Forest Concepts Research & Development

Loblolly Pine Comminution

Structured Interview Guide and Template for Specification of Woody Biomass Fuel and Feedstocks

Abstract Lack of full technical specification for biomass fuels and feedstocks is a major source of confusion, uncertainty, and conflict throughout the supply chain. With support from US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Energy, we have interviewed scores of industry participants and reviewed both the scientific and commercial literature to develop a template …

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Square Bales of Woody Biomass

Square Bales of Woody Biomass for Improved Logistics

Abstract  The majority of fuels reduction work is conducted by hand crews in the wild and urban interface and near in-forest recreation/administrative assets. Today, most of the biomass is either piled for burning at some future time or is dragged to the roadside for chipping. In many districts, disposal of chipped or whole brush is …

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Collecting Woody Slash

Interfacing Forest Engineering with Bioenergy Production

Abstract  Woody biomass from forestland, urban greenbelts, and residential areas has the potential to provide more than 150 million tons per year of cellulosic feedstocks for biorefineries, pellet fuels, and fermentation. Production sites range from urban lots to large wildland forest tracts. Destinations range from small urban boutiques to large remote industrial complexes. The systems, …

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Catastrophic failure from parallel to grain tension, not shear

Mode of Failure Model for Cutting Solid Section Biomass

Abstract Solid section biomass, such as wood and the node-zone of crop residues, has distinct modes of failure when loaded in cross grain shear. Shear bar design plays a part in determining what the failure mode will be at a given depth of penetration. Other factors include shear location relative to an unconstrained end and …

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Large Square Bales of Woody Slash

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

Abstract  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 …

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WoodStraw Quality Assurance

A Wood-Strand Material for Wind Erosion Control: Effects on Total Sediment Loss

Abstract Fugitive dust from eroding land poses risks to environmental quality and human health, and thus, is regulated nationally based on ambient air quality standards for particulate matter with mean aerodynamic diameter <= 10 µm (PM10) established in the Clean Air Act. Agricultural straw has been widely used for rainfall-induced erosion control; however, its performance …

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Baler Loading Rendering

Engineering Factors for Biomass Baler Design

Abstract  Woody biomass is a core element of our nation’s strategy to replace imported oil and natural gas with renewable resources. The challenge facing potential biomass users, however, is how to economically recover and transport the material from residential neighborhoods, urban centers and suburban landscapes to distant users. Our preferred solution is to bale the …

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Agriculture Straw versus WoodStraw, Wind Mobility

Evaluating Material Properties to Optimize Wood Strands for Wind Erosion Control

Abstract Wind erosion is a widespread problem in much of the western United States due to arid conditions and persistent winds. Fugitive dust from eroding land poses a risk to both environmental quality and human health. Since the advent of the Clean Air Act in 1971, ambient air quality standards have been set regulating particulate …

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Large square bales of woody biomass

Large Rectangular Bales for Woody Biomass

Abstract  Woody biomass from wildfire prevention and forest health improvement projects is a significant source of feedstock for bio refineries, combustion energy facilities and other value-added uses. Baling into large rectangular bales offers increased bulk density and easier handling for local and long-distance transportation. By preserving large piece sizes, value potential is maximized. We conducted …

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WoodStraw Erosion Control on Slopes

Performance and Assessment of Wood-Strand Erosion Control Materials Among Varying Slopes, Soil Textures, and Cover Amounts

Abstract  Two blends of manufactured wood strands with different lengths were tested for effectiveness in controlling erosion. Wood strand blends were tested on two soils, two slopes, and at three coverage amounts. Laboratory rainfall simulations were conducted to evaluate runoff and sediment loss. Wood strands were effective in delaying runoff, reducing runoff volume, and reducing …

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