Anyone tried using pine needles in the filter?

I am in the information gathering stage of my gasifier project. I have a lot of pine trees and was wondering if any one had tried using pine needles as filter media?
Tim H

Hello Tim and welcome to the DOW.

I can’t think of any reason the pine needles wouldn’t work as filter material.

I would use Carl Zinn’s method with the laundry bags and before running the gas to the motor I would make sure the pine needles were washed or rinsed with water to remove any dust.


Thanks for your reply! I have a copy of your book on the way and have been reviewing the construction of your gasifier from the premium side. I have 160 acres of plantation pine in south Mississippi and am struggling with the problem of converting pine trees into chunks! Initial ideas include splitting them into 3 inch pieces and then feeding those into a wood chunker with the aim of making about 3x3 inch chunks. I do not have a saw mill at this time, but may eventually get one, particularly if pine prices stay low. My wife is in favor of the project as she has been asking me for a number of years if we could convert the trees into usable fuel!



Hello Tim .

I ran the gasifiers a few years before I made the wood chunker, by cutting logs ( cull logs ) in to disc and then chunking them with a hatchet .

With the help of a log spliter ( fire wood spilter ) to size up the pieces a lot of wood can be chunked with the machine .

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Hi Tim,
Welcome to the site. Ahh, gathering information, the most important phase coupled with lots of reading. Time well spent and forget searching the internet. You couldn’t be in a better place than this site to get some real life in-depth documented views, whether your interested in gasifying a vehicle or powering small engines. My interest is small engines applications. Once you have an idea which direction your going, then you can start to gather parts. That way you don’t end up with piles of usable, but irrelevant piles of metal. Floor space is invaluable, junk is 70 cents a pound.
I have some pics of 2 pine needle filters I have used. The first group of pics is from a fluidyne run with an internal leak resulting in a low operating temp leaving uncracked tars which show up in the pine needles as a tarry mess (see comment #43 in “My first small engine run” in the left column on the Forum page). Scroll down that column until you find it. With a proper high temp burn you should only have very fine dust in the final gas stream entering the filter. The filter shown works well with only a hint of dust reaching the foam pads, although I don’t have a lot of run time on it yet. I built it this size because that’s the size tank I had. There are a lot of successful variations on this part. I think pine needles are worthwhile using and I have a lot of them, too. Comment #395 shows how I loaded the filter. Comment # 398 shows how the filter fits into my system.
The rest of my site shows humble beginnings with a lot of close up how I did it construction pics and evaluating system performance. I also tore down each winter to see what was happening inside, especially high temp hearth distortion and gasket performance. It has to be airtight or it’s a bomb! Speaking of filters, first in line is a properly sized cyclone which will remove the larger particulate matter in the gas stream (see comment #258). There should be zero moisture in the cyclone, imho. I have never had any moisture in my cyclone with my design in total.
Have fun and feel free to pick our collective brains.

For small engine applications

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Love the automatic custom wood chunker-izer in the second box, lol!

The little splitting blade on the outside of the wheel is an interesting addition to you chunker. I don’t recall seeing that on the Youtube video’s I have seen.

Hi Pepe,

Thank you for your reply and sharing your experience with using pine needles (pine cones bad, lol). I have started looking at your thread on the small engine board. Your advice about collecting parts without a plan is well taken- I am a pack rat at heart and have to fight this tendency constantly! In reference to data collection, I have purchased Ben Peterson’s two books and Wayne’s book and Vesa Mikkonen’s books are in the mail. I figured out a while back that you can save quite a bit of time and have increased success with projects if you maximize your data collection early. I also believe that folks have a right to their own intellectual property and don’t mind paying for good information. I see that I will likely have to have several different gasifiers in order to be completely off grid- a stationary one for backup electrical generation and at least one on a vehicle. Knowing that pine needles will work as a filter answers one key question for me on sustainable systems.


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