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ThisOldGarageNJ 10-12-2009 06:07 PM

***Miniature Wood Gasifier***
Okay,, I have too much time.. what you see in the picture is a miniature wood gasifier, In other words, a quart paint can filled with wood chips, the wood chips are heated over a fire and release gas, you can then ignite the gas, the used wood chips can be used for charcoal, during world war II they actually ran cars and truck doing this,,, there is a ton of videos on you tube about it...

Hope you enjoy alternate energy

ThisOldGarageNJ 10-12-2009 06:51 PM

Re: ***Miniature Wood Gasifier***
Here's another pic,,, I know we love pictures...


Archena 10-12-2009 07:16 PM

Re: ***Miniature Wood Gasifier***
Waaayyy too much time, I'd say.

How would you run a vehicle on that? I've never quite understood that. If you have to heat the stuff to get the wood vapor how do you start the engine?

Okay, so you're not the only one with too much time...

ThisOldGarageNJ 10-12-2009 07:24 PM

Re: ***Miniature Wood Gasifier***
Okay arch, here is how wikipedia describes it

Wood gas is a syngas also known as producer gas which is produced by thermal gasification of biomass or other carbon containing materials such as coal in a gasifier or wood gas generator or producer gas. It is the result of two high-temperature reactions (above 700 C (1,292 F)): an exothermic reaction where carbon burns to CO2 but is then reduced partially back to CO (endothermic); and an endothermic reaction where carbon reacts with steam, producing carbon monoxide (CO), molecular hydrogen (H2), and carbon dioxide (CO2).

In several gasifiers, the actual gasification process is preceded by pyrolysis, where the biomass or coal turns into char, releasing methane (CH4) and tar rich in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Other gasifiers are fed with previously pyrolysed char. Wood gas is flammable because of the carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and methane content.

Im not sure I exactly understand it,, but I've seen it work now So I can believe it..

RTflorida 10-12-2009 08:37 PM

Re: ***Miniature Wood Gasifier***
Yeah, what he said.

All these years I thought my high school diesel mechanics instructor was, how can I respectfully say it........a bit simple and unprofessional. Turns out I actually understood his simplistic explanation. He also told the stories of WW II vehicles, fuel shortages, and running engines on virtually any combustable material.
I came away from it with the knowledge that the internal combustion engine is pretty amazing and as he told us, literally capable of running on sawdust.

Mark, I totally agree with your entire explanation, even though I have no idea what you said.


vintagemx0 10-12-2009 08:50 PM

Re: ***Miniature Wood Gasifier***

That's cool you like to experiment with that stuff. Another term for that process is "water gas"??? I built a replica of a VW "kubelwagen" before taking on this oven, and in doing so learned about the German application of this gasification process. At the end of WW2, fuel was scarce in Germany, and they retro-fitted some vehicles to utilize what you are doing here. The German process was called "Holzgaz" and it actually worked to provide fuel for internal combustion engines.

From the accounts I read, the vehicles were low on power, limited to about 25 mph, and could only run for about 20 miles before they had to be re-fueled and the water impinger trains cleaned-out.

I heard that years ago, the old woodstove company Vermont Castings in Bethel Vermont had an old school bus that ran on wood with this type of system. I have talked to people who had seen it, and they all said it was wierd, slow, and dirty....but all thought is was very cool too.

So, perhaps this is not a very practical form of energy, but when energy supplies are sort, (and wood is abundent) it has proven to be a practical alternative when faced with outages.

I think it is cool you are messing around with it. I love old technology. I read about the German V1 unmanned missle planes that were powered by pulse-jet engines and have always wanted to build a small pulse-jet engine just to tinker with it. Perhaps next year, after the oven is complete...

Keep tinkering! It is great brain candy!


Ken Morgan

metalmaster 10-12-2009 09:50 PM

Re: ***Miniature Wood Gasifier***
somebody has been watching "the colony"

cynon767 10-12-2009 10:01 PM

Re: ***Miniature Wood Gasifier***
here's an article in depth about the gasification process

and here's some more description and current experimentation at work.

ThisOldGarageNJ 10-13-2009 03:23 AM

Re: ***Miniature Wood Gasifier***

somebody has been watching "the colony"
Hey metal,, you are 100% correct.. Thats what got me started, Honestly I just couldnt believe it was possible, but indeeed it is.. I cant find it right now, but later I will post the link FEMA has (federal emergency management agency) with 150 page report and plans on how this can be done..
Glad your all enjoying...
YouTube - Wood gas car Start here is a guy who is actually running his car on it... Note the trailer load of fuel.....
Thanks everybody for all the extra info.. I have a 1983 porsche 944 sitting in my driveway,, wouldnt that look great running on wood doing 25 mph, Kind of an oxy moron,,

Archena 10-13-2009 05:02 AM

Re: ***Miniature Wood Gasifier***
Thanks, guys. I guess I wasn't clear (not surprising - I seldom am that late at night). I understand (generally) the gasification proper, but I don't get how that is accomplished in a cold engine. Where's the heat source for the gasification? Once started you could use the engine heat itself, I suppose, but how do you get the process started?

That's probably no clearer than the first try.... Sigh...

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