CTs on the Runway Ready for Takeoff
Cubing all Kinds of Materials
Warren & Baerg Manufacturing Inc. makes a grinder for processing corn stovers, grasses, and other materials that are converted into biomass fuel or turned into cellulosic ethanol. The company’s equipment takes the bales and grinds them for further processing or for use in biomass fuel.
Some of Warren & Baerg’s equipment is at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, where firms are involved in a grant studying such issues as the testing of as many of the available grinding units involved as possible to see what generates the best amount of grind and ultimately would be best-suited as biomass alternative fuel.
Warren & Baerg initially came out with the grinder for use with biomass on the cubing equipment. “This fits well for a MRF or company generating waste and which may not have a good market for what they are producing,” says Randy Baerg, co-owner. “The cubing system compresses paper, cardboard, film, plastic, or wood to an inch-and-a-quarter in size, and in turn is used as an alternative fuel.”
Right now the two areas where they’re at work are in further refinement of the cubing equipment for production material and working on better use of the material with higher moisture content. More moisture makes grinding more difficult for such items as corn stovers and grasses, according to Baerg. Anything 13% moisture content or dryer grinds really easily, but if it’s greater than that it doesn’t grind very well, becoming sticky and resistant to moving through the screen.
“West of the Texas Panhandle you get pretty dry product. But from there east, 20% moisture hay is ‘dry,’ whereas, for us, 12% or less is dry,” says Baerg. “And once a bale is made at that higher moisture content, it’s very difficult to dry; the bale must either be ground down or the product must be ground to dry it. At that point the material can be very difficult to deal with.
“I can also fairly easily see how someone who has seen recent major downturns on the C&D side of their operations might want to try out the processing that would be involved with our equipment. Our sales are up, this type of processing is in demand, and there seems to be a genuine interest in this source of fuel for biomass processing and energy production.”