I am messing with the idea, but I need a better/cheaper/easier method for creating the chips. It isn't cost effective yet.
Michael James wrote:Does anyone here know why this http://www.driveonwood.com/ isn't being implemented on a larger scale?
It's not convenient in most settings, and it's not widely known. However, it does work rather well as Wayne Keith demonstrates. The comment about the range being limited to 10 miles or so is incorrect. I believe Mike Dayton is confusing the case where gas is collected and stored in large bags on the vehicle as was done in some cased during WW2. Wayne Keith shows 1.3 miles per pound of wood fuel in one of his trucks, and this figure is on par with vehicles operated during WW2.
The technology is fundamentally simple. The hardest part seems to be filtering the gas sufficiently to avoid damaging the engine. However, the design of the gasifier itself is critical to avoid producing a gas that requires so much filtration in the first place. If you are interesting in making a serious study of the topic, then reply and I can recommend some resources. In my opinion, the there is a lot of promise in using a small gasifier to dual-fuel an automobile. That is, rather than fueling the vehicle with 100% wood gas (or switching back and forth from wood to gasoline as Wayne Keith does), there is a good argument to admit wood gas along with conventional fuels. If properly designed a vehicle can be fueled mostly by wood gas while retaining gasoline (or Diesel) for acceleration and hill climbing. This approach should allow for a gasifier system that is a small fraction of the weight and bulk of a system required for a full conversion while reducing conventional fuel consumption on the order of 80%. I've done nothing beyond research on this, but such a conversion seems straightforward and a lot simpler than a full conversion.
Christian McMahon wrote:Filtering the gas is somewhat easy as I understand it. After it comes out of the cooling unit and the water is removed you simply send it through some straw. The soot gets stuck in the straw. When it builds up too much you change the straw. It's also biodegradable.
Yes, this is true provided the gasifier is properly designed. If not, then just about any filtration system will be quickly overwhelmed. Wayne Keith uses straw as the final stage of filtration (I've read from many independent accounts that sawdust seems to work well also) - a large settling tank is the first stage, and very large cooling system condenses most of the water out. In that case the gasifier is so well designed that very little tar has to be filtered. Therefore, the filtration system can be rather simple.
I've been waiting for Mr. Keith to publish the plans for his gasifier system. Clearly, he is doing something right.