ENERGY

A2K Consultants specializes in biomass-to-energy systems from small-scale power systems to large, dedicated bioenergy power plants.

A2K Consultants specializes in three energy sectors:

  • Renewable Energy, including biomass-to-energy and torrefaction
  • Energy Efficiency, including energy audits and systems engineering solutions
  • Alternative Energy, including algal systems and tidal power

Energy Services

Due Diligence: A2K Consultants has in-depth knowledge of evaluating acquisition targets and supporting data-driven evaluation of growth opportunities. 

Market Analysis: Understanding the needs of your customer, market size, competitive threats and opportunities are key to any successful product development strategy. A2K Consultants provides you with support in each and every step. Looking to access new markets and adjacencies? Let us provide you with a strategic look at potential new markets that can leverage your existing strengths and assets.

New Product and Process Development: At A2K Consultants, we can help you: analyze your product development process, assess its effectiveness and develop strategies that will accelerate new product development and launch. We can support initial design, rapid prototyping, demonstration, scale-up, fitness for use, go-to-market strategies, and field testing.  

Energy Spotlight

Renewable Energy. By 2020, the global demand for wood pellets is expected to increase over 50 percent from 2013 levels, growing from 23.6 million to 38 million metric tons per year (t/a). More aggressive estimates see demand at nearly 44 million t. Although the rate of growth of the pellet industry in the coming years is uncertain, there is a consensus that increased demand in both the domestic and industrial pellet markets will be a catalyst for growth. 

A2K Consultants specializes in biomass-to-energy systems (steam and power systems) from small-scale power systems to large, dedicated bioenergy power plants. We have worked with companies to assess both feedstock and equipment options, including hog-fuel and energy pellet systems. 

Torrefaction. At least 68 million dry tons of forest residuals can be sustainably harvested and used in the generation of biomass power and bio-based chemicals. Add to this at least 60 million dry tons of forest biomass that coul be sustainably derived from forest management programs conducted on our National Forests and the amount of inherently low-cost biomass resource that could be used to drive the bioeconomy is enormous.

As with most biomass sourcing scenarios, forest biomass is challenged by the added cost of aggregating, handling, delivering and storing relatively low-density material across the supply chain. Compounding these challenges is the relatively high heterogeneity of the material in terms of its moisture content, chemical composition and energy density.

One promising approach to overcoming these challenges is torrefaction, a mild pyrolyis process that removes low-grade volatile materials from biomass to produce a relatively uniform energy carrier that can be used as a solid fuel. When densified, the energy density of torrefied biomass approaches the energy content of low-rank coal. An added benefit is that torrefaction imparts water resistance to the material, thus obviating the need for expensive storage solutions. The result is a bio-based energy carrier that can be used as a drop-in replacement for coal. While the U.S. is rapidly phasing out coal-fired power generation facilities, the opportunities for using torrefied biomass in existing coal-fired facilities, in either “super-peaker” or co-firing modes are enormous.

Export markets, like the EU, are especially excited about torrefied biomass as it has the potential of lowering transportation costs and dramatically reducing expensive capital improvements that are typical in non-torrefied biomass power generation. Biomass power generation is the only renewable option that can provide dispatchable, baseload energy delivery. Driving out cost through torrefaction could expand its use and adoption.

Beyond power generation, torrefied biomass is finding applications as a specialty material, such as a component in advanced composites. Recent technical advances in torrefaction process technology and market demand for this material could drive a whole new industry based on renewable biomass resources.

See Dr K's Notebook to read about the future of torrefaction systems.


MATERIALS

A2K Consultants will help identify new market opportunities, bring them into your organization, and accelerate your new rate of new product development and product launch.

Developments in new materials and chemical technologies are accelerating at an exponential rate. Be it nanomaterials, advanced composites, bio-based chemicals, the variety and availability of new materials and chemicals that can help you develop exciting new-to-the-world and highly differentiated products is enormous.

  • How will your organization identify and evaluate new opportunities? 
  • How can you move from a slow, serial approach to assessment to a rapid parallel approach that can accelerate the rate of new product development?
  • As a material developer, how do you assess new markets and applications? How can you cast a wide net, yet maintain focus?
  • How do you incorporate best practices for sustainability in your overall product development strategy?

A2K Consultants is a recognized leader in material selection. We can help you identify new market opportunities, bring them into your organization, and accelerate your new rate of new product development and product launch.

Materials Services

Due Diligence: A2K Consultants has in-depth knowledge of evaluating acquisition targets and supporting data-driven evaluation of growth opportunities. 

Market Analysis: Understanding the needs of your customer, market size, competitive threats and opportunities are key to any successful product development strategy. A2K Consultants provides you with support in each and every step. Looking to access new markets and adjacencies? Let us provide you with a strategic look at potential new markets that can leverage your existing strengths and assets.

New Product and Process Development: At A2K Consultants, we can help you: analyze your product development process, assess its effectiveness and develop strategies that will accelerate new product development and launch. We can support initial design, rapid prototyping, demonstration, scale-up, fitness for use, go-to-market strategies, and field testing.  

Materials Spotlight

Biomass. Biomass represents are vast, largely untapped resource that can be used for a variety of end-uses. Be it agricultural or forest-derived biomass or biomass from waste stream, such as municipal solid waste, each biomass source is unique its properties, chemistry, availability and cost. How will you decide on the right biomass source? At A2K Consultants, we have considerable experience in assessing biomass resources to help you create cost-effective utilization strategies.

Bio-based Products . According to recent government estimates, the global market for bio-based chemicals is nearly $20 billion. This sector has witnessed extraordinary growth, driven in part by changes in public policy and the growing demand from consumers for products that are sustainably derived and that can be shown to have minimum impact to the environment. 

Natural products contained in biomass are valuable by-products released during the conversion processes. Securing feedstock supplies, processing and isolating these chemicals, and developing markets are the greatest challenges to successful business models. A2K Consultants can help identify cost-effective technologies for processing these valuable by-products, develop product applications, and secure markets that can sustain business models based on renewable resources.

Be it products derived waste streams or purpose-grown crops, A2K Consultants will provide the expertise you need to accelerate your growth strategy.

The Circular Economy. Companies and stakeholders alike are embracing the benefits of the Circular Economy, an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. The Circular Economy disposes of the idea of “end-of-life” and embraces the opportunities presented by a “renewable”  system, based on thoughtful product design, the adoption of life cycle analysis to guide design, and the idea of sustainable business practices. At A2K Consultants, we believe that material selection is a vital component of the Circular Economy.

Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation circular economy team drawing from Braungart & McDonough and Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C).

Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation circular economy team drawing from Braungart & McDonough and Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C).


NONWOVENS

Nonwovens are ubiquitous—from personal hygiene products to automotive fabrics and filtration media—nonwovens are found in almost any product and market segment.

The world of nonwovens represents a rapidly-growing $37 billion industry that delivers a range of product solutions that can meet the strictest of industrial and consumer demands. Nonwovens are ubiquitous—from personal hygiene products to automotive fabrics and filtration media—nonwovens are found in almost any product and market segment. And, the industry is growing, both organically and through the introduction of novel products that can meet the consumer demands of tomorrow.

Nonwovens Services

A2K Consultants offers a wide-range of technical consulting services for the nonwovens indsutry:

  • Facilitation of brainstorming sessions for new product development
  • Strategic development 
  • Technology roadmap development 
  • Project management 
  • Patent and intellectual property management 
  • Marketing & competitive intelligence 
  • Due diligence
  • Expert witness services 

Nonwovens Spotlight

Endless Product Ideas. From a new product development standpoint, the multiple degrees of freedom in nonwovens design and engineering opens the door to innovation and the development of unique, differentiated products that can meet consumer needs. Nonwoven products can leverage a rich palate of materials, including fibers, pigments and specialty chemicals, as well as process delivery options, including a range of former types and the addition of specialized unit operations such as hydroentangling systems, in-line coaters and calendering. From a materials selection perspective, nonwovens can be engineered from a range of material types including: natural and synthetic fibers, binder systems, inorganic fillers and catalysts. And, unlike dry-laid forming, wet-laid forming can use a range of high-performance staple fibers, such as aramid and carbon fiber, to develop unique products with exceptional utility.

Robust Demand. The world’s population is expected to increase from its current 7.4 billion to over 9 billion in 2050. However, population growth will come at the relative decrease in the percentage of younger individuals (age 19 or less) and a relative increase in those over 65 years of age. An aging population will bring about demands for new products and specialized services. In addition, a rising middle class will present opportunities for product growth across all segments, especially in food packaging and consumer products. As a result, market opportunities for nonwoven products are expected to remain strong. Moreover, secular trends that place increasing importance on sustainability and wealth creation, including a rising consumer class in developing countries, will be strong catalysts to a growing demand for nonwovens products. 

With a proven track record of new product development and market intelligence in the nonwovens industry, let A2K Consultants help you define strategy, assess new markets, and accelerate new product development in your organization.

 

See Dr K's Notebook to read about the future of wet-laid nonwovens


PULP & PAPER

How will you identify the next new opportunity or translate early-stage technology development into commercial products?

Pulp and paper products are all around us. Whether it is the pages of our favorite novel or the packaging materials that contain our on-line commerce or the paper cup that holds our favorite caffeinated beverage, paper is ubiquitous. But, did you also know that pulp-derived products are used in a variety of specialty applications like plastic composites in automobile parts or nonwoven products like diapers or the cellulose-derived products found in the computer screens or foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals?

Pulp & Paper Services

A2K Consultants offers a wide-range of technical consulting services for the pulp & paper indsutry:

  • Facilitation of brainstorming sessions for new product development
  • Strategic development 
  • Technology roadmap development 
  • Project management 
  • Patent and intellectual property management 
  • Marketing & competitive intelligence 
  • Due diligence
  • Expert witness services 

Due Diligence: A2K Consultants has in-depth knowledge of evaluating acquisition targets and supporting data-driven evaluation of growth opportunities. At A2K Consultants, we can help you: analyze your product development process, assess its effectiveness and develop strategies that will accelerate new product development and launch. 

Market Analysis: Understanding the needs of your customer, market size, competitive threats and opportunities are key to any successful product development strategy. A2K Consultants provides you with support in each and every step. Looking to access new markets and adjacencies? Let us provide you with a strategic look at potential new markets that can leverage your existing strengths and assets.

New Product and Process Development: Whether it is a new fiber source or new functional chemistry or a new process technology or new product design, A2K Consultants can support initial design, rapid prototyping, demonstration, scale-up, fitness for use, go-to-market strategies, and field testing. 

A2K Consultants supports new product and new market development from ideation to commercialization. Areas of support include: 

  • Wood-to-energy
  • Black liquor utilization
  • Pulping 
  • Papermaking 
  • Papermachine clothing 
  • Wet-end chemistry 
  • Coating 
  • Finishing
  • Chemical analysis & testing services 

Expert Witness. A2K Consultants provides legal expert witness services, and works with industry analysts to provide analytical research.

Pulp & Paper Spotlight

Pulp and paper products are all around us. Whether it is the pages of our favorite novel or the packaging materials that contain our on-line commerce or the paper cup that holds our favorite caffeinated beverage, paper is ubiquitous. But, did you also know that pulp-derived products are used in a variety of specialty applications like plastic composites in automobile parts or nonwoven products like diapers or the cellulose-derived products found in the computer screens or foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals? 

According to the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA), the forest products industry manufactures over $200 billion in products annually and accounts for 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP. While much of this production is focused on traditional products, the world of pulp and paper is now looking to monetize new revenue streams for lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose, and new materials, such as nanocellulose. Research and investment in new products derived from wood and non-wood sources are at historic levels. How will you identify the next new opportunity or translate early-stage technology development into commercial products? 


RENEWABLES

The global market for bio-based chemicals is nearly $20 billion.

Renewable materials and energy are rapidly becoming the foundations for the sustainable enterprise of the future. We also believe that being committed to renewables is more than being a good corporate citizen, it is a means towards improved financial performance. At A2K Consultants, we can help companies develop a comprehensive approach to renewables and incorporate renewable concepts at every level of the organization.

Renewables Services

Due Diligence: A2K Consultants has in-depth knowledge of evaluating acquisition targets and supporting data-driven evaluation of growth opportunities. 

Market Analysis: Understanding the needs of your customer, market size, competitive threats and opportunities are key to any successful product development strategy. A2K Consultants provides you with support in each and every step. Looking to access new markets and adjacencies? Let us provide you with a strategic look at potential new markets that can leverage your existing strengths and assets.

New Product and Process Development: At A2K Consultants, we can help you: analyze your product development process, assess its effectiveness and develop strategies that will accelerate new product development and launch. We can support initial design, rapid prototyping, demonstration, scale-up, fitness for use, go-to-market strategies, and field testing.  

Project Finance and Grants. Securing sources of project finance is critical to the success of any development project. Our experience in project finance, identifies what financing options are available to support your overall project financing needs.

A2K Consultants assists clients in accessing capital finance, from private equity to public financing sources. Our specialty is state and federally-sponsored grants and loan guarantees, including Department of Energy Section 1703 and 1705 loan guarantees, as well as those sponsored by the Department of Agriculture.

With profound knowledge and extensive experience, A2K Consultants can position your project to maximize its potential for success. Whether you are looking for start-up equity finance or late-stage debt finance, A2K Consultants has the experience and proven track record for developing effective proposals and supporting your efforts to complete your project finance needs.

Our Process ...

  • Critical Evaluation: Where is your project in the development process? 
  • Identify Funding Sources: What financing options are available and best suited to your needs?
  • Application Preparation: Develop an application package that positions your project for success. A2K Consultants prepares business plans,go-to-market plans, and financial models, typically required for state and federal grant and loan applications, to complete your application.
  • Follow-up: Work with state and federal agencies to respond to post-submission requests.

Renewables Spotlight

Biobased Chemicals. According to recent government estimates, the global market for bio-based chemicals is nearly $20 billion. This sector has witnessed extraordinary growth, driven in part by changes in public policy and the growing demand from consumers for products that are sustainably-derived and that can be shown to have minimum impact to the environment. 

Natural products contained in biomass are valuable by-products released during the conversion processes. Securing feedstock supplies, processing and isolating these chemicals, and developing markets are the greatest challenges to successful business models. 

A2K Consultants can help identify cost-effective technologies for processing these valuable by-products, develop product applications, and secure markets that can sustain business models based on renewable resources. Be it products derived waste streams, or purpose-grown crops, A2K Consultants will provide the expertise you need to accelerate your growth strategy.

Renewable Energy. By 2020, the global demand for wood pellets is expected to increase over 50 percent from 2013 levels, growing from 23.6 million to 38 million metric tons per year (t/a). More aggressive estimates see demand at nearly 44 million t/a. Although the rate of growth of the pellet industry in the coming years is uncertain, there is a consensus that increased demand in both the domestic and industrial pellet markets will be a catalyst for growth. 

 
 

 
 
Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.
— Helen Keller
 
 

 
 

Contact Us

Please use the form below to contact us. Please be as detailed as possible and include your industry along with any specific requests. To help us best service your inquiry, we recommend that you first describe the issue you’re having before telling us what you want to achieve. You may also email or call us at +1 (912) 777-6892 to make an appointment.

For job opportunities, please email us your resume. We’re always looking for new and exceptional talent to expand our network of subject matter experts.

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