Ben Peterson's new Gasifier Plans?

“Wood Gasifier Builder’s Bible”

Has anyone built Ben Peterson’s new design from his book yet? I did buy the book and it looks great, but I’d like some real data on how well it actually works before I commit myself to all that work. I mean data on running for many hours at a reasonable load, ability to clean it, ability of the blower to withstand the heat, etc., etc,. etc…

Why does he talk so much about “bio hydrogen” or “hydrogen” production and not about carbon monoxide? Is his design that much different from all the rest?

Pete Stanaitis

Pete, Does Ben’s book have an address and ordering info in it ? If it does please post it here. My phone number is 608-623-3000. Steve U indicated it was tough to find the route to do that. I had pictures of all my builds posted on “my” page but my pages flew south a few weeks ago. It looks like my ISP went belly up. Can’t even call them up. Generally when you find a design that works, you stick with it and modify it in small increments to suit new needs. I figure to buy Ben’s book and look at his plans and see what concepts he adapted. I can comment then … Regards, Mike LaRosa PS, pretty much frosted off here in Linden, WI

Mike, there is a link under the resources tab of this site that will take you to his book. There is also a free photo of his plans on there.

Here you go Mike.

Reinvent The World, ltd.

8201 164th ave ne, suite 200

Redmond, Wa. 98052

Pete Stanaitis

I was told it was 50 bucks… Nice to see Steve’s on there … Ben has always marketed by videos and I could never view them … I usually talked with him on the phone or e-mailed him … I have my new /old unit on my truck now … pics are here for the moment… I need to put a real suction hose on it but the 2005 aluminum is still in perfect shape … I have to run a 12V line back to run my start blower … Maybe tomorrow ???
Thanks for the help … Mike

PS, I don’t have a credit card any more … AND would never use it on the internet especially after the State of Wisconsin let me know they disclosed all my SSI info and other info to the world … They apologized and said I had a free year of credit monitoring and when I contacted them the first thing they wanted was my SSI number … NO COMMENT but FU … Thanks Bill … I will just send him a $50 check and a letter to that address … He’s OK in my book and gave it the “college try” … The lab coat was a bit much … I’m over 60 and don’t GAS … GAS GAS GAS … SWEM, M

Morning All
Yes the Redmond WA address BillS. put up is the proper mailing address for Ben Peterson now.
How I bought by sent cash the last set of books from him I got at the Sept introductory pricing.
My first copy set was a face to face old silver coin exchange.
My 2nd copy was an electronic/plastic from Amazon purchase. ( MikeL I used a with cash bought Amazon gift card for these - my actual credit card went wood stove by-by too.) Amazon now trying to hardball down his prices on his books, so for what I paid $42 to them in late Sept plus shipping they have variously changed to llisted at $98.23; and now “Out of Print - Limited Availability”
Screw 'em. Buy direct.

Hey PeteS on your original questions.
His hearth inner design proportions are directly out of the 1950’s Swedish Papers downdraft evolved known systems charts. So very well proven. HIS engine/system sizing chart is on page 35. His nozzle openings will be “chart” smaller due to his multiple insulationS layering (over and above ash sloping); and his three stage heat recycling. Less heat loss. Better heat energy economy. Less woodfuel needed to overoxidize to make that heat in the first place.
It is his unique drop-out and down removable char gentle/char conserving grate system (pages 76-89); and his also unique drop-in replaceable performance upgrade “High temperature hearth liner” insulation-retainer/wear-sleeve (page 162-63) that are two of his personal patent level developments that he is now with this BensGift system plans-set book purchase releasing out.
His sideboxes “Heat Recycling Assembly” pages 90-106 was used and proven on his later 2008 Woody models. This is also coarse ash and soots; then fine ash and soots removing . . . . so why no cyclone.
His “Pyrolysis Acellerator” (a third patent level deveopement) was used and proven on these same later model carbon steel Woody’s, the 2008? 09? SS/aluminum University models and some of the early all SS OffGridder 2009 custom and production models.
The unique gentle sifter action grate system and hearth sleeve were 2009&10 Victory model hearth innovations. Used with the Victory Developer, production Victory, Victory XL, HotWatts and on VictoryGrid systems.
His simplified timer automation system was Victory hearth and HotWatt base line one step up from a 100% manual system development. PLC optional for full automation.
So nothing actually “new” here that hasn’t been in services for 6 to 3 years with these different systems buyers/owners.
They would have to tell you their hours and usages. At least 4-5 buyer/owners are now talking on youtube.
Ha! I’ve been telling for years here, even on the DOW. See my photos album on my members page for 300-500 hours in service pictures.

Steve Unruh

Hello Steve.
Thank you for your background on Ben’s designs.
It sure would be nice if you or anyone could point me to the “buyer/owners are now talking on youtube”. I did see an Australian guy (something like “cncmachinist”) showing a similar looking Victory Gasworks machine, but he made a LOT of modifications to it. Then he finally got it going on woodgas to run an engine with no load. I am not flaming that guy at all, it’s just that I still don’t see any significant power being produced for any length of time.
Maybe I am simply spoiled by the GEK guys.

Still would like to know why Ben talks ONLY about hydrogen in the book.

Pete Stanaitis

Morning All
This BensGift book built plans gasifier system is a DO-IT-YOURSELF plans-set intended to be ran on WOOD fuel unit. DYI intneded is why the “wet” hay-straw filter versus a “hot” exotic material filter.
Says these things right in the title. WOOD. BUILDERS.
Just like GEK really does mean Gasifier (all bio-fuels) EXPERIMENTERS Kit.
Both of these really do have honesty in presentations.
Now IF YOU try and read more into their presentations that is on you impressing/misrepresenting your own hopes and desires.
In his current site book system support on the very first FAQ answer he says “wood” (fuel) three times:

I say this PeteS because Ben Peteson did make make up many research “blue gas” intended units. That was the first University Model, derivatives; some of the custom early OffGriders; and some of the Victory custom Developers units. Mine was the first of Victory Developers hearths. Note on my picture the extra added-in optional viewing, thermalcouple and ignition liting ports. Very tricky and hard to do gastight peircing multiple layers of shells and insulations. You actually do NOT want these in to be hard used, wood fueled units. As a minimum they will wick/bleed-out internal heat energy. See the two out of three heat “browned” plugs on mine? And unless you are a very capable HOT enveviroment fabricator/welder you WILL have gas leak juncture failures develope. WHY they make the Nuke welders special train, certify and STILL xray weld inspect!

Life on this blower he is offering? Here is disassembled pictures of one of these exact units that I own with several hundred hours on it.
Still works fine. Note the internal aluminin housing corrosions from alkaline produced woodgas. This takes place in cooled down, left sit shutdown periods. So best to dissasemble before use and high chromate paint the internal housings. Note also that this variable speed offshore made unit DOES have a plastic resin cast impeller wheel. Does gas heat OK - but with any plastic (or metal) there are limits.
The really excellent VGShop used blowers were Amtex Windjammers. MikeL recommneds these boned out of whole house vacuum systems and inverter powered. These 115 vac units can be E-Bay found for cheap. Amtex themselves do list a 12 vdc production model. Expensive as a low volume production model at a retail of $250-500. Excellent, excellent with a 6" all metal impeller. I measured 178 watts loaded electrical consumption on these. These ALSO really needs internal high chromate painted for woodgas corrosion protection. And chromate paint the raw aluminum impeller wheel too!

Steve Unruh

Steve T,
Is making significant power with his reworked Victory Gasifier… He has modified it extensively…
Including a Max Gasman inspired grate.

He mentions a 198 hours of power producing run-time here.
Click on - (Read 12 more lines)

Steve is a doer, his machine is doing significant work, battery charging…
He is totally off grid.
I’m not giving ya grief, just want to get it understood.
He is DOING what people in arm chairs sit and merely talk about.

Like many people here on DOW, he is the real deal.

All the Best

1 Like

Thank you Terry. That is the kind of stuff I was after.
Interesting to note, but just last night I found several of his videos and watched them with interest, since it was obvious that he was using a Victory Gasworks machine. But I didn’t see the one that you are probably talking about. It did not occur to me to go to his channel, which is where your link takes a person. I assume the video you are referencing is the one where has taken the gasifier completely apart and is showing us the most recent modifications he had made. That video is about a year old.
It is: Gasifier performance problems - and resolutions
Is that the one you meant?
Or am I missing something more?

Pete Stanaitis

That video sets the tone for the changes he made… I think he has made more changes since that video.
It doesn’t really represent a contemporary Victory Gasifier at this point.

1 Like

Morning All
The SteveT that TerryL and PeteS speak of is member Steven Amptramp here on the DOW.
Yes his base machine was an original VictoryGasWorks carbon steel Woody model - late 2008 era.

PeteS also on youbube look at engineer775’s cnannel for video in-use, teardown of an early VGS all SS Offgrider unit.
YouTube “wgc1444” shows using a late model Victory XL system to fuel up a big Onan/Ford gen-set.
Another fellow can be found by youtube searching “Victory gasifier” in his carport with a standard sized Victory hearth/filtering set-up with this exact same blower. No. This IS NOT Ben Peterson. Shows plastic piping in the produced woodgas out stream. You will never see any plastic piping on any of BenP’s personal systems.
ThePlanetGreen team sw USoA horseshit/litter fellows first youtube show useing an early GEK, then an SS VictoryGW SS hearth. And now in private vidoes show using a ground up, densified fuel chunk belt conveyor/air-lock fed Powerhearth. Running a V-10 Onan/Ford.

I point out this last as AGAIN to illustrate that this BensGift book system is intended for saw/sheared sized chunked WOOD fuels. And sized screened WOOD chips. He shows this in words and pictures in this book pages 174-177 “Feedstock Preparation”. Page 177 shows his arboitist/tree servce all-of-the-tree chipped up four grade shaker screen classification table. And he says only ~3/8 of tree service dump delivered will grade out useable in this gasifier systems. He reinforced this is his now 11 system support videos comments sections.
Truth in presentation.
The very last wider fuel range use commercially made VictoryGasWorks system is shown here:

This BensGift book system will like all other WOOD fueled systems produce as best ~22% hydrogen. ~20% carbon monoxide. ~5-6% methane. There is not the molocules and heat buget enrgy to do more than this on a fuel wood base stock. This has been well documented, systems in-use proven and published up since 1907 into ~1984 in most all of the downloads available here on the Drive On WOOD.

Steve Unruh

Here is an archived link to an early 2010 VictoryGasWorks sales brochure:

Skipping down to the approved Feedstocks section you can see NINE different approved as “Excellent performance” types of bio-mass fuel stocks. THREE additional “Needs Custom (system) modification” bio-mass fuels. And THREE listed “Do NOT Use” in his production units fuels types. These fuel recommendations were in-Shop proven for gravity movement in-line downdraft systems. The last three “Do Not Use” fuels really do need offset metered in feeding. BenP did make up a few custom special order units side-fed for these fuels in 2009 and on. His University unit as the first side feed capable. His one dedicated pellet fed machine was the Mechanics Illustrated featured EPS system - 2008.

This BensGift book DYI carbon steel unit in my woodgas Operators experienced opinion could easily do at least 6 of the Excellent approved fuel stocks listed. Now MY corn cobs all go to my chickens. And I’m never going to have coconut shells/husks and bamboo chips available as fuelstocks.

My point is every possible “bio-mass” fuel was asked for, and shipped into the VictoryDelelopersShop and systems tried.
While the chemists and idealists may be correct that any, and all biomass could be gasified - IMPOSIBLE to do them all in the same system. Only systems that come even close are those that grind up ALL fuel stocks including all woods into a uniform small particles. Then with much more automation and complexity fludized bed gasifiy that pre-particlized feedstock with much more systems energy imputs to make fuel particles and make the fludized hearth bed function/flow.
Or . . . take the all bio-mass ground up fuels particles and with even more energy and machine complexity then briquette/large pelletize them into uniform fuel briquettes or large pellets.

Use chunked up wood or coarse made wood chips and it all becomes just so easy.
THIS is what I see this book system designed for.
Just build it. Run it easy. On WOOD.

On this 2010 brochure HotWatt Gas Composition Specs see the all SS, VGW systems units typical numbers when fueled on wood:
N2 pass through ~50%; H2 - 20%; CO - 20%; CH4 (wood methane) 5%;
and an only remaining unconverted to CO an CH4, carbon dioxide CO2 at a low, low 5%. Typically wood gasifers out put 8-12% unconverted CO2.
So PeteS; on BenP’s units the excellant performances are not so much on the hydrogen making side but the CO2 to engine fuel relevent CO and CH4 conversion sides of it.

My personal actual use hearth was the prototype to the pictured Victory MODEL production hearth.
My actual ash/soot sweeper/ fuel drying bin the prototype to the pictured VIctory SYSTEM in this brochure.
The book does not give you two of the the patent level features in this system. Only VGW production system buyers/users got these.
VictoryGasWorks never required worshiping at the opensource demands alter.
Or joining-in the blue-flare stare-ist perfectionists cult.
No matter how hard these two Believers groups tryed to force warp it!!
Before I let Believers steal my trees I would either burn, or cut then all down to rot in place.
I can say on the IC engine side it VGW Developers Shop was always about proven documented engine shaft power.

Now with this every weld step layed out book there are no more excuses to make woodgas and learn the 75% operators side of the Woodgas Users success equation! NO SHORT CUTS TO THIS.

Steve Unruh

Steve slow down. You said you were including a link to a 2010 VWG on different materials. You forgot to post it. Then you go on to talk about it at length which with out the link doesn’t make sense. You say that Victory Gases Lab asked for and tested “every possible” bio fuel. Really? You say Ben’s design is"just build it and run it easy". Are you saying if I build his design, I eliminate the 75% that we have all come to expect? Then you jump to “typical numbers on wood fuel”. The sum total of those gases does not add up to even close to 100%. What are the other fuels. Then Pete S asked why Ben only mentions making Hydrogen. And you go on to explain how Ben’s “excellent performance in NOT because of hydrogen production but CO2 to fuel”??? Then you go on to talk about “your” designs in his builds but he won’t put those in his book only people that want to buy his “machine” get that information. Is he paying you a royalty or something. And then the bit about him moving on and “giving out these design developments now”. He is not “giving” these design out he is “selling” them just as Mr. Wayne is doing. You posted pictures but you didn’t give any explanation of what they were.Slow down. I can’t make any sense out of your post other than it is sounding like a advertisement for Ben’s book. TomC

Hey all, I have had the chance to look at Bens book as well. If I were new and wanted plans I would for sure pay the money to acquire his book. Im, not getting royalties are any benefits from it once so ever. We have in fact linked his site along with the DOW site on our home to help promote the DIY plans.

My take on the book is it is very well laid out, with easy to follow step by step instructions. The build uses ceramic insulation placed in the right areas and the heat recirculation systems are there. The tanks are hot water heaters and can be salvaged for free along with many of the other parts. Some parts would be best if purchased such as control systems like the 02 mixer control for instance. Like many others I have followed Ben through the years and now I am in his shoes. Any ways he has done great work and in my opinion the book is well worth the money for a proven system.

As for longevity its mild steel, the more you use the machine the longer it will last. Letting a gasifier sit is the worst possible thing you can do to it. If you clean when you know it is going to sit it could last you five to ten years. That does not mean the whole machine, this is just parts replacements. So it could last much longer that this.

As for the Hydrogen statement I cant answer that, but as a manufacturer we are mostly interested in the H2 production. Our goal is to get the machines well into the 20% range of H2 production. So this may be why he is making those statements. the CO is there, but this is not our focus. Many can build a gasifier, but producing engine quality gas, with high H2 yields is not easily done. So will it produce as advertised? At this time that remains to be seen yet. However, I would assume this will be the case considering what Ben has to bring to the table.

OK TomC I did edit hopefully for more clarity. Sometimes my brain meds muddle.
No I do not get a commission on Ben’s books.
Quite the opposite. I have fair-trade paid for every copy that I’ve gotten and sent out to true solar and off-grid friends and relatives. 9 books sent out so far. I have more to go.
These folks could care less about the H’s, C’s and O’s and the maths of it.
They all have Rural properties. Grow their own trees.
Harvest those trees for fuels and building materials and heat in bulk wood stoves. Know the value of wood-work-sweating.
They just want something that they can build up; or have built up that will works for them on their back-up gen-sets, with their own wood fuels.
None of them wants to be hobbyists, researchers, world saviors, or name makers. For most their extra time and energy goes into their chosen churches and local community.
They just want to keep the lights on; refrigeration on, washing machines washing, and well pumps pumping.
Simple enough is you just use WOOD as a fuel. Hard, Hard with other “bio-masses”
Some of the Ben Peterson personal designs developments will only work in a stainless steel fabricated system. These will not be in this carbon steel system book. Clear?
Even APL now patent protecting their newest SS systems. Wanna really see now? Have to buy a pre-made up system…
BenP says he will no longer manufacturer supply.
BensGift is MY name for this carbon steel plans set. Appropriate because this is a good-by, moving-on release out from him. Clear enough?

Steve Unruh

Steve U, I just caught your note about the “tar fence” today as I watch my exhaled vapor crystalize and fall in my lap … I’m glad he added those pages … Catch up later … I need to head to the main house and WARM up … Been splittin wood the last couple of hours … These folks can shove global warming up their behinds … I’d say we are headed into another ice age of sorts. SWEM, Mike

Hey Back MikeL
BenP would roil; you calling that drop-in performance improver sleeve a tar fence.
He considers this piece to be a combustion chamber shaper.
Also holds up the performance improving added in inner alumina silica insulation. So an insulation retainer sleeve also. On the production units this sleeve will have a top edge cone to keep the insulation from crudding up. You are a Premium member here on the DOW so look in my photo album here and see the very first use of this sleeve. HAD lower bolt down tabs - eliminated - unnessary. Shows later modified with the added on top cone/slope. He was tring to make this carbon steel DIY book “BensGift” system with NO cones.
This sleeve is considered a drop-in and pull-out consumable like his restictions plates.
Steve Unruh