Biomass Baling Technologies
Costly and logistically difficult feedstock delivery have emerged among the critical factors that stall development of planned bioenergy facilities and limit the capacity of others already on-line. Forest Concepts' "science first" development process used purpose-built laboratory equipment to quantify the three rheological properties of many types of woody and herbaceous biomass that are important to the design of light-weight but strong balers that can produce high-density bales. Proprietary data describing pressure-density relationships, side wall friction, and Poisson's forces was then used to design and build a street-legal full-scale engineering prototype baler. Forest Concepts' pioneering research and engineering efforts related to biomass baling have resulted in a strong Intellectual Property position, with six related patents issued to date. Technologies relevant to baling herbaceous crops such as switchgrass, corn stover, miscanthus, and others are available for licensing.
Woody biomass from urban, suburban, and forest areas is a large unexploited source of bioenergy fuels and feedstock. Existing methods for at-the-source chipping, shredding and hauling with specialized trucks have proven to be costly in some cases and logistically impractical in others. These problems are particularly true for woody biomass produced by tree service firms, landscape managers and municipalities in urban/suburban areas. Our biomass baling technology enables woody biomass to join cardboard, paper, cans and many other materials as important recyclables, AND to be collected and handled just like other baled urban recyclables. Biomass baling technologies invented by Forest Concepts establish a new paradigm for woody biomass feedstock collection, transport and handling. Biomass balers enable cost-effective collection and delivery of whole or minimally processed woody biomass to power producers, cogeneration plants, and biofuel producers, while mitigating many of the issues faced by owners and operators of tow-behind chippers.