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Gasifier Smoking

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by jebatty, Feb 14, 2008.

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  1. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,256
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    I have seen a number of posts mentioning smoking from gasifiers. What does that mean, exactly? My old OWB bellowed smoke out. My wood stove kicks out some real smoke on start-up. But on my gasifier, I get a little wispy smoke on start-up, which I assume is some smoke and some water vapor. But I would be hard-pressed to call this smoking.

    What do you mean by "smoking?"

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  2. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,398
    Loc:
    Addison County, Vermont
    With mine, it smokes right considerable during the first six minutes of startup when the bypass damper is open. Major smoke dragon. As soon as it kicks over, it's clean almost instantly.

    I've wondered if it would burn cleaner during those six minutes if I forced a little extra air through.

    If I have a bunch of really small stuff, I can get a tiny bit of smoke. Usually not visible, but you can smell it. I assume that with lots of surface area, it's generating more wood gas than the secondary air can burn.
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    With mine, I found that I had to open the secondary air controls more than the factory setting to get a consistently clean burn. Some people seem to have problems with wood bridging, which allows the nozzles to become uncovered and they get smoke when the gasification stops. And, I've found that I get blue smoke if my wood isn't dry enough. I also get a small amount of smoke during idle, if the boiler goes into idle early in the burn cycle.

    My main goal has always been a clean burn. I learned pretty quick how to get a consistently clean burn with my boiler. There are a few tricks with any setup. Once I figured them out, I've heated with confidence and excellent results all around. It would have taken much longer without the collective knowledge on this forum. Without some interaction with other users, I think you could easily get into a rut and never figure it out.

    That's why so many dealers and manufacturers are providing links to this forum on their websites and directing their customers here. A well-informed customer is usually a happier one. If we do the eduction, they don't have to.
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