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Wood Gas Car

Post in 'The Green Room' started by eba1225, Jul 16, 2008.

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  1. eba1225

    eba1225 Feeling the Heat

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  2. glacialhills

    glacialhills Member

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    So where are the plans to do this? I would think this technology would help those of us out in here in the country with unlimited free wood. Why is this technology not being heralded from every rooftop? Even if it is inconvenient to use.
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Here's one from Finland--the La Kamina, I believe.

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  4. tkirk22

    tkirk22 New Member

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    Here's a report done for FEMA in the late 80s. Now fire up that welder and torch.

    http://www.gengas.nu/byggbes/contents.shtml
  5. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Looks like you need a fair bit of vehicle space to generate the gas. I wonder if I could fit the extra parts in the back of my ugly Baja.
  6. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Oooh- Ooh ohh!- A great project would be building a gasifier generator. OK- so it won't kick in automatically, but how cool would that be?
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I have actually toyed with that idea. My genset is strapped to a 1942, small hp (like 12) 4 cylinder engine. Slow rpm, low compression, so it will burn darned near anything for fuel. I simply haven't allotted the time and energy to do it.
  8. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

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    We could always go back to steam powered cars.
  9. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

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    Nothing wrong with steam so long as you treat it with respect.
  10. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    The problem with wood gas (and steam) for automotive use is that neither throttles well. It's impossible to go from prolonged idle to full power instantly, and vice versa.

    A more promising approach might be to build a wood gas power hybrid so that the excess power can be used to charge batteries, and the batteries can provide instant power when needed.
  11. Telco

    Telco New Member

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    Wow, that's an excellent idea. As you say, using wood is more of a constant power source more suited for steady output. A smallish battery bank that could carry the full load until the wood fired generator could be brought up to temp and stabilized, that could then provide full power to the vehicle, could be set so that it continued to charge the batteries after you arrived to your destination. Only bad thing here is, no covered parking, ever, unless you parked outside till the stove cooled down and quit smoking. Either that, or you'd need to come up with a way (at least at home) that you could get the stack to a chimney. Thanks for this idea! I'm working out the design for a gasoline electric hybrid that would use a gasoline engine soley to run a generator, but if it hits the fan and petroleum fuels are no longer viable this idea would make a fine backup.
  12. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

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    Nofossil

    Steam if used in reciprocating engines has excellent throttle control which is why paddle steamers and steel rolling mills used steam to go from full throttle forward to full throttle in reverse in a matter of seconds. Steam turbines are a totally different animal and not suitable for automotive purposes.
  13. Hansson

    Hansson Feeling the Heat

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  14. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Those guys' project is pretty impressive, Hansson- I think the history of wood power in Sweden probably helped them along (used woodfired cars, control valves for the purpose, etc.).

    I have fond memories of visiting Umea for a week's long conference. Light most of the night, getting drunk and almost in a fight with some crazy local, eating "elk" (what we call 'moose') and frozen moose milk mousse
  15. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    My brain locked up on that one. :)
  16. Hansson

    Hansson Feeling the Heat

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    :)
    My granfather have one woodfired car. It was very ordinary then.
  17. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    By 'throttle' I mean perhaps something closer to 'modulation'. The issue is that there's a good deal of thermal mass involved, so ramping from low thermal output to high thermal output (or vice versa) takes more than the fraction of a second required for a traditional internal combustion engine. I believe steam powered cars had to vent steam whenever you would crest a hill, for instance. You can pressurize the system while stopped, but it's not going to be able to give you full power right away if you want to accelerate from a stoplight to highway speeds. Low mass boilers certainly help, but as far as I know this problem has not been solved. I suspect it's inherent to that class of engines, and is a similar issue with wood gas systems.
  18. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

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    nofossil

    Thermal oil steam evaporators have solved this problem as steam produced is on demand in just the same way as the air fuel mixture of an internal combustion engine. Certain Lister diesel engines have be converted to run on steam mainly in Australia.

    Hansson

    I am looking for a vintage woodgas fired tractor do they ever come up for sale at farm sales as I have seen lots of pictures of examples produced in sweden.
  19. m0jumb0

    m0jumb0 New Member

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    I've done a lot of research of wood gasification( though I'm by far not an expert), and I think having the gasifier on your car would be too cumbersome. What I've been thinking about is having a relatively good sized stationary installation at home and compressing the producer gas somehow and storing it. Then you can just convert your vehicle over to run on producer gas, which is very similar to natural gas as far as energy density. Just install a tank in the trunk and fill it up at home. Of course you're going to be tied to such and such a radius around your home, but you could certainly save a lot commuting or running around town. And most of the car conversions I've seen have the capability to easily switch back to gasoline so you could do that in a pinch. Anyway, very interesting overlooked technology. I just wish there was a good set of plans to build a simple demo gasifier with off the shelf parts that would produce gas suitable to run a B&S;engine or similar for demo purposes. There are a lot of variables to account for in your design that make it difficult when scrounging parts from scrap metal and whatnot.
  20. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    There are some folks experimenting with variants of the old Lister CS stationary engines (made from the 1920s to 1980s) (and the clones of the same design still made in India (nicknamed "Listeroids")) for combined heat and power (motive energy for electric generation + water jacket and exhaust heat for domestic heating), often with used vegetable cooking oil, and, increasingly as that becomes more scarce/sought after, the possibility of using wood gas, and relying on the diesel system only for "pilot ignition"; many are looking into it, but the "guru" is Ken Boak, whose experiments and musings are chronicled at
    http://www.powercubes.com/listers.html
    These Listers and clones are marvels of design from before the "planned obsolescence" era and, used within their best parameters, remarkably efficient and durable.
    I' ve got a 6hp Listeroid in my barn awaiting someday deployment for CHP or backup power during outages, and maybe, if I ever hit the lottery and get to experiment full time, wood-generated producer gas use....
  21. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Carbon monoxide is one of the main components of the combustible gases. Reading a couple of sources- the technology was abandoned because of pollution concerns and the convenience of oil, but more importantly for our discussion- people were dying from CO poisoning.

    This looks like a lot of fun, and maybe useful for my survivalist fantasy world- but treat it with respect, and keep it outside guys!

    Stay safe
    -pH
  22. m0jumb0

    m0jumb0 New Member

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    yeah, you can't overlook the importance of running your gasifier in a well-ventilated area. however, if you're running the system at negative pressure with a blower sucking producer gas from the gasifier, any leaks will suck air (which can be dangerous in its own right). once your engine is started up, it should be pulling a vacuum through the system as well.
  23. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    My father used a gassifier to power the diesel engine in his fishing boat in Norway during WWII. It was not a "survivalist fantasy world", just survival. Gas producers reappear whenever oil supplies dry up. Like now. As far as I know, the main problem is cleaning the gas well enough to burn without tarring up the engine. This may have been solved by now. I thought about using this technology for cogenerating, but the filtering problem seemed too intense. By the way, the energy output of a gas producer can be increased by 20-30% via water or steam injection into the base of the fire. Typicaly the water was used to cool the gas before it entered the engine, then sprayed as a fine mist into the bed of coals, where it became "water gas".
  24. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

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    Hey guys, do you remember the name Pogue? I would like to know if his contraption really worked as well as he said but then again he is still using gasoline but 200mpg does sound great. I seen some blueprints of his design and read some letters that were written by Ford Motor Company that state his invention was doing what he claimed but I still wonder.
  25. akal60

    akal60 Member

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