Man Builds Ultimate Gasification System from FEMA Blueprints/ Awesome

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Gopherman, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

    You can run your car on this as well!! You have to adjust the timing but I've seen videos on youtube where a lot of people have done it, in fact during wwII when there was a gas shortage.
    Just go's to show how awesome technologies get squashed, when there's no profit to made from it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2013
    Dont and Rabid like this.
  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Oh no...I will let the others get this one. :lol:
  3. hank2222

    hank2222 Monkey+++

    He somewhere in the middle of az
  4. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

    Ok I don't get it![banghead]
  5. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Let's just say that running your car on wood gas is a bunch easier said than done, particularly with the modern electronic controls for fuel injection and spark...

    Its not hard dealing with the fuel system but the ignition is a bigger challenge and the easiest solution may be to just purchase an off-the-shelf DIY ignition system designed for racing (think stock cars).

    The system in the video is basically the FEMA design. The FEMA design is great for DIY blacksmiths wanting to cobble together something that works for medium HP engines (10-100 HP if I remember it right) The good features of this stratified downdraft gasifier is that it is made from common and cheap materials (trash cans, 55 gal drums, etc.) and isn't very picky about the fuel. The gas unfortunately does generally have a fair amount of tar that requires a good bit of filtering and clean up before running it into an engine otherwise the intake plumbing and valves will gum up.

    The Imbert downdraft gasifiers often used on cars (typical design during WW II and most vehicles running today) are generally much cleaner, producing less tar because the design yields higher pyrolysis temperatures and less tar means less filtering. However, the Imbert's internal dimensions need to be more carefully matched with the horsepower range of the engine and the fuel ideally needs to be nice little blocks of wood as twigs and chips generally don't flow well into the Imbert's pyrolysis zone.

    The problem with modern ignition systems is the controls for those are now all integrated with the fuel system etc. One would need to do some tricking of the system (say plug the fuel injector harness into just resistor loads, or kill the HP fuel pump but trick the fuel pressure sensor input to the ECM into thinking there is normal pressures present) otherwise the diagnostics may kill the ignition if the ECM doesn't think the engine is running and may advance and retard the ignition timing to undesirable states. It may just be easier to buy a cheap racing ignition system (think DIY, poor Bubba stock cars) and use that to fire the plugs.

    In any of these systems, one of the other challenges is getting the mixture of wood gas to fresh air correct. There are some real clap trap methods out there. The worst I've seen is some Youtube videos where the guy has a pipe and manual valve in the cab of a small pickup that he can adjust while driving. I am not cool with plumbing coming into a cab that connects with a "Y" to the gas supply from the gasifier. The fuel in wood gas fuel is mostly carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas. Stop the engine and that can flow into the cab, yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Personally, being encumbered with an engineering background and experience with engine controls, the OCD in me would probably demand a small bit of sophistication in mixture control with a simple heated wide band oxygen sensor in the exhaust and throttle position sensor feeding a small controller like an Arduino operating a mixing valve on the intake for the wood gas and fresh air. Crap... I can't do anything simple.

    That's another thing about wood gas. You need to cool it good to get as much in the cylinder because it also contains lots of water vapor and CO2. Condensing out the water is very desirable. The wood gas also has less energy per cubic inch than gasoline vapor and carbon monoxide has a much slower burn rate. So, one is doing fairly good to get about half the normal power from an engine and don't expect it to run much above 3500-3800 rpms. Big slow carburetor V8 engines on old pickup trucks work pretty good with wood gas.

    Anyway, the FEMA system is a great way to get started and get something running. I plan to do a FEMA for a small 2250 w generator with a bad carb because of its ease to use wood chips. The little generator will de-rate with wood gas so I'm hoping to still be able to crank out 1-1.5 kw.

    Oh yeah, wood gas has not been squashed because of profit reasons. Its just a pain in the butt starting up a system (10-15 minutes before you can drive) and it takes lots of cleaning and maintenance.

    Have fun.

    Gopherman likes this.
  6. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

    I did notice that there was no cooling system, usually on a couple of the others I've seen they did cool the gas. It's a wonderful thing not to be burdened by a formal education sometimes, Ignorance is bliss. But some (a lot) of the greatest inventions in the history of mankind were made by people unhindered by the words " YOU CAN"T DO THAT!!!"
    Granted though, :rolleyes: some of these idiots will blow themselves up!! But the next guy learns by the tragic death of that guy and so on....
    I saw one, where the guy scorched his eyelashes and eyebrows completely off, luckily it was cosmetic injury, could have been worse, but does go to show that you can kill yourself playing around with things you aren't familiar with, personally, I no longer suffer from the ignorance of youth. I would rather learn from your mistakes!!ohno
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2013
  7. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

  8. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

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