Just wondering if anyone has any information, or could lead me in the right direction on the subject of compressing the gas to a liquid.
Hello Randy and welcome to the site .
In the upper right hand corner of the page if you will search ( compressed woodgas ) several treads will pop up .
In short compressing woodgas is not worth the trouble and more negatives than positives .
I agree with Wayne.
The problem with compressing to a liquid, is that woodgas is actually a syngas, plus some. Gases all liquify at different temps/pressure. In syngas they are all really low temperature and high pressures.
Even with a purer stream like methane/natural gas, it is rather dangerous, the equipment is expensive and it requires a lot of energy to do. After compression, the liquids also aren’t necessarily stable. Propane is kind of an oddball where it is stable as a liquid at room temp.
Compressing is a better solution, but you are still expending a lot of energy to store, not that much energy.
As Wayne pointed out, it is just easier, safer and cheaper to use the gas as is. And there are other threads on compression.
The cheapest, easiest, and safest conversion to a usable storable fuel is to electric. This is even more true as the price of components continues to drop in price and improve technologically from driven mostly by solar and hybrid cars. For example, inverters are up to 97% efficiency and have dropped about half in price from 5-10 years ago.
I kinda figured it would be an impossible task, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. I have just started researching this technology and find it very viable as a fuel source, I have a 1973 Ford 300 cid that I have by belt and pulley to a 24kw generator (ST) head. I currently have it on propane as back up power for my home here in the burbs of Houston. My wife calls it the Hurricane generator. Anyway, eventually I want to get it out to my property out in the country (my bug out place) and when TSHTF I will have a way to produce some juice. But that scenario of being able to get propane during that time will probrably be non existant . I was looking at HHO production but to many things can go wrong and those plates wont last long over an extended period of time. Plus not a guarantee it will even work without a supplemental fuel source so I decided to nix even starting the project and wasting my money in the meantime. I can weld and cut so what the heck, build a gasifier, Im going to give it a try. As a newbie here I have so many questions but I am just going to take baby steps here and not get in a big hurry. A lot of you here seem very knowledgeable in this technology so I will be asking a lot of questions as I progress. Thank you all in the future for your advise.
If you are planning for some version of SHTF, take a look at the required fuel consumption for something that big. A 389cc generator burns 9lbs/hr without any load. That is why I am working with 196cc 4kW’s. It will not take an entire day to make a decent daily run time worth of fuel.
Ehh? Why worry about the unloaded consumption? Make your power, use it, store it, shut down…
A gasifier is so easy to start and stop, I’m never quite sure why folks want to run 24/7…
The 196 will make roughly the same fuel into the same electricity as the 389cc, or even the 300cid Ford. THe question is how fast will it do it, and what loads can you run. Matt Ryder’s 4kw unit at Argos couldn’t pull a 22 amp motor (my electric chunker). Anyone in a homestead / prepper type situation will appreciate extra capacity.
Hi Randy, Driving, and generating are two grand shaft power benefits of wood gas for sure. If you don’t have the book, that is first priority. Second, read thru some builds, to get an idea of some changes, updates, or options currently being used, or experimented with. Patrick Johnson has a lot of experience with stationary and truck versions of the WK, and some good modifications too. The biggest demand is wood, pure and simple. If I’m driving 60 mph, and burn 1 # per mile, that’s 60# PER HOUR. Bigger engines require more, intermittent use, less. Good luck as you go.
a very important part also is how will you make the wood into useable size. You are not the first person to post about compressing it. It happens as soon as someone learns about the fuel and then realizes its the holy grail of SHTF lifesaving goodness. Its not for everyone…however if you work the system, you can make it work. It is a very old technology and has been tested and tested over and over again. In a perfect world where oil companies didnt monoplize driving and pull the string of politicians… Meaning, in a vacuum Woodgas still takes a lot of work to get work done. Good old fashioned sweat and brains.
Chris, I will need to run 24/7 at least in the summer time. Houston climate is miserable in the summertime and A.C. is an absolute necessity in this part of the country. As far as the required fuel , that is no problem I have 600 acres of very heavily wooded pine, elm, oak, pecan, hickory to thin out. So raw fuel is no problem. I was thinking of devising some type of large hopper with a vibrating system on it. Maintenance will be a daily task for sure if I run 24/7. An A.C. unit that would run on syngas itself would definitely cut down on raw fuel consumption. Now that would be the cats meow in my situation.
Nothing like riding around with ice cold woodgas A/C.
I didn’t mean to say you can’t run 24/7, if it’s doing something important. Remember, you must process, dry, store, and load 16-20 lbs of wood for every gallon of gasoline you would have used. Carl is about right with 60 lbs/hr, that’s 3/4 ton of wood EVERY DAY. Can you handle that much wood?
Sitting there idling will waste a fair amount of wood as Stephen says, so if you can pack more of your loads into a shorter time, use a small battery bank to coast the rest of the day (i.e. night time). A/C is a big load, but you may be able to shut it off at night. (depends on the house). That cuts it to 12 hours vs 24. Which roughly cuts your fuel consumption in half.
And, if it’s really SHTF time, air con is a luxury at best. Houston was well populated before they invented such things, you might want to investigate how they did it.
a horse water trough with ice in the water may be an option. lol, Chris, I don’t if you have been here in Houston in the summer time, but the night time is just as bad as the day, 100% humility and 90 degrees at night is pretty common here. Gotta keep mama happy you know. But honestly this extra luxury we want may be just something to treat ourselves from time to time. WSHTF it will be a blessing to just be alive.
Well now, those RV refridgerators run on a small propane flame. I see no reason you couldn’t use the same technology to run an AC unit on woodgas.
If TSHTF, the last thing you want to worry about is fuel for your gasifier to run the lights, fridge or whatever. You probably have much bigger things to worry about like food.
This is what I would do. I would get the tax credit for solar panels, get a big inverter that can be expanded parallel and can do off-grid and where you can add a battery bank. Then you can supplement the solar power with a gasifier. I would also build a basement. I don’t think those are that common out there, but they normally will stay pretty cool. But that covers home plate.
Normal Batteries actually have fairly slow charge rates, so a bigger engine isn’t going to help speed it up. The exception is Flow batteries are faster, they actually make them in smaller sizes. Imergy actually has sold a lot for telecom backup power. They also have a long lifetime, and unlimited charge recycles. They are less efficient, and more expensive. The price should drop on them as they scale. They are used exactly as you describe with diesel gensets. There are 3 companies that make them. Imergy is one, and they just sold 1000 over in Africa, and they are looking to scale up their business to reduce costs.
I believe it is houston that has the grid issues, where they don’t have wiring for enough power to get into the city. So I am -guessing- you might have some brownouts there especially during august and september between 1-4pm lol It is supposedly the result of deregulation, and no one is paying for actual line itself or something like that. You might need your gasifier those months.
You might give the 24/7 some thuoght. Calculate what it would equal in miles. Oil changes at least twice a mounth rather than ones a year, lot’s of cleaning of the gasifier, carbon bildup etc etc.
Solar panel, batteries and a gasifier/generator as a complement would be the best choice in my opinion. I don’t know about the ac though, as I’ve never had to worry about nice weather. All I know is ac takes quite a lot of power to run. Just thinking out loud.
The problem that I don’t think many prepper-types consider is that ANY constant speed engine has a certain baseline friction to overcome before you get useful work out of it. For my 6kW it was 9lbs/hr. For my 4kW it’s about 4.5lbs/hr. My house averages 1500W in a power outage so I am far better off burning 6-7lbs/hr(loaded) with my 4kW than bothering with the 6kW assuming the engine doesn’t stall when the well pump comes on. A small engine using more of its capacity will far more efficiently use your fuel than a large engine, therefore your supplies will last longer.
My 18kw diesel backup uses about 1 gallon/hr to make 1500W. How stupid is that? The radiator fan probably uses 1500W at 1800rpm, but it keeps the wife happy.
To you point, the tool should match the job.
Hi Randy, and welcome.One thing that comes to mind is a swamp cooler, they work great in the south west, and use a lot less energy to run. Al
Having lived in Houston for 3 years, I can say with confidence that AC is not a luxury. Also, swamp coolers don’t do any good when the humidity is already 80%. 98 degrees at midnight is common.
But that’s under “normal” circumstances.
In the scenario Randy describes, normal will need some adjustments. I grew up in Mississippi where it is just as hot and humid as Houston, and I lived without air conditioning in the car or the house for the first 24 years of my life. We had an attic fan that drew in the (somewhat) cooler air at night, and often had to crawl under the covers to stay warm.
The best suggestion I have thus far heard is to jump on the solar tax credits, battery storage, and supplement with small-engine power generation. Look around for some low-speed, high volume air movers - kind of like the ones in old warehouses. Design your bug-out cabin around the idea of air movement rather than being sealed and refrigerated. Think solar chimneys and trombe walls. Rather than trying to replace your purchased electricity with self-generated, focus more on making do with less.
And try to convince mama that sweating ain’t so bad - cools you off and gets rid of toxins in your body at the same time.
Alex, that is an excellent common sense answer drawn from experience!
Another thing I thought about - years ago my wife and I traveled to Eureka Springs, Arkansas during the month of August. It was very hot, but not as humid as we were accustomed to. There was a house or a museum or some tourist-type building we visited that was built using stacked triangular slate or stone tiles as the outside wall. The triangles were stacked in such a way that the flat side of the triangles formed the inside wall, and the points all pointed outward. The explanation we got was that the sharp points of the triangles radiated heat better than the flat sides, and worked to draw the heat out of the building. It was in the 90’s outside, but the inside was comfortably in the 70s.
I don’t remember what the story was for winter time. I know they get regular snowfall in that part of the Ozarks in winter.