Forest Concepts Awarded USDA SBIR Contract to Improve Biomass Drying Efficiency
Forest Concepts, LLC was notified today that it has been awarded an SBIR research contract from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The two-year $499,997 contract will support development of advanced model-predictive control systems for biomass dryers used in the biofuel and bioproducts supply chain.
Forest Concepts Issued US Patent for METHOD OF BALING SWITCHGRASS OR MISCANTHUS AT OPTIMUM HIGHWAY TRANSPORT DENSITIES
Today, the U.S. Patent Office issued Patent Number 8,359,974 to Forest Concepts, LLC. This patent provides for compacting switchgrass or miscanthus into rectangular bales, at compression pressures between 4 psi and 32 psi, to achieve optimum highway transport densities, taking into consideration initial moisture content, expected dry-down period, and mode of transportation.
Switchgrass and other tall perennial grasses are expected to become a core element of our nation's strategy to replace imported oil and natural gas with renewable resources, but the large, stiff stems of this biomass type has been problematic to economically harvest using legacy technology.
Dr. James Dooley co-authors two of the three articles featured on the cover of the January 2013 issue of Biofuels
Dr. James Dooley, Chief Technology Officer of Forest Concepts, was the co-author of two of the three articles featured on the cover of the January 2013 issue of Biofuels, a leading peer-reviewed science and engineering journal published in the U.K. The special focus issue on advanced feedstocks for advanced biofuels included ten articles and manuscripts. Dooley co-authored with Drs. Kaushlendra Singh and Shahab Sokhansanj an editorial about how scale matters to the utilization of woody biomass. The other cover story was an original research manuscript authored by Forest Concepts' engineers Dave Lanning, Chris Lanning, and Jim Dooley. The article titled "Woody biomass size reduction with selective material orientation" details the development of what is now known as the Forest Concepts Crumbles® technology. The work was partially funded by US Department of Energy Office of Biomass Programs to apply the principles of structural biology to minimize energy consumed during comminution of woody biomass into small biofuel feedstock particles. The low energy comminution was achieved by careful understanding of natural modes of failure within wood materials, minimizing energy-intensive cross-grain shearing, processing at high moisture content, and only manipulating each face of the resulting particles only once. Production equipment based on the technology has been demonstrated to consume a fraction of the energy used by hammer mills.
The entire issue is available online at http://www.future-science.com/toc/bfs/4/1
Forest Concepts Licenses WoodStraw® Production from Beetle-Kill Trees to Colorado Company
Forest Concepts, LLC granted a license today to Mountain Pine Manufacturing, Inc., of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for the exclusive right to manufacture, distribute and sell Engineered Wood-based Mulch within a five state area. Mountain Pine Manufacturing will be producing the engineered mulch from the tremendous supply of Beetle-Kill Pine in the area, and in doing so will be making an environmentally friendly use of the trees while creating jobs in Routt County.
Forest Concepts Awarded USDOE SBIR Phase I to Improve Feedstock Drying to Intensify Conversion Processes
Forest Concepts was notified that it was awarded a $150,000 SBIR research grant in the highly competitive DOE program. When Forest Concepts is successful in the ten-month long research project, it will qualify for up to an additional $1 million of funding over two years to complete the development effort.The project, Process Intensification through Improved Dryer Engineering Data and Design, combines our ongoing low-energy biomass feedstock comminution engineering program with new advanced drying physics and science work that will reduce the capital and operating costs of biofuels facilities using woody and herbaceous biomass as their feedstocks.
Forest Concepts Completes USDA SBIR to Separate High Value White Wood from Hog Fuel
Forest Concepts has completed its USDA NIFA Small Business Innovative Research funded chipped and shredded biomass reprocessing project. The technologies developed during this project enables forest products industry professionals to reprocess low quality feedstocks into higher quality feedstocks to meet their wood fiber needs. See the final report out presentation for more details.
Forest Concepts' Crumbles® Precision Feedstock Manufacturing Process Featured at DOE Workshop and Webinar
Chief Technology Office Jim Dooley was among a select few non-DOE employees featured in a two-day workshop on biomass feedstock preprocessing at the Idaho National Laboratory August 23-24, 2011 and on a globally broadcast webinar "Transforming Biomass into Feedstock" on August 30, 2011. Dr. Dooley's presentation covered our novel approach to production of woody biomass feedstock particles that have optimal geometry and surface characteristics for biochemical and thermochemical conversion to second generation liquid transportation fuels. The Forest Concepts methods include selective orientation of biomass to enable independent shearing parallel to grain and cross-grain, thus minimizing the comminution energy to a fraction of that required for grinding with hammer and knife mills.
Forest Concepts Granted 2 Core U.S. Patents for Biomass Baling Systems
Forest Concepts received notice from the U.S. Patent Office of the issuance of key biomass baling patents. Engineers at Forest Concepts applied sound science to discover and document three important rheological properties of woody biomass and tall grass biomass. Knowledge of these three properties enables the design and construction of new balers that can predictably and reproducibly bale both materials at preselected optimum transportation densities while minimizing fossil fuel consumption during baling, handling and transport. The three rheological properties are platen pressure, friction and Poisson's ratio, the values of which are specific for the material to be baled.
Forest Concepts and University of Washington Partner on Bioenergy Technology
Scientists and engineers at the University of Washington's biofuels and bioproducts laboratory in the School of Forest Resources are partnering, as a subcontract under Forest Concepts' Small Business Innovation Research contract with the U. S. Department of Energy, to evaluate the biochemical conversion efficiency of a new kind of woody biomass feedstock particle.
US DOE Funds Biomass Particle Optimization and Production Research
The US DOE Small Business Innovation Research program awarded Forest Concepts with a two-year $1,000,000 Phase II contract to devlop new equipment systems for comminution and new feedstock particles that are optimized for preprocessing and conversion to second-generation biofuels.
USDA Funds Sorting Wood from Wood
The USDA Small Business Innovation Research program awarded Forest Concepts with a two-year $350,000 Phase II contract to advance the development of their technologies for reprocessing hog fuel and other chipped woody biomass.
Forest Concepts donates truckload of WoodStraw® mulch to Jesusita fire recovery
Forest Concepts and partner Mt. West Helicopters donated and delivered a full truckload of their innovative wood-strand erosion control material WoodStraw® to the county of Santa Barbara, CA for use in the Jesusita fire environmental recovery effort.
Mt. West Helicopters invests in Forest Concepts
On January 9, 2009 Mt. West Helicopters of Alpine, Utah made a minority equity investment in Forest Concepts. Bryan Burr, president and owner of Mountain West Helicopters, stated, "Over the past two years, Forest Concepts' patented WoodStraw® Erosion Control Mulch (ECM) has become an important treatment applied for erosion prevention on critical and sensitive burned areas resulting from wildfires. Mike Perry, CEO of Forest Concepts, adds, "During 2008, Mountain West Helicopters was Forest Concepts' most significant purchaser of WoodStraw® ECM, and Bryan Burr's confidence and support has enabled our company to make improvements to our WoodStraw® ECM production process and capacity, and to build inventory."
Forest Concepts Celebrates 10th Aniversary
Founded on December 11, 1998, Forest Concepts, LLC of Auburn, Washington is celebrating ten years of making it easier for customers to complete environmental restoration, endangered species habitat and erosion control projects with natural wood products. Hundreds of customers across the United States rely on wood products from Forest Concepts. The company's flagship ELWd® habitat structures and WoodStraw® wood strand erosion control materials were developed using sound science and disciplined en
WoodStraw® specified at the new Kent Washington Event Center
WoodStraw® wood strand erosion control material was specified by the City of Kent, Washington for mulching natural areas adjacent to the new ShoWare Event Center. The WoodStraw® mulch was manufactured and supplied by Forest Concepts, LLC of Auburn, Washington. The baled wood strand material was delivered as-needed from the Forest Concepts warehouse which is only a few miles from the project. Over the course of construction, more than 2,500 bales of WoodStraw® mulch was spread by City of Kent crews.
BLM Boise releases 3 year revegetation report featuring WoodStraw®
The Boise office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has released its three-year performance monitoring report on erosion control and revegetation for the 2005 Snake One fire along the Snake River near Weiser, Idaho. This post-wildfire application was the first operational use of WoodStraw® wood strand erosion control material by the BLM anywhere in the United States. The WoodStraw® mulch was manufactured and supplied by Forest Concepts, LLC of Auburn, Washington.
Forest Concepts wins Rain Bird Engineering Concepts of the Year Award
Forest Concepts, LLC, Auburn, Washington, was awarded the 2008 Rain Bird Engineering Concept of the Year for their innovative wood-strand erosion control material it sells under the WoodStraw® brand. Using laboratory research data and mathematical modeling, the company designed this innovative and effective long-strand material to significantly out-perform agricultural straw in terms of longer functional life, resistance to wind, inherently free of weed seeds, and interlocking ability to cling to steep slopes.
Jim Dooley elected president of ASABE
On July 2, 2008 Dr. James H. (Jim) Dooley PhD, P.E. was installed as the president of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) for 2008-2009. ASABE is an international technical and scientific organization with more than 9,000 members in 104 countries who are dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to biological, food, and agricultural systems. ASABE members are actively engaged in solving critical global issues of our time including production of agricultural commodities to feed a hungry world, leading the conversion from fossil fuels to bioenergy, improving food and water quality, and protecting the environment. Jim Dooley is a co-founder of Forest Concepts and its Chief Technology Officer.
USDA SBIR program funds biomass pre-processing development at Forest Concepts
On May 1, 2008, Forest Concepts launched a project to develop improved methods to supply woody biomass feedstocks to the bio-products and bioenergy industries. The core premise of the project is that commingled woody biomass chips and shreds contain significant amounts of bole and branch wood which have economic value. The objective of the SBIR project is to increase the utility of field-processed woody biomass material by separating valuable wood content from other materials. This is Forest Concepts' fourth USDA-SBIR contract related to forest products.
BIOMASS magazine feature article: "Northwest ingenuity takes shape"
In a six-page story titled "Northwest Ingenuity Takes Shape," BIOMASS Magazine profiled Forest Concepts as a leading innovator in the bioenergy feedstocks arena. Bryan Sims, staff writer for the industry leading trade magazine, chose to focus on how our WoodMuncher™ technology was developed and is applicable to produce precision bioenergy feedstocks. Sims also commented on our development of biomass baling as an extension of our experience baling WoodStraw® erosion control materials.
Jim Dooley awarded the Institue of Biological Engineering's highest honor
Dr. James H. Dooley, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer with Forest Concepts, LLC was presented with the Brahm and Sudha Verma Lifetime Visionary Award from the Institute of Biological Engineering at their 2007 annual meeting in St. Louis, MO. The award is the organization's highest honor, and recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of the biological engineering profession over many years. Dr. Dooley was the second person to receive the award during the past ten years.
WoodStraw® ECM recieved the 2006 AE50 award for innovative technology
ASABE's Resource magazine chose Forest Concepts' WoodStraw® innovative wood-strand erosion control material to receive one of their AE50 Award winners. The judges who chose the winners represent all facets of the agricultural, food, biological, and related systems engineering professions. The expert panel picked the best of products first introduced to the marketplace during 2005. These products are expected to save producers time, costs, and labor while improving user safety.
Smallwood Pallet Bunks recieve 2004 AE50 award for innovative technology
Multi-Modal Wood Bunks for Small Diameter Roundwood enable efficient transport of wood from forest thinning programs and labor-efficient handling of smallwood at community-based forest products firms. The all-steel bunks are designed to hold approximately one-half ton of roundwood. The bunks can be moved by pallet jack or forklift at a production facility. The design facilitates tipping by automated equipment to feed roundwood onto a log deck or into a processing line. The bunks also can be lifted from the top by a log loader for easy stacking, placing or loading in the forest. The bunks can be hauled on a self-loading flatbed trailer, conventional flatbed truck and small trailers. The bunks are designed to nest when empty so they may be efficiently stored or transported back to the forest from town.