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Author Topic: Practicality of wood gas electricity.  (Read 7602 times)

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Offline Paul_H

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Re: Practicality of wood gas electricity.
« Reply #60 on: May 20, 2021, 10:45:21 AM »
Engines run well on wood or charcoal gas and the use of them during WWII saved thousands of lives and over a million woodgasifiers were built by companies such as Electrolux. Without fossil fuels for agriculture and transport starvation would have occurred on a massive scale.

The present day wood gasifiers are far better at producing clean gas than the Imbert style from WWII and they would make perfect sense today in an emergency situation. Presently there are many woodgas and charcoal vehicles built and driven in the US and worldwide. In remote flycamps where wood fuel is available  woodgas would make more sense than flying in barrels of fuel over long distances.

I like my gasoline but driving on woodgas is fun and handy to have if needed. I've driven a couple thousand woodgas miles on my 82 F150

Charcoal gasifiers that produce clean engine gas can be built in a day if the materials are on hand. We run a 12HP garden tractor with it and pulls quite well. Making a 1/3 of a barrel of charcoal takes little time to load but longer to grind and sort.

Here is a video showing the diversity of the wood gas vehicles from WWII

eg  tregar  meste  på  Tulla, for  ho  var  krulla  i  ulla.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Practicality of wood gas electricity.
« Reply #61 on: May 20, 2021, 11:37:20 AM »
neat.  that makes you and puffergas for the only two ive encountered who have done it.  most are just talk and internet links. 
Isaiah 48:10

Offline Paul_H

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Re: Practicality of wood gas electricity.
« Reply #62 on: May 20, 2021, 12:01:55 PM »
https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=8539  Member Ron has built a woodgas truck and a farm tractor and him and his family have hosted a few woodgas large gatherings.

https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=57556.msg906294#msg906294
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Practicality of wood gas electricity.
« Reply #63 on: May 21, 2021, 01:27:38 PM »
It's all related to what you want to do regarding a lot of alternatives ..You  could build a spring house instead of paying the power company for electrical power to run a refrigerator  if you wanted to ..I just would not want to walk a quarter mile  to the spring when my cold beer is in my garage 20 feet from where I'm sitting typing away with one finger .--Besides that I don't have a spring ----
Plus you could cut firewood with a bow saw ,I have one .I also have 40 or 50 chainsaws .I'll never wear out my bow saw . :)

Offline Paul_H

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Re: Practicality of wood gas electricity.
« Reply #64 on: May 21, 2021, 03:18:19 PM »
Each to his own,I heard of one crazy begger that made a cylinder sleeve for chainsaw :D ;D
eg  tregar  meste  på  Tulla, for  ho  var  krulla  i  ulla.

Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: Practicality of wood gas electricity.
« Reply #65 on: May 21, 2021, 05:31:17 PM »
I would say wood gas is only useful for making electric in fairly rare conditions.  I build a wood gas generator for a 5 hp engine.  It worked but cleaning the gas and the need for bone dry wood of the right size made it very difficult to use.  If the wood had a tiny bit too much moisture, or the gasafier was running too cool it would gum up the intake valve with tar and the engine would have to be taken apart after the run to clean it.

  I assume charcoal would solve that problem but then you have to make the charcoal.  If you can make charcoal and harvest the heat from making it to heat your home it would make it more worthwhile.

If you want power for a large number of hours the maintenance, and wear on the engine and gasafier will be high enough that you will soon decide you are better off using some other method to produce your electricity.  Solar is cheap.  Wind works in some locations.  Moving water has lots of power.  Battery storage is where things get expensive.  Reducing your power consumption and timing your power use at times of peak production will allow you to use a much smaller battery bank than what you need at first glance.

Offline Ianab

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Re: Practicality of wood gas electricity.
« Reply #66 on: May 21, 2021, 06:30:30 PM »
Have to wonder if a Sterling cycle engine wouldn't be more practical as a generator?

You have a wood fire going to produce heat / hot water, and use some of the heat to power a small Sterling engine connected to an alternator / battery etc. You aren't worried so much about the efficiency as the rest of the heat is being used for other things. 

Like Joe says, if you are off grid you want to minimise your electricity usage. The essential things like lighting and electronics can be made fairly low draw. The heating / cooking / hot water are the high load things, so take them out of your electric system. 
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Practicality of wood gas electricity.
« Reply #67 on: May 21, 2021, 10:31:23 PM »
Each to his own,I heard of one crazy begger that made a cylinder sleeve for chainsaw :D ;D
guilty as charged  :D

Offline Magicman

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Re: Practicality of wood gas electricity.
« Reply #68 on: May 30, 2021, 09:45:56 AM »
Scroll down to Ron57's wood burning truck:  LINK

I wish that there was a video. :-X
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Practicality of wood gas electricity.
« Reply #69 on: May 30, 2021, 02:52:35 PM »
i built a small wood gasifier using 2 old propane tanks. The idea was to use wood gas to run a generator for standby power. Then had one of them "aha moments" why can't we store woodgas or convert it to something that would be long-term storeable. There is a nearby chemical plant that uses natural gas (similar to wood gas) as feed stock to produce several different products some of which are flameable liquids. So ran my idea past an engineer there. Turns out the germans developed such a process during ww2 to produce diesel fuel from coal. Requires pressures above 2500 degrees at temps above 1000 psi in the presence of catalysts. Definitely not suitable as a back-yard project. 
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Offline peakbagger

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Re: Practicality of wood gas electricity.
« Reply #70 on: May 30, 2021, 05:24:01 PM »
Fischer Tropsch process.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Practicality of wood gas electricity.
« Reply #71 on: May 31, 2021, 09:33:06 AM »
I'd imagine about anything in raw crude oil would be in coal, peat, wood .It's just the method of extraction as to  what you might get out of it .Good exercise in the fields  of physics and chemistry .Interesting subject for certain  :)


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