2: Overall structure of research design















Figure 3.2: The overall structure of the research design


3.2.1 Population

This study employed a case study approach which allows the LCA and LCC analyses and used location-specific data, thus providing a more rigorous environmental and economic analysis. The results also provide more relevant information needed for any actual government decision making. According to Yimin (2010) , case study is important because any commercial scale in bio-energy system needed to be considered the resource availability; cost, technology, current government policy, and all this parameter have to be assured of their substantial difference from one location to others.

The study area was chosen in Northern area of Malaysia for high production rate of paddy. This area is known as a granary area of Malaysia. Granary areas refer to major irrigation schemes (areas greater than 4,000 hectares) and recognized by the Government in the National Agricultural Policy as the main paddy producing areas (Department of Agriculture, 2012). About 61.2% of paddy production in 2011 is from the Northern region of Malaysia (Department of Agriculture, 2012). Figure 3.3 shows the map of paddy production in Malaysia (red points represent the paddy production area).

Figure 3.3: Map of paddy areas in Malaysia (MADA, 2012)

MADA (Muda Agricultural Development Authority) area is the exact location chosen due to large planted area for paddy production. MADA has the highest production of paddy with 52% among other granary areas in Malaysia (Department of Agriculture, 2012). Figure 3.4 represents the MADA areas in the Northern region of Malaysia.

Figure 3.4: Map of MADA area (MADA, 2012)

3.2.2 Questionnaire Survey on rice husk based power generation life cycle

A set of questionnaire with six questions was used in order to review availability and consumption of rice husk in the mill operated in Northern region of Malaysia (Appendix B).

In 2011, there were 105 rice mills registered in the Northern region under SSM. The sample size of 83 rice mills for this study is based on the sample table by Cavana et al.

(2001) . Among these only 44 rice mills take part in the survey. About 46% respondents were not willing to take part in the survey and some mills were not reachable. The convenience sampling was used due to the exploratory phase studied in investigating the current uses of rice husk (Cavana et al., 2001).

Selected lorry drivers from BERNAS customer were chosen for investigating the condition of paddy transportation (Appendix C). The surveys were sent to all 18 BERNAS mills customers in Northern area. In each mill the selected lorry drivers were given the questionnaire based on their willingness to response. A set of questionnaire were given to the paddy lorry driver related to their normal distance travelled and the capacity of their lorry. The data were used for analysis of rice husk and rice straw transportation process. For rice straw transportation the questionnaires were sent to selected MADA areas carrying out rice straw collection and transportation. Survey of rice straw based power generation life cycle

Simple answering session of the questionnaire through telephone was conducted with 27 DFO (District Farmer’s Organisation) Managers in MADA areas to determine the number of areas that are organising rice straw collection. Resulted from these, only two zones were found to organise the rice straw collection and then picked as a sample for this study. Table 3.1 shows the sample survey for rice straw collection.

Table 3.1: Sample survey for rice straw collection

Zone Unit Area (km2)

II B 37.79

IV F 35.97

3.2.3 Interview

The analysis has found that, only one rice mill which uses rice husk in generating electricity. The in-depth interview was carried out with Ban Heng Bee Rice Mill officials.

The interview session was done with the Senior Engineer for, Irrigation and Drainage of MADA to get information regarding the management of paddy plantation, starting from land preparation, crop establishment, and crop management to the harvesting of paddy.

Rice husk combustion data were taken from interviews (Appendix D) with selected rice mill that utilizes rice husk to generate electricity, which in this case is Ban Heng Bee Rice Sdn. Bhd. located in Pendang, Kedah.

The interviews with the Operation Manager of rice straw collection were conducted during January to March of 2011 in MADA area. Interviewees were known by the result of the survey, personal communication and literature searches in this field of research.

Then, the interviewees were contacted by telephone and/or in person to provide them with some background of the research and to see whether they are willing to take part.

The meeting times were then arranged if they accepted the invitation. To obtain data needed for the study, the interviewees were asked to answer questions in relation to rice straw production processes, rice straw collection, and current potential customers of rice straw within their industries. The interview questions are shown in Appendix E.

Summary of all the interview sessions are presented in Table 3.2.

Table 3.2: Summary of all the interview sessions

Position Date Aim

Boiler Engineer 5 August 2010 To study the process involved in the power generation control

Site visit Operation


12 November 2010

To study the use of rice husk in electricity generation

Operation Manager

January –April 2011

Rice straw production process