Comparing energy values from Standard fuels

Here a basic overview from years collecting real life data.

Modern CHP systems can run a bit more efficient, but overall this is a bit accurate and usable to compare…

If your engine is not running well on CNG, it does not mean it can’t run efficient on woodgas…

I tried to keep it simple, but you never know… questions ? just ask

Edit: i replace this picture with corrected data, thanks to the correct observation and positive comment from Chris

deleted picture


Interasting and very informative stright forward data!

A question thugh; you have bamboo on your table. Is this bamboo turned to woodgas and runing a ic engine or bamboo made to charcoal, then gasified amd burned in a ic engine?

1 Like

Hi Kristijan,

No, these are value’s relative to the actual energy content, LHV, based on dry mass. ( Bamboo having same value as wood in proximity from less then 2% difference )

edit: rereading and comenting.

If the bamboo in the table is used for gasification direct, then yes, but have to take in consideration that the efficiency of the gasifier is not accounted for, nor the moister content.
We actually run our big one (gasifier with pure bamboo ) on 1,4 kg average per Kwh output ( 107 Kwh )

Average you get an input to output conversion, with the power generator from 30% ( gas value to Electric)
Touching the 90% gasifier efficiency is darn difficult… unless charcoal is involved :wink:

My big gasifier will be rebuild to full charcoal 200 Kwh and no more straight bamboo


Hi Koen, nice table, but I can’t make the bamboo numbers line up with what I know about wood.

Forgive the conversion to English units…

1 liter = 3.250 kg
0.264 gal = 7.165 lbs
1 gal = 27.14 lbs

Maybe this is true for bamboo, but it isn’t for wood. Most sources quote a LHV for wood of 8,000 BTU/lb, gasoline has 114,000 BTUs/gal. That comes out to 14.25 lbs/gal equivalent. In addition, our practical experience is around 16 lbs/gallon equivalent running woodgas trucks. I have a hard time believing that we’ve achieved 200% efficiency with our gasifiers. :wink:


Hi Chris,

It looks i have to check my homework again :grin:
trying to compare my data with established knowledge, but then trying to avoid some obstacles as endless conversing…

I did find an interesting pdf from FAO dough, might be worth using those data as a forward / backward reference ?


the replacing picture:

I have added the values used in MJ per quantity ( real world quantity’s)

The real consumptions for generating electric power with a generator / gasifier set for wood or bamboo, are more high then in this picture ( 1,2 Kg up to 1,5 Kg )
The wood energy value’s is based on dry mass


Thanks Koen for the chart, you are bright on these fuel science,thou i am unclear about distance a vehicle will travel farther on 5 gallon of charco or 5 gallon of wood. If the chunks were all the same size ??


Hi Kevin,

Now that is a funny brain teaser :grin: just made my day

If we choose our materials well, then we could call that even value’s … energy per volume wise :grin:
But with sam sizing and no further specs, i would say more mileage with wood… ( 400gr/liter charcoal vs 700gr/liter wood)


Thanks koen on the specs, you are a true educator sportsman.

1 Like