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Casting / Melting Metals in a gasifier?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by slowzuki, Dec 5, 2007.

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  1. slowzuki

    slowzuki Feeling the Heat

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    Has anyone melted any crucibles of metal in their gasifiers ash chamber? Fired any ceramics? Just curious!

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I know nothing about it, but it seems to me it would make a pretty good forge fire.
  3. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Yes, you can.

    I may actually be building a wood-fired forge in the not-too-distant future, for sale, if there's enough interest.

    Joe
  4. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    Not on purpose ;-)

    I'm not sure, but it seems that controlling foreign material and oxygen content might be a good idea. It's pretty hot, though.
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I'm intrigued by this, Joe. Can you share a few more details? Are you talking about something a homeowner or a person with horses might buy as kind of a hobby, or something on a larger scale for production?

    I'm also curious if you know anything about small-scale electricity production using a generator that runs on wood, one way or another. Is this something on the horizon? I don't have any particular design in mind, just wondering if that's something we can realistically hope for in the future.
  6. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Small-scale, for hobbyists. I doubt there's really a huge market for this sort of thing, at the moment. But there are folks who are not satisfied with using LP for their forges. Charcoal works, but why not use the wood, directly?

    Kilns, as well. No reason to rely on electricity or gas to run a kiln.

    I'm actually looking into designing a wood-fired small-scale generator. Sizes from single-house up to enough for a few houses. It's very do-able, and there are some companies already making such things, albeit not typically small enough for a single house, and not typically available in the US.

    I know hobbyists who have built gasification reactors and used them to power modified gasoline-engine generators. That sort of technology was used in Europe during WWII, because of the oil embargo. It's odd that we owe the commercial existence of gasifiers to the Nazis...

    I'm in the process of finding investors, right now, as I'd like to get an R&D;facility set up. Not just for wood, but for other "local" fuel sources, as well. Ideally, no one should have to be importing/transporting fuel in most locations, as there are adequate fuel sources in most areas. I have a few other folks with the technical expertise (chemists, etc.) to make it work, but it does take start-up capital to get the facility running, and pay people until such time as a commercial product is sold sufficiently to get into the black...

    Joe
  7. Andre B.

    Andre B. New Member

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    By WWII gasifiers were old hat, out of date technology.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=mC8KAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA414

    In fact most all the so called alternate fuels you hear about today were used before petroleum based fuels were developed.
  8. slowzuki

    slowzuki Feeling the Heat

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    Woodmizer has an offshoot company called Biomizer, their first product is in testing phase, people paid a reduced price to use the test units. They burn dust and chips. Thats cool enough but they are also developing a co-generation unit that is in late development stages. They poured lots of money into this years ago but didn't have a good heat source. With the biomizer now, the co-gen makes sense so when heating loads are low you can make power.
  9. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Yup. But the commercial side really didn't take off until necessity became the mother of invention...

    Fuel prices are self-sufficiency are driving another round of innovation.

    Joe
  10. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Wow. What a great alternative, or addition to, a heat storage tank.

    I deal with Wood Mizer as part of my job. I'll have to check that out.
  11. Tarmsolo60

    Tarmsolo60 Feeling the Heat

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  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I'd have to be pretty darn hard up to drive a Yugo, even one powered by wood.
  13. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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  14. mikeyny

    mikeyny Feeling the Heat

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    a guy by the name of Tom Reed put out a book or two about gasifiers for the government concerning emergency power production in the event of a major disaster or power loss. Kind of interesting but somewhat dated. Mostly based on tried and true gasifier designs dating back to the turn of the century. It sounds like a fun hobby but I would'nt want to have to rely on that technology to live by. As a simple experiment while burning some yard debris the kids and I put some dry chunks of hardwood in an old 1 gal paint can, put the lid on, poked a dozen holes in it and set it on the fire for a while. After about 20 min. I passed a flame over the holes in the top and the gas lit right off like a gas stove burner. Some people call it wood gas. I believe it is actually hydrogen gas mixed with a few other gassesI.think the process is called pryolosis It actually burnt on its own for about 15 min.. Many third world countries actually cook this way. The neat thing is when it is all done you have some charcoal in the can. Now you can actually use this to start your next fire.
  15. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    It's mostly carbon monoxide, which burns to form carbon dioxide.

    There's some hydrogen and other gasses, as well.

    Joe
  16. slowzuki

    slowzuki Feeling the Heat

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    The actual composition of wood gas is highly variable based on the gasifier. The goal of most is to minimize tar production which doesn't burn well.
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