Bigger truck 8.0 liters on charcoal

Hi everybody. I m from turkey living in japan and interested in gasifier. I have been following this site for more than half year. I just wonder if it would be possible to run 8 liters diesel truck on charcoal gasifier? Or on a commercial coal? For any info, experience or warning i would appreciate. Thanks. And please excuse my bad english and spellings.

Trying to run a Diesel on gas is difficult, unless you modify the compression ratio and fit spark ignition. Easier to start with a vehicle that runs on petrol. Is there reason to choose charcoal, wood is less work and gives better performance than charcaol.

I see your points on the topic. reason to diesel is to work the truck for small scale transportation. Wood is less work? As i understood charcoal gasifying on truck is more compact, less filters , cleaner gas. If you reffrring to making charcoal, i could buy coal. And i can have lots of lots of wood and charring them seems less work and less trouble then filtering wood gas and carrying more barrels on truck for clean gas.

Good Morning Ali and welcome to the site sir.

As I set here on a cold and windy morning, warm and comfortable as I can be, a single wood heater heating a 2300 sq foot house .

I realize I might get more heat out of the heater by making charcoal or buying coal but the charcoal making process is time consuming and will waste a lot of the energy unless I can figure a way to use the heat as I am making it . In my area I don’t know of anywhere I could buy coal.

The heater has fuction well over the years with the minimum of labor to fuel it. the wood is cut or split into pieces small enough to get in the door and left in the environment to dry for a short period of time .

In short I think I am spending the least amount of labor and expense to warm my house but with that said if I wanted to grill a hamburger I sure I would us a little charcoal for a quick little fire .

One other advantage of charcoal would be the lighter weight if need to be transported over long distances .

The videos below will show the end results with the minimum amount of labor preparing fuel and the required filter systems operating an 8 L truck . The last video is a 5.2 L

For very small motors or aplication I am all for charcoal gasifiers as Gary Gilmore’s “ simple fire “ design.

Every location will have different fuels available , the video show what is best for me and the amount of time and expense vs the amount of work / power that is generated for the effort .

Sorry dial up guys

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Thanks for videos. I dont know what it called in english the coal we buy in my country for house heating. I could describe , hard like rocks some are shiny looks like black glass, after digging off the ground , only broken to smaller pieces for house use, any way to guess if the coal i describe is free of nasty stuffs like sulfur and others whatever they may be? To use in a truck as coal gasifier?

Hello Ali Gul
Your english if fine. Excellant in fact, considering that it must be your 3rd learned language in your brain.
“Coal” is a difficult english word.
Here on the DOW we say charcoal to mean “Charred” made coal from a wood base. Fossil coal to mean the “black rock that burns” dug up from the ground.
Then there are many different grades of each one of these two dramatically differently made “coal” fuels.

Yeah WayneK gotta love those in-house woodstoves. As you say minimal wood prepping needs - and sensible designed able to eat up ALL of the gasifer rejected out wood fuel stocks. Quiet and needing NO ELECTRITY to operate.
I look at the fellows dragging thier sorry asses out to slip and slide in the ice, sleet, freezing rain, the cold blowing snow or even just the sideways driving cold season rains to stoke up an outside smoke dragon water pot and just love my wife more for insisting she wants to see the comforting wood fire flames too.
Me, the oldest dog and cat sure do love old bones warming by the in-house woodchar radiant glow. Gives good reason to hang around for another year over the flat sterile, emotionally cold, souless same-same central heating systems.

Steve Unruh - clean, NO SMOKE woodheating since 1996

Hello Ali,

Yes I am very familiar with coal. It is a hot topic here in the States .

Years ago there were a few people in my area that heated their homes with coal but know of no one now or any retail place that I could even buy any. Often see it on rail cars going to power generation plants.

I have trees ( biomass ) growing many times faster than I can use them but have no coal. It takes millions of years for coal to form but trees grow fast here in certain parts of the US.

Ali , your English is much better than mine and I have been trying to learn it for 65 years!


Thanks for all the"warm" replies:) topic is changing to house heating. But i was asking about the rock hard coal i tried to explain in the 3th message is possible to use on a truck with coal gasifier? About whats in that coal. Does it have enough impurities that i cant seperate and would damage the engine? Reason i am trying to use hard coal, is i can buy it unlimited, enrergy dens and somehow from what i read it would be trouble free comparing to wood gasifier?

Hi Ali, What you are describing as “coal” sounds like anthracite or “hard” coal. It could also be a harder form of bituminous or “soft” coal. Bituminous coal will form bubbles of coal tar when heated, usually has sulfur and creates a significant amount of ash. Anthracite coal is nearly pure carbon. No sulfur smell and no bubbling, burning tars. The ash is very fine and powdery. To test your coal, build a small wood fire and put some lumps of coal on top of the burning wood and see how it burns.
I have tried bituminous coal in my charcoal gasifier once, and will not repeat the experiment. The coal forms clinckers which are lumps of molten slag. The sulfur is corrosive too. I have used anthracite coal in my charcoal gasifier and will continue to do so as it is a dense source of carbon with no negative side effects.
With that said, I still feel you need to run the charcoal gasifier on charcoal and only add the anthracite coal into the oxidation zone.
Hummmmm, just had a thought. Maybe I CAN mix it in with the charcoal??? But then, the heavy coal may drop to the bottom of the gasifier, But is that a problem? Ali, You just got me thinking about an doing an experiment.
As to your original question, Yes, you can run a 8 liter engine on charcoal gas. Whether you can use coal depends on what type of coal you are talking about.
Gary in PA Sitting next to my Harmon wood stove, enjoying radiant wood heat since 1978 (Got that Steve U? ) And just to add a one upper, it is air dried hardwood!!! :slight_smile:

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Thanks mr gary. It all comes down to do it to know it. Since i am not in turkey i cant test the coal i could buy. I have an idea modify updraft gasifier. So today i am getting fire extinguisher size about 10 liters. One question for downdraft gasifier; what if one makes the heart longer than usual and use a blower for the gasifier continusly? Wouldnt it have much more clean gas i mean less tars and since pressure wouldnt drop, better usage? All it would take is 500 watt blower if not less? Any ideas and reasons people dont do so? Thanks.

Hi Ali,

Welcome to the club i would say… merhaba effendi in turkisch i presume…
Yes you can make an updraft gasifier for use with coal ( anthracite as it is been called )
The original gasifier was build for that purpose and will do fine for your use as well.
Would you like to run your engine on dual fuel mode or just on pure gas ?
To the dimensions, a 10 liter fire extinguisher is not big enough to give you the power from coal as you will need it.
Using a blower in blowing mode will produce in any circumstance an excess of air blown into the glowing bed, resulting in a to high amount carbon dioxide produced.
The suction mode is to prefer and not difficult to build.
Can you give me more details about your engine and the desired power you would like to use ?
I can provide you with some basic calculations which can be helpfull with the further design you would like to follow.
As far as go’s for wood gasifiers, there is none better available then the WK gasifier.

Back to the details of your engine.
an exact typing of your vehicle will tell me a lot about the options you would have.

Kind regards

This old Henschel give you an indication what the used to use in the “old” days for anthracite…

Thanks mr koen. Merhaba to you too. The truck i am planning to convert is 8 litters 220 hp diesel. I will try to send some link about truck when i get home. Its gonna be arround 1990 to 1995 model.

About using blower continusly; if engine doesnt suck it , how can blower push more air? Can u explain it. And why i asked about blower is to make heart zone longer so gasses will have more time in hot bed charcoal, thus cleaner tar free gasses?. Since vacuum of engine may not pull from longer heart , blower would be needed. By heart i mean reaction reduction zone.

Hi Ali,
We will need to work on our language to be sure we understand each other correctly :wink:
On the picture from the old system the blower is creating suction before the engine gets started. Its also possible to blow the air into the gasifier (positive presure) but that is not advisable.
Using a crossdraft-updraft system as shown in the old system, has less problems with the use of charcoal or anthracite. No need for an longer throat or longer dwell time in the reduction zone. There is so little tar or other volatilles in coal that thats neglectible… depending your decission on the use of feedstock we can guide you trough the options further on.
If its anthracite all the way, the there is no problem at all. With a mix in different charcoals, you will have to sieve ( calibrate) the proper size for your gasifier. I , for myself, would prefer the use of anthracite, optional charcoal. Not the way around…
Following older systems worked well in the past: the wishard gasifier, the brandt types, the pederson and in my opinion the simple fire-gilmore adapted to the henschel would do fine to. A kalle gasifier would be difficult to start with. But some of the ideas can be used in the gasifier you will need. With minor adjustments to the use of antracite i guess the WK gasifier would be the most perfect fit to the job if you prefer a downdraft system.
No fear for any dimensions with an 8 liter 220 hp suction is sufficient. Just basic understanding needed for the nozzle sizing. Does the engine has a turbo charger and intercooler ?

No turbo no intercooler. My idea of blower was for wood gasifier. Sucking can be too as long as it works continusly.

Ok Ali,
If a 220 hp 8.0 liters piston suction can’t do it , then sure a 500 watts turbine can’t :wink:

Anyway, we can help you here… as soon you can give me the details of the engine, then i can give you my advice.

With wood gas , not from coal , anthracite or charcoal, but from wood… then you should build a WK unit, same as Wayne Keith uses. He also has an 8.0 liters V10 in gasoline engine.

Running a diesel on woodgas does not really equate to running a gasoline/petrol engine on woodgas. I believe that even after the spark ignition and compression ratio changes, it is still a very hard to woodgas a diesel.

Hi Brian,
The opposite is true.
The diesel engine is build for higher torque at lower rpm.
If ran in dual mode, will have the benefit of being able to use vegetable oils as ignating fuel.
This fuel also can be used to boost if having a power dip…
I would prefer for myself doing so…
Also,… its easier to fit and retrofit an diesel engine then optimizing a gasoline engine…

Mr koen thank you for helping me. Suction :slight_smile: if its made by engine , piston volume at each strike could never be filled 100 %because of pressure drop. Means less max. power ?