Appropriate Technology Biomass Collection Systems for Smallwood Utilization

Period of Performance: 01/01/2005 - 12/31/2005

$79.9K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Forest Concepts, Llc
3320 W Valley Hwy N Array
Auburn, WA 98001
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The project addresses National priorities to concurrently reduce fuel loadings (i.e., remove excess forest biomass) from forested lands and improve the economic and employment sustainability of rural communities. Forestlands adjacent to roads and in the true wildland-urban interface (WUI) are among the most expensive to thin due to aesthetic, safety and public access concerns. However, near-road landscapes may enable low-cost recovery of biomass for value added utilization in adjacent communities. Currently available equipment systems were developed for traditional log and wood chip hauling, or are adopted from the waste handling or other industrial uses. None of the existing transport systems has proven efficient or effective to deliver forest biomass from small units to community-based wood-based industries. Lack of efficient and effective equipment systems limit smallwood business development and increases the required subsidy from federal and state governments. Innovative equipment and transport systems will be developed that are appropriate for forest thinning contractors and the communities they work with. This project proposes to design and develop biomass handling systems that enable collection and handling of the various fractions of thinned forest biomass such that the materials can be allocated to their highest and best use in surrounding communities.