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Rice straw burning: a review on its global prevalence and the sustainable alternatives for its effective mitigation

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Being one of the most important staple crops of the world, rice has played a vital role in slaking the calorie requirements of the masses in all the inhabitable continents of our planet. Regardless of this fact, there are many environmental concerns related to the rice production systems across the globe. One of the major worries is the emission of lethal greenhouse gases as a result of the different steps and procedures concerned with rice production and their contribution towards global warming. This study presents the status quo of the rice straw burning practice across the globe. It focuses on the greenhouse gas emissions as a result of the open field burning of rice residues and its direct effect on the environment, eventually contributing towards climate change. The study evidently shortlists the most profound regions contributing towards the open burning dilemma and the socio-political reasons associated with it. The study additionally discusses the different alternatives to straw burning with a clear-cut motive of throwing light on the opportunities that lie in the efficacious and sustainable utilization of homogeneous agricultural wastes. Different in-field straw management techniques related to the farmers and off-field methods related to the industry have been discussed. Predicated upon a survey of the life cycle assessment (LCA) studies across the globe, it is concluded that soil incorporation and electricity generation are the most environment friendly alternatives with an enormous scope of improvement in the coming future.

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Conceptualization: GS, MKG, SC; methodology: GS, MKG, SC; investigation: GS; writing, original draft: GS, MKG, SC, DYP; writing, review and editing: all the authors; supervision: VS; DYP.

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Correspondence to Munish Kumar Gupta.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Responsible Editor: Philippe Loubet

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Singh, G., Gupta, M.K., Chaurasiya, S. et al. Rice straw burning: a review on its global prevalence and the sustainable alternatives for its effective mitigation. Environ Sci Pollut Res 28, 32125–32155 (2021).

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