Charcoal vs Coal Gasifier

I was curious if anyone has had experience running their gasifier on anthracite coal?

Was curious how its operation may compare to a charcoal gasifier. Looking at an application that runs a 3-10kW generator.

I am working on an updraft charcoal gasifier and am considering the impacts of running anthracite coal in it.

Not a good substitute. It will probably work with coke but not coal, too much volitiles.


What Kristijan said. I have seen drawings of antracite gasifiers, always downdraft, and imbert style, only a sligtly bigger restriction in difference from a wood gasifier.
I don’t remember if antracite is amoung the bitumenous, or “fat” coals, but it’s absolutely not “lean”, as coke.


Mercedes Benz had a crossdraft-gasifier for charcoal, which could also be used with coke and certain high quality antracite with very low volatile content. That was a must, otherwise the crossdarf-gasifier produced tar.

Pro: Due its higher density it ran much longer with a hopper of antracite compared to charcoal.
Con: Needed much more time to light the gasifer, and more problems with slag and ash.

This system was built for the car 170V, which was then named 170VG (G for gasifier). Here is a picture:


I found out in some old books that antracite actually is “lean” coals, not safe for updraft gasifiers though.


I would like to build a bituminous lump coal gasifier to run a 20 HP engine connected to a 5 to7 kW generator. You say you have seen some drawings? Could you point me to them? Thank you, Teddy

Welcome to the forum Teddy.

My first question is why do you want to run an engine on coal? Do you have major reserves of it?

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Welcome TEDDY too driveonwood–and charco gasifier builders too we have some well experianced in charco To, hope you can get some usfull project working-

Hi and welcome Teddy, i can’t find the drawings i have, at the moment, i promise to post if i find them.
But, you can try google: Wisco gaserzeuger.
This is a ww2 gasifier made in Germany, i believe. These was made for lignite?/brown coal and antracite.

As you can see these are downdraft/Imbert style gasifiers, this i necessary because coal contains some phenol/creosote, (fossile tar)
Also try google Imbert or Zeuch antracite or braunkohle, they also made them, often possible to run on peat as alternative.
Also good to know: these gasifiers need some forced grate cleaning, some coal tend to “bake” and clog gasifiers, also there are different ash melting temperature coal, i believe, that can slag enormous.


about 50 tons, more than enough for the rest of my life

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Thank you so much for this. I’ve burned coal for heat and know of the relationship of combustion temp to klinker production. I figured a shaken grate and automatic klinker/ash removal would be necessary for a continuous running coal gasifier. Since coal has about twice the energy density of wood and has oils in it, I wonder how that effects the actual combustion temp in the hottest zone of the gasifier? Or is the temp going to be the same because it is the same pyrolysis process, you’ll just get more gas out of the same weight of coal? Thank you again for your help. Teddy


Hello Ted .

I also may have enough motor fuel for the rest of my life but don’t know if that is a good thing or bad :grinning:


It is likley a long time before coal gets banned with all the solar nuts out there, i think if i had plenty of coal at my availble,i would use it too- ounce you get it dialed in it will be far cleaner than most gasification process.Then again when SHTF it wont matter other than survival- Caint wait too see that unit working, It will be well use full knowlege.You could have a wood and a coal gasifier available too use.

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