Auburn, WA – Forest Concepts LLC, a research and development company that studies forest products and wood-based raw materials just received 1 million from the U.S. government to continue its research on second-generation biofuel manufacturing technology.
Its research is focuses on structural biology and natural modes of failure in cellulosic materials the aim of which is to develop fundamentally new equipment systems for comminution (breaking down the woody biomass into smaller particles). It seeks to create or discover new feedstock particles that are optimized for preprocessing and conversion to second-generation biofuels.
Forest Concepts, which was founded in 1998, said that it hopes to build on existing knowledge to develop the engineering data and design specifications for large scale, low energy biomass size reduction equipment appropriate for use with wood waste, switchgrass, willow, and corn stover.
It said that early data suggests that it might be able to discover a way to reduce the communition energy by half compared to the technology that is commonly used in the industry today, i.e. grinders, hammer mills, and knife mills.
The company CTO and founder Jim Dooley said, “This new class of biomass feedstock particles are flowable, have good uncompressed bulk density and high surface area to volume ratio. The equipment system that we are developing to produce these particles is not like anything being used on biomass feedstocks today, and therefore, will represent a paradigm shift when it is commercialized.”