Learn About Gasification

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.

Topics Covered:

  • 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 October, I will have completed my gasifier, and will fire up a generator. We'll load test it with some energy-sucking power tools.

I hope to see you there.

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  • Robert

    terrific camaraderie and a great introduction to the cutting edge technical advancements in this historic resource (as an extra bonus, nobody got killed!) LOL

    June 2, 2013

    • Selph R.

      Hi Robert. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I hope you attend the follow up meet up as well (gas cleaner + generator + running some high-load devices).

      1 · June 3, 2013

    • Robert

      thank you for your dedication to self sufficient innovation. I look forward to the next installment. Don't do anything dangerous. ... eh, Without a witness, that is.

      June 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi..I am sorry I missed it. I do want you attend the subsequent meet up. Is there any recorded material available?

    June 3, 2013

    • Selph R.

      Puru, there were segments that were recorded by the site host, Joey D 'elia. I'll if he can post them to his website and will share links with the group. Thanks!

      1 · June 3, 2013

  • Jeff L.

    Very interesting!

    1 · May 27, 2013

    • Selph R.

      Thanks Jeff! We'll be having another follow up meetup once we get the gas cleaner set up. We'll run a generator and put a load on it. I hope to see you there (maybe a month or so down the road).

      June 3, 2013

  • Selph Reliantz changed the date and time to Sunday, June 02, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    May 17, 2013

  • Mark C.

    Please email me directly if possible, [masked] Thanks

    May 1, 2013

  • P. J. D.

    Seeking knowledge for a better world !

    April 22, 2013

  • Selph R.

    Spent a couple hours yesterday, firing up the little gasifier. This will be the unit for which I teach the classes. It's still a prototype, and there will be tweaks made, but all-in-all, I was happy with the results.

    http://www.offgridpro.com/2013/04/07/getting-my-fat-fingers-on-a-gasifier/

    April 7, 2013

  • Selph R.

    Anastasia is in my hands... Going to fire her up on Saturday for some test runs.

    April 4, 2013

  • Selph R.

    Anastasia has been shipped! I should have it on Wed. or Thurs. of next week.

    Quick update:

    - We successfully ran her on wood pellets, which is unheard of in the wood gas community. Gasification produces steam, and when you shut down, that steam turns pellets into mush. However, we pulled it off :)

    - We brought 2 gallons to a rolling boil in a short period of time. One hopper full of pellets or wood chips could cook an entire spaghetti dinner for four.

    - We ran the negative pressure on an aquarium pump! Only 50W needed. So a 50W solar panel, or a battery would give you more cooking power than an electric range (2-3 times more efficient)

    - Almost zero ash was produced... Again, unheard of in gasification.

    - We realized that this little unit is a cross-over product... Campers, hikers, 3rd-world daily living, etc.

    Classes will begin in mid-late April. You can stay current by visiting our blog. http://www.offgridpro.com (in progress)

    We're excited.

    March 29, 2013

  • Selph R.

    Hi all,

    Quick update: In the past 3 months, we formed a business, we're working on attaining product liability insurance, and all the other stuff that goes with getting off the ground...

    The trailer-mounted gasifier is still being improved and fine-tuned. We need it perfect before it gets shipped out to CA ($1,300 for shipping). As you can imagine, with that shipping price, I'd rather have Stephen fine-tune it in Maine.

    The good news is that we've developed a much smaller unit, suitable for running 2-3 hp engines. This is equivalent to a lawnmower or a small generator (1kW). It could also be used to fry you up some eggs and bacon :)

    The cost of this unit will run about $500 vs $5,000. We call it Anastasia. This will be shipped tomorrow, and I'll use this smaller unit to teach the gasification classes... Same principles, just smaller.

    Here she is:
    http://tinypic.com/r/2zprwd0/6

    Video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buzTI_mv0V8

    -Selph

    March 22, 2013

  • Susan B.

    Looking forward to learning more about gasification.

    February 10, 2013

  • Selph R.

    Hi Ed, sorry for the long delay in responding... I guess I missed the alert. Yes, The GEK and Victory models are 2 models that work. They aren't the best designs, however, and they sure aren't cheap.

    20K for a GEK power pallet, and 30K for a Victory system... Our unit will be sold around the 6-7K mark. We aren't using stainless steel, and we aren't using Kubota generators. These are two costly additions, that would have pushed our unit over the 10K mark.

    We are focused on affordability. Also, we have some features that are "next generation" for small gasification scale.

    Pound for pound, our unit is not only more efficient, but also mobile, and at a third of the cost.

    When we do the presentation with the prototype rig, I'll explain the differences in design, and show you how we were able to make it so efficient.

    January 4, 2013

  • Larry W.

    I am very interested in learning different way to make energy

    December 11, 2012

  • Ed R.

    Did you guys consider the victory gasifier designs or the GEK stuff when building your prototype?

    November 17, 2012

  • Selph R.

    Hi Ed,
    It looks like it will be in the first couple of weeks in December. Stephen is trying a new combustion zone that he fabricated, and we are running tests. A little bit of a set-back, but nothing major.

    As soon as I have the unit and run some tests myself, I'll set the date.

    Thanks!

    November 14, 2012

  • Ed R.

    Hey Selph,
    How are things going with your gasifier? Have a date in mind for the meetup?

    November 14, 2012

  • Selph R.

    Sneak peek 3: http://i50.tinypic.com/oh3ajd.jpg

    We're testing the unit before we sand blast and powder coat.

    October 15, 2012

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