18 September 2013

Wood Gas as an internal combustion vehicle fuel

Why settle for bio-desiel when burning wood will do? I'm not sure I would ride a Hog that had a small wood furnace for a sissy bar, but who am I to argue? The picture was taken as part of a story in a Florida newspaper in 1981. Anybody know more about this guy's efforts and what came of them?

Wikipedia has a helpful starting description of this technology. A wood gas generator is a gasification unit which converts timber or charcoal into wood gas, a syngas consisting of atmospheric nitrogen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, traces of methane, and other gases, which - after cooling and filtering - can then be used to power an internal combustion engine or for other purposes. Historically wood gas generators were often mounted on vehicles.

Brown University's Projects in Engineering Design website has an interesting page with good visuals and descriptions about a "gasified go-kart" which states that

"This project will serve as an example of the alternative fuels that can be used to run internal combustion engines. Our goal is to make a gasifier that is small, safe, and convenient at low cost. This gasifier will be mated with a standard go-kart engine and mounted on a go-kart frame. The output gases from the gasifier will serve as the engine's only fuel input.".

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency published a booklet, in 1989, on this technology, in terminology understandable by someone with basic mechanical engineering skills. Unfortunately, although there are other articles about emergency generators, I've not been able to find the publication on the FEMA website.

Therefore, the following links have posted pdf format copies of the 1989 FEMA booklet:
 • Available at DROPBOX
 • Posted on the Australian based Library page of Soil and Health.org - this one takes awhile to download (free, but they ask for a donation to help support the site's work)
 • Found at Pole Shift Survival Information Gasifiers links page.

You could also by a USED copy reprint of the same document on Amazon.com for only $100.

For more info on wood fueled engines, check out the website woodgas.net. If this still piques your interest you might want to ask to join the Yahoo Discussion Group known as WoodGas ( Wood Gas Discussions

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