Chapter 4

Chapter 4 – Biomass Harvest and Drying (pp. 99-110)

Biomass encompasses a variety of biological materials with distinctive physical and
chemical characteristics, such as woody or lignocellulosic materials, grasses and
legumes, crop residues and animal wastes. Biomass can be converted to various forms of
energy by numerous technical processes. This chapter introduces the harvesting system
for woody biomass, crop, grass, and biomass drying.
The process of harvesting the trees can be broken down into five steps felling,
extraction, processing, loading and trucking. When collecting woody biomass, cost
effectiveness is often a challenge. The more biomass collection is integrated into the
conventional system; the more cost effective it is. Today, the small-scale timber
harvesting systems, which can handle woody biomass, are becoming more attractive.
Conventional multi-pass forage harvest systems are still playing the main role in the
field of corn or other crops harvesting. Agricultural equipment manufacturers are
developing single pass combined stream harvesting system that can be used independent
of a combine. Single pass dual stream harvesting system, which could produce two
streams: brain and biomass, are currently still in the research phase.
Moisture in woody biomass is normally lost by transpiration drying, through foliage
or wood surfaces. Crop residues and herbaceous biomass are often field-dried. But under
certain climate, artificial drying is required.