Slicing or grinding helps to convert biomass from a non-flowable, packaged state to a more flowable feedstock with particle sizes suitable for feedlot feed mixing or bioenergy production. Comminuting forage and biomass to consistent, uniform material size is necessary for both industries' processes.
Biomass is made from organic materials, such as wood, to produce renewable fuel or electricity. When processed correctly, these organic materials are ground or sliced to a certain uniform size, and can be converted to energy through combustion as burner fuel, chemical conversion, or anaerobic digestion.
Feedlots will typically feed their livestock hay, grasses, corn, oats, and other forage types or some combination of these. The feed is ground or sliced beforehand to make for efficient digestion and reduced feeding complications. Often times, feed types will need to be mixed together at particular ratios.
The most common comminuting equipment used by feedlots and bioenergy facilities are grinders (horizontal and vertical) or drum chippers. Grid slicing equipment developed by Hunterwood Technologies can provide a more efficient, safer alternative to the current market standard. Grinders and drum chippers contain a lot of moving parts and are responsible for many workplace accidents, whereas Hunterwood's grid slicer operates with a single moving hydraulic cylinder. Input can be manual or with a simple and safe conveyor system.
The average horizontal grinder used at feedlots runs on a 400hp motor (or motors) and requires 300kW to operate. While processing average 545kg, 3'x4'x8' wheat straw bales, the grid slicer's hydraulic system required an average of only 209kW to perform with a 2" grid (only 71kW on a 4" grid). A demand easily satisfied with a much smaller motor. The grid also eliminates the pass through of long material and maintains uniformity as the longest material that will get through is the diagonal dimension of the grid spacing.
The grid slicer safer to operate than grinders and chippers, produces uniform ouput particles, and is a more energy efficient process. And on top of all that it has the added benefit of running more quietly than grinders and chippers and performs better at limiting dust and fines generation. There is direct control over product size and grid dimensions can be customized as required, plus power units (motors) can be matched to the required production rate. Only pay for the production you need.
See more Hunterwood slicing components.
For more information on gride slicing benefits download the White Paper produced by Hunterwood's Product Research & Development team.