Document Type


Publication Date



Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering | Industrial Technology

Course Number and Title

TSM 416: Technology Capstone


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering


Agricultural Systems Technology (Foster, Koenig)


Michael E. Anderson and Jacek A. Koziel

Problem Statement

Our clients are and were professors at Iowa State University; they are both in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering department. While at Iowa State University, Dr. Brumm is highly involved in Biorenewable energy. Dr. Bern, however, was involved in Biorenewable preservation and storage. Dr. Brumm and Dr. Bern are looking for new and revolutionary data to help them develop and grow future business ventures. They are looking to determine if making Canadian Firelogs and selling them as a premium product would make a viable product to sell to consumers around the Ames and central Iowa region as a small business.

  • A Canadian Firelog, also known as a Swedish Torch, is a log that is "15 inches tall with a width from 8 to 16 inches" (Persistence Market Research) and has slots cut down the length of the log to about 2-3 inches from the base. Look at the graphical abstract for reference.

Commercial firewood is inefficient, and needs must be used strict applications which limit the use of firewood. Canadian Logs, however, are more adaptable, user-friendly, and safer for cooking. Proving this is the goal of this research.

  • Commercial firewood is inefficient because you need multiple little logs compared to the one Canadian Log, and when burning, the commercial firewood needs to be stoked to keep it burning while the Canadian Log does not.

It has been proven that companies can sell Swedish torch and be profitable. However, in the current area, this market is untapped. There is one other major competitor, which is Amazon. However, this corporation will be the first brick-and-mortar company. We expect that Amazon will be a marginal loss. We believe the larger risk for our client will be the current infrastructure of Central Iowa Firewood. This will provide a strong competitor for our clients. One of the aspects that we suggest to our clients will market their product as a safer, more efficient product. This can make it a premium product because it has additional properties.