Given the huge importance of rice in the diets of nearly half of human populations, issues surrounding climate change and rice production are critical. Rice is imperiled by rising sea levels and shifting geographic ranges. Bacteria in rice roots produce a great deal of methane, a significant greenhouse gas, through bacterial activity on plant roots, but new methods are being developed which reduce these bacteria. System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is increasingly popular, using less water, reduced plant density, and improved soil with organic matter. New varieties are being developed which flourish without these bacteria.
Silica is used for a huge range of industrial products and processes, from tires, to silicon wafers, to toothpaste and hamburgers. Rather than sourcing this from GHG-intensive metal, silica can be recovered from discarded rice hulls.