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Wood Gasifier Engines for Cars  RSS feed

 
Michael James
Posts: 50
Location: Zone 5B: Grand Rapids, MI
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Does anyone here know why this http://www.driveonwood.com/ isn't being implemented on a larger scale?
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Because it isn't quick and easy--it requires a level of mechanical aptitude not present in most present day drivers. We can't even handle a mechanical choke anymore...

I am messing with the idea, but I need a better/cheaper/easier method for creating the chips. It isn't cost effective yet.
 
Mike Dayton
Posts: 149
Location: sw pa zone 5
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That tech was in use during WW ll and it does work. Unfortunately the range of many of these veh is very limited, maybe 10 miles in some cases. There is alot of extra weight that you have to haul around with you to make the wood gas work. It is not as practical as you might think it should be to use a renewable item like a tree instead of oil. If you were a tree trimmer and had an unlimited supply of free wood chips it might make more sense to make the investment in equipment that is needed. As some one else has said, it is not very practical at this point unfortunately.
 
Marcos Buenijo
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Location: Southwest U.S.
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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
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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.

 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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If you choose your donor vehicle correctly, the on-board computer can cut the fuel back to the injectors automatically as the woodgas comes on--effectively a hybrid mode with minimal tinkering on the driver's part.
 
Marcos Buenijo
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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.
 
Amedean Messan
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Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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I know a guy how owns a small company that makes wood gas units that look pretty rugged. The price is not to bad as their economy product is around $1800 (rated 5-10 kilowatt). The video below is an older system but he has a 2013 model coming up soon that should feature auto ignition. He goes sell kits as well to attach to small engines.

http://www.vulcangasifier.com/Evolution_Series_Gasifiers.html


 
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