Wood Gasifier

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by earthsuit, May 8, 2013.

  1. earthsuit

    earthsuit Monkey

    Anyone out there have any experience with a manufactured wood gasifier? I have seen units from GEK ($19,000!) Product Overview - GEK Gasifier and also a Victory unit ($14,000) and the LEAF unit LEAF Generator | Low Emission Alternative Fuel at ($4,500)...

    I have seen all of the DIY versions, but it sounds like you end up making more tar than you do wood gas. Just curious if anyone had first hand knowledge to share on a pro model?

    PS there is a guy on youtube engineer775 that shows the Victory unit running a lot of things, FYI. Thanks!
  2. William Antrum

    William Antrum GunMetal Monkey

    You can make a home model and it has three or more by products that are useful 1)Tar,2)woodgas,3) coke not the snortin kind 4) coal
  3. William Antrum

    William Antrum GunMetal Monkey

    let me do some digging and i will find you the title for the book i have on this subject.
  4. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    I downloaded the fema manual and have watched a bunch of videos too, i plan to get going on one as well as soon as i have soon free time. I did start collecting materials- so far i have plenty of pipe, some already bent into 45s and 90s, and about a half dozen barrels ranging from 15 gallon to 55. I'm aiming for one sized to run a 20hp Honda engine. I think my wife would beat me if she caught me, but I'd love to try setting one up on the '71 ford tractor. One step at a time...
  5. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I really like the wood gas concept. I have a small genset I plan to convert to wood but have some other projects ahead of jumping onto this one.

    A good friend really got into wood stove combustion theory (engineers!!) a few years ago and I think he could get into this and help me. He created a wood stove that is operated by a micro processor that measures various temperatures and controls the air flow into the stove. The fire box is insulated to keep temperatures up and with the controls he gets better gasification and much much more efficient burn. He now uses just 40% of the wood for a heating season in his wood stove and it produces very little ash.

    I noted the GEK system also has electronic controls and some thermocouple temp sensors. I suspect they are doing some of the things my buddy does that may suggest a very effective system. I think the costs of the GEK's electronics are over priced and I suspect the basic controls may be achievable with just a low cost Arduino controller or two using some of the open source control methods. You could buy several spares and spare sensors and have a good chunk of money left over compared to the GEK controller.

    I know some folks will pan the idea of electronic controls in a SHTF world but with spare controllers, sensors and actuators stored in an EMP proof box I suspect the potential benefits might out weigh the technology burden.

    I am only speculating based on what I've read of the GEK and knowing how well my friend's computer contolled wood stoves work but I think some of the benefits might include:
    More efficient wood consumption,
    Less tar and soot that could build up in an engine causing issues there.
    Possibly less odor and smoke which compromise OPSEC.

    There is a modest size wood gas builders gathering each summer in northern Indiana where folks bring or drive their builds to the fairground. Argos, Indiana I think but I'll try and find the dates and confirm location.

    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
  6. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    kellory likes this.
  7. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I've been digging into this more. Here is a good collection of PDF documents:
    PDF Articles | Woodgas Power.

    Been reading many of these. Lots of good info. The handbook on downdraft gasifiers is good starting point (like page 7 or 8 of the links).

    Finding that driving a vehicle can be challenging trying to manually control the air/fuel ratio which most carbs/mixers don't keep very consistent with varying load. Seems perfect for some simple closed loop control based on exhaust O2 sensor or a lambda sensor. A couple articles here from India promulgate the O2/lambda sensing control concept. I'm thinking a wide band heated O2 sensor and simple control on the ratio of woodgas to fresh air and maybe a bit of feedforward control based on throttle position. Also some good material adding wood gas to a diesel including work done by Cummins India. This is getting interesting.

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  8. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Illini Warrior

    Yahoo has an entire "group" dedicated to wood gas .... tons of info to download and plenty of advise thru the chat
  9. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Joined that group a couple weeks ago. Starting to dig into the archives a bit.

  10. Aeason

    Aeason Monkey

    I purchased a stak 10k gasifier should receive it first part of November, I
    I will let you know how it does, like you couldn't find any reviews but was sold on the design and according to them it is built to last, one of my concerns when the SHTF
    ditch witch, Dunerunner and Ganado like this.
  11. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I will be interested in the efficiency of the Unit.... Pounds of Cellulose IN vs KWHours of Energy OUT with all the Conversion Losses, figured in....
    Dunerunner likes this.
  12. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson Monkey+++

    I have wanted to get in to wood gas for some time now. When time allows (soon I hope) I will be experimenting with a 5 to 18 hp engine, depending on exactly what the project is. I have studied some, and found that the tar can be mostly filtered out using clay pellets. I have not tried the clay pellets myself yet though. I have lots of piping and such, just looking for the right deal on barrels here locally.
    Ganado likes this.
  13. Aeason

    Aeason Monkey

    Hope it works well, plan to run a generator not just for household use but figured a welder would come in handy for a lot of reasons in bad times, purchased a Multiplaz for cutting and welding, no need for oxygen and acetylene
    Homer Simpson, Ganado and Dunerunner like this.
  14. guitargirl23

    guitargirl23 Neophyte Monkey

    Hey yall, I'm new here and kinda new to the concept of gassification. I need the dirt on a gasifier of any kind - how to make one, what to fuel it with, how it works. Any information is greatly appreciated, thank you guys!
  15. Sapper John

    Sapper John Analog Monkey in a Digital World

    guitargirl23 likes this.
  16. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Energy - FEMA Woodgas Handbook | Survival Forums
    Ganado likes this.
  17. guitargirl23

    guitargirl23 Neophyte Monkey

    Great! Thank you! How dangerous would you say it is to make one?
  18. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Not a big risk of explosion, especially with FEMA design. The biggest risk is system leaks and breathing the wood gas, especially on/in vehicles like cars and tractors. There are several components of wood gas that are the fuel for an engine and one of those is carbon monoxide (CO). The other risk is burns, these things are hot!

  19. guitargirl23

    guitargirl23 Neophyte Monkey

    Do the pros outweigh the cons?
  20. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Nice tool.
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