Large Square Bales of Woody Slash

Biomass Baling into Large Square Bales for Efficient Transport, Storage, and Handling


Forest Concepts is working under a federal contract from the USDA CSREES SBIR program to develop better methods to collect and transport woody biomass collected from small-scale fuels reduction projects (ranging from residential lots to 20 acre parcels) in the true wildland-urban intermix zone (WUI). Our specific objective is to enable more of the material to be delivered to value-added uses including energy, biorefineries, and engineered wood products. A secondary objective is to enable diversion of urban greenwood from landfills and compost facilities. Our solution to the problem is to develop baling equipment and technology that enable woody biomass to be baled for transport on standard flatbed trucks, rail, and barge. The driving assumption behind our project is that baled biomass a) preserves user values as compared to onsite chipping, and b) facilitates delivery to more distant users than can be economically reached by chip vans or bulk bins. Another consideration for urban and suburban sources is that baling within residential areas produces lower noise, lower dust (and aerosols), and is potentially safer than chipping. We have designed and tested a baler that is a mid-size unit to demonstrate the concepts for equipment, on-site operations, and baled-material distribution logistics. Smaller and larger balers will be defined as appropriate for other markets.

About the Publication 

Dooley, J.H., D. N. Lanning, C. Lanning, J.L. Fridley. 2008. Biomass baling into large square bales for efficient transport, storage, and handling. In: Baker, S.A., M.C. Bolding, W.D. Greene, eds. Proceedings of the 31st Annual Meeting of the Council on Forest Engineering, June 22- 25, 2008, Charleston, SC. Pg. 25-30

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