Are You a One in a Million?

On a topic line My Wayne recently said he figured there were only about 30 people in all of North America actually driving on woodgas. I can vouch for maybe that again actually using woodgas for daily self power generation.
Not even one in a million for us here. In all of “Europe” from Ireland/Iceland to the Urals maybe as many as a few hundred actual using daily individuals woodgas IC motor systems. Still NOT one in a million for that huge population base.
I used to worry if too many did this especially for drive about very noticeable wood gobbling vehicles there would be deforestation outcries like in the post war years in France, Germany, Luxembourg and then the Grundies would slap regulations down on all woodgasing like they do here for us here in PNW on woodstoves and fireplaces. Carcinogenic air pee-loot-tion they say. Front page newspaper scare stuff here.
Naw. Actually using woodgas is too demanding in time, effort and ability for most to bother with addicted to cheap easy Dino fuels, supplied big Nuke and Hydro Powers and far easier PV and Wind.
I used to say it took so many hours: ten, a hundred, a thousand actual operating hours to really understand and effectively IC motor use woodgas.
Ha! Ha! As happens 50% of the time - I was wrong.
It is really by how much fuelwood you’ve ran. Takes this experience to even see the problems of condenstates, soots, burn theoughs, heat stress cracking and erosions and on and on. Work out solutions. And then truly appreciate the rewards.

If only one in a million learns to do, and use woodgasing in this decade then the Art advances. The future will be secured for individual freedom and independence for the next turn of the wheel.

So do you have the stick-too-it-tive-ness to become the needed one in a million actually making and using woodgas for a purpose?

Steve Unruh Sept 26th, 2012


Hi Steve,

Although everyone has a different purpose, in answer to your question ------ Absolutely!!!


Hmmmm I think so…

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So much of the work has already been done by Wayne and all the others here. Still not going to be easy but with the head start and support here yes.

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Always Steve Always
I have one good use for Woodgas now and working on others.

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For the past year now. The Ranger drives on the highway or through the city on about 1/2 pound to the mile.

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Hi Steve, To echo Peter’s and Sean’s comments, Yes, Sir! I will be digging a 4’ deep trench from shop to house for water lines to supply hot domestic water and heat for the shop, home and future greenhouse as well as electrical power. Then on to a unit to run my tractor with PTO for wood prep. Then the lawn mower…

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Yes I am kinda stuck on wood gas I have heated the house and shop with a gasifier boiler since 89 i guess when i’m to old to cut wood i’ll have to go back But for now ((aint no way))
Had a set back on my mobil gasifier i welded the fins on but when i did an infrared pic of it with a burner in the tube my welds sucked they looked good but it was plain as day i only had about 30% conductivity so it’s back to welding
Oh well sooner or later haha
good luck to all

Hi Steve , good post. Woodgas is an art and an alternative energy that well deserves promotion.When I first started reading about woodgasification for engine fuel four years ago I could find nothing about the OBD conversions actually most reading was against it.That is why I converted an engine with a carburetor.
Today there are several regularly driven fairly late model vehicles running on wood, and even better than the old types.
Thanks to thoes who have done the experimenting ,testing and sharing of the advances,for a viable and abundant alternative.maybe not the most convenient at the time but things change. , Ron Lemler

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Hello Mr. Steve,

Great post as always!!

One thing I like about using wood gas is teaching my son there are no free rides or free lunches in life.

Many families jump in the car turn the switch on and go down the road having to stop at the gas station to get fuel and running the credit card through the machine. The same families heating there homes will just walk to the wall and turn the thermostat up. The youngsters have trouble understanding that ole Dad had to sweat so that the above can take place.

I think my son has learned that he can do a lot of riding and also stay warm in the winter but he will have to sweat a little. This gives him the opportunity to take some of the load of ole dad and learn responsibility .

It makes me feel real good when the wife and youngon want to go somewhere and they say, we have plenty of wood sacked up in the truck and ready to ride.



Have wood, will travel … Wood will make you warm several times over … ML
PS, Tally has bitched at me about having to fill sacks …

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Very well put Mr Wayne I feel the same way
Hope you got your hayin done we didn’t have much to dry and i guess you guys had just the reverse
have a good day

The Suburban has segued into a big block crew cab 4x4 dually. The first decent one I can trade my Taylor guitar for. Which should be pretty decent. And, I’m going deaf, anyway. Now, I need to snag a couple of those Harbor freight half off coupons, for the welding helmets. And, we’re looking for the tractor, too. One of our prospective welders is away attending his cousin’s OD funeral. He’s fourteen. We hope this will be another good lesson for him. If his home schooling tutor is any good, he’ll soon be our secretary/treasurer. If he’s not good, we’ll just twist the kid’s arm. We are ourselves not far from joining the sick and shut-in. Before then, we hope we’ll be Klamath hay producers, and haulers. Running over passes in every direction. We are believers in the free lunch. We’ve watched our ex wives. But, we’ll still just make our own. This is already getting to be good sport, And lots of new merit badges. This is so economically driven, that the wood gas truck is assigned to the motor pool. While we learn hay. For starters, it’d be nice to get to the yard sales that support this party, a little cheaper. So, by my math, we are about one in 5 and a half million.

Ha! Ha!
Instead of for the tenth time responding to woodgas cleaning by electrostatic precipitation (works - an energy/tech expense hog)
and an oil bath air cleaner for woodgas inquiry (works too - can get very snot slimy nasty 100% humidity woodgas clogged quick!)
thought I’d just bump this topic and other thoughts back up to the top for general inquiry reading.

Woodgas - ONLY doing/using is learning. And only loaded IC engine woodgas fueling is learning well.
Steve Unruh


O.K. We need to make a movie, “Why we drive.”

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Hi all. I am reviving this to show that even though in the past 3 years with all of the new system built and up running these use numbers haven’t changed.

When I first wrote this road gasoline here was $4.00 a gallon. Now is $2.00 a gallon here.
Not all bad news. Much advancement now on actual “other” EFI engine systems used. Improvements in durability. Improvements in engine/gasifier heats recycling allowing for lower woodfuel consumption and the use of wetter fuelwoods.

Still . . . the real hold back for wider use is the fuel wood Sourcing/Prepping side of it.
Think of the fellows who’ve build a system. Operated it. Now no longer operate it.
Once they discover that with an at least 4 to 1 ratio between woodfuel power and a refined dino fuel in Weight . . . . AND a 10 to 1 ratio in storage space woodfuel power versus refined dino fuel that Dino Will Always Be Easier. Dino fuels money makers work very hard to price tank-out, and lobbing regulate out any other energy competitions.

North American winter heating season is here. There be at least 11,000,000 million who still bulk wood heat for their homes, shops and barns in North America.
So 1 in 300 still getting a significant amount of their yearly energy here in NA from woodpower.
I just finished wood-sweating in the last of 7 cords/924 cubic feet of air dried Doug Fir for our two houses woodstoves.

Looking back at the last 7 years I see the most relevant factor to whether a person will join the one in a million who woodgas for usable engine power isn’t their skill as a welder fabricator,
their ability to do the maths,
follow along the thermal-chemical process
It really is predictable by their ability to Source, then Process, and then Maintain a wood fuel pile that will diminish at, at least a 200 pounds a day used-up rate.

Steve Unruh


As always Steve, a spot-on perspective. In my case I have done exactly as you say. Since selling my previous wood-gas candidate vehicle, I have not sought another one, but rather, have concentrated on the equipment and tools necessary to process wood to support that habit. Hand saws, chain saws, wood handling and splitting tools, a “rebak” style chunker, charcoal production, a fuel-grading trommel, etc. etc.

We also heat with wood exclusively, albeit on a far smaller scale than some, since we only have about a month or two when temperatures might get below freezing. I have not driven a single mile on wood, and may never, but I want to lay the necessary groundwork to support it if I ever do. It’s a much more achievable goal for me at this point, and will have value for many things other than driving.


Yup! Just got in from throwing another cord of stacked firewood inside. It’s 4 PM and already starting to get dark. I don’t like it.
When outside in the cold I glanced at my filled up chunk storages, knowing that I’ll brobably not be able to do any more gasifier welding until spring. I don’t like it.

Our gas prices are 3 times yours but still the cheapest in a long time.
Was talking to my dad the other day. We came to the conclusion that an avarege worker’s salary pays for twice as much gasoline now compared to 1970. At that time almost everyone went for sunday trips in their dino cars while their dino burners heated their homes. Dino was considered cheap and Sweden was the richest country in the world.
Half the price today and it’s expensive? Everyone talkes about how they can’t afford anything. What has happened?
Might have something to do with all the extra gizmos we think we can’t live without.

Written on my gizmo pad


Smack on Steve. I’m one of the lucky ones, a 15 minute side trip on the way to work this AM, netted 300-400 lbs of kiln dried hickory in blue barrels, most of it cut to size. :smile: It’ there every week, usually more. Wood-life is good.


Some folks think of ways to acquire their wood and some folks have to think of ways to dispose of their wood :grin: