Best Engine for Wood gas?

Hi! Im new to wood gasification, so I was just wondering which engine would be best for wood gas? I’ve read it can be lubricated by the tar oils coming with the fumes from the fire, might be hard to start but once warm, it should run fine?

I am looking into the “simple fire” Library / The Simple Fire | Drive On Wood!
As my engineering skills are about at null and zero.
But somehow I will try to add a cyclone as well as cooler and maybe hay-filter.

My goal is to power up a Diesel generator and to run my home computer, dishwasher, waterpump etc. My idea is to connect The cooling mechanism of the gasifier to a water heater and get extra heat from there as well.

Can I burn anything as long as its dry? Cow dung? Hay? Wood and pine needles? That would certainly be awesome, to just walk in with a bunch of scrap each day, to sit beside the gasifier to become dry until they get put into it.

Im just looking for some extra advice from people.

Hope you can find some help, and also thank for this site, it’s awesome.


Engines you can find for cheap or free are the best for wood gas. Tars lubricating the engine? lol no it will sieze your valves, create sticky lifters and settle in your oil pan causing oil passage restrictions.


Welcome Origo,

A Gasoline engine would be easiest to work with. An inverter generator or 12 volt alternator charging batteries may be better option than the usual generator because maintaining speed to keep proper cycles is not an issue. I do use a regular generator myself at perhaps half the rated watts because charcoal gives about half the power of gasoline. The SimpleFire uses well-burned charcoal for fuel, usually wood charcoal, but other materials made into charcoal work, like bamboo and coconut shells. If reactor is large enough, special apparatus for cooling gas is not necessary. Tar is to be avoided—easy with the SimpleFire, since the charcoal making process eliminates most tar.

I have built three SimpleFire gasifiers with minimal fabrication skills. It is certainly doable. Hope this helps. You will find all the details you need on this website and help from many others, more knowledgeable than myself.


Hi Origo,
Go to the small engine section and check out
“My first small engine run” for a complete picture
build of a gasifier. Total build pictures of the entire unit
and accessories. Hope this helps. Feel free to pick my
brain. It’s a notch above Slim Pickens.