June 15, 2013 · 1:00 PM
This location is shown only to members
Perhaps you've seen one of those prepper TV shows where a guy was running his truck on wood, or using wood gas to power a generator. Did that seem amazingly useful to you? It did for me. That's why I spent the last year learning about biomass gasification.
In a "grid down" situation, where electricity and gasoline are virtually non-existent, the mere notion that one could gather up some woody brush, wood chips, or wood pellets, throw it into the gasifier hopper, and make an engine GO, is an extremely liberating idea.
Gasification is not a new technology. In Europe, during WWII, over 1 million vehicles were outfitted to run on wood gas because of the shortage on gasoline. Of course, those old gasifiers produced tarry, sticky gas that wasn't the best for engines... But those cars did go from point A to point B.
Don't fret. New gasifier technology virtually eliminates all tar, and produces gas that is very similar in quality to propane or natural gas.
I'll be explaining how gasification works, how to build your own gasifier, and all the safety measures needed to produce your own gas for vehicles / generators.
- Gasification basics (how and why it works)
- 4 stages of gasification (drying, pyrolysis, combustion, reduction)
- Gasifier design (downdraft, updraft, imbert)
- Fuel types (wood chips, chunks, etc.)
- Approximate burn times & energy potential (kW)
By the end of May, I will have completed my gasifier, and will fire up a generator. We'll load test it with some energy-sucking power tools.
Update: There is a possibility that a donor truck (early 80's Chevy) may be available for a follow-up workshop, where we would demonstrate gasified transportation... Thanks Chris!
I hope to see you there.