Commercial waste compactor (on right) that has been adapted to hydraulically compact chopped switchgrass into an ejector trailer (on left) for efficient transport at twice the bulk density compared to loose switchgrass. The ejector trailer can quickly self-unload. These are some of the equipment uniquely employed in the project.


Commercial waste transfer system use a plunger, over one-half the size of the semi-trailer cross-section, to hydraulically pack material into the trailer. The process is very fast and efficient. The bulk-format biomass still retains its bulk format properties after compaction. The compaction process simply reduces the void space and increases bulk density. Once the trailer is packed, such as the ejector trailer that we used, it is decoupled from the compactor and pulled to the site of biomass use. The ejector trailer has a large ram that self unloads the trailer, using the tractor truck "wet kit" that provides hydraulic flow. Unloading is rapid and efficient.

Thus, the advantages of bulk-format are most evident in handling and conveying large quantities of material, from the field to the biorefinery.