Densification by baling, an alternative densification technology being explored by our industry partner, Forest Concepts, will be incorporated into our decision support model. This baling technology may make it possible to pre-process forest residues on site in remote or difficult to access forest areas where there are lower amounts of available forest residues. Baled forest residues could also significantly reduce site preparation costs after timber harvesting as well as pre-hauling costs to central biomass conversion technology sites by achieving full payloads on conventional flatbed trucks. Preliminary modeling of the woody biomass baling technology suggests that the costs of baling forest residues are in the range of $20 per ton, while the cost of chipping forest residues using small chippers can exceed $50 per ton. In addition, transport costs can be reduced by more than 50% by hauling baled biomass on conventional flatbed trucks rather than using dedicated wood chip trailers. This study will more fully evaluate the potential cost reductions for forest biomass collection and transport that can be achieved by using the Forest Concepts street-legal woody biomass baler technology.
The forest residue baler will be upgraded and operated by Forest Concepts on forest residues generated on a Green Diamond Resource Company harvest. The time-study and bale transport density data will be collected by Forest Concepts and Oregon State University, and subsequently incorporated into forest operations economic models by Oregon State University.
Organizations completing task
- Forest Operations Research Laboratory, HSU
- Forest Concepts, LLC
- Peterson Pacific Corporation
- Green Diamond Resource Company
- An evaluation of the Forest Concepts forest residue baler.
- Research article published in a peer reviewed journal
- Presentation at professional workshops and conferences
- Preliminary specifications for logging slash balers