Cost Effectiveness?

im a little tripped out buy something. i would like everyone that reads thip post to ask them selves something. why are YOU doing this? my answer was, i originally wanted a cheaper energy source and that it is. but we all know the amount of maintenance and preparation and the cost to build the gasifier kinda negates this. i got about 5k in my car but i built the hole car from scratch. now its going to be a long time b4 mine pays for its self. were am i going with this? well i see all kinds of sys out there and HOLY COW!, some of these systems must have coast more than my hole car and the supplys used to make it run are WAY not cost effective. things like pellets pot scrubbers pea stone and the like work great but they have to be replaced and that means you have to spend money. i thaut the hole point was to NOT have to spend money. i think a good system requires a good operator as well. i think the best i have seen are the guys that go out and get the wood from the forest or the side of the road and do things like use the saw dust from the chain saw for the bed filter THATS GREAT!! whats your two cents =)


Hi Xoie,
You may find this thread interesting.


You are correct that it must be cost effective. That equation is different for every body with their own unique circumstances. One big factor in my mind is that you are not enslaved to outside sources for your fuel needs.
One thing I love about the WK system is that is built entirely from junk and commonly available materials.


i also think its VERY important to make it out of junk its called recycling lol =) mine commpletly made from stuff i got at the dump aside from asorted fittings my last one i acctaly made the throttle body now i have a TB of a subaru b/c the local mecanic gave it to me off a engine that had a thrown rod even the car i started with had a salvaged title =) a nother underling reason i built my car was to have some thing no one else in my aria has or even understands lol (CA sigh)


that thread covers half of my post thank you and im glad the cost isue metiond didnt make my post redundant…thank you =)


For me it’s the independence, and knowing I can have transportation, electricity, and heat no matter what the rest of the world is doing. I am older, so I remember the gas lines in the 1970’s, that is when I started looking at energy independence. As far as cost my Ford Ranger unit was built mostly from scrap I had, but some things have to be purchased, and that cost was about $350, mostly for instrumentation convenience, which is possible to do with out . That doesn’t take long to recoup. at $3-4 gal.


Remember when uncle Noah built the Ark? Everybody thought he was crazy, but it was there when he needed it.
I build my stuff more for the excitement to see that it actually works. Some people think I am crazy too.


People here are coming up with inovations and better and less costly ways of using solid fuels. They are in fact advancing the ‘state of the art’. We like doing doing this. Perhaps one day this really will become a cheaper energy source, as you say.
I live in Colorado. Forest fires are a serious problem here. I went to a lecture given by a chemical engineer at NREL about 10 years ago. This engineer said that about 40% of our nation’s energy could come from our western mountains, and that the labor to do this would be about the same as is currently dedicated to controlling forest fires.
This gasification process is also potentially useful as a waste disposal method. People who live on Staten Island, New York more or less forced the Fresh Kills landfill to close. This created a situation where garbage disposal became much more costly for New York City. So, gasification has become much more attractive there. I suspect this will become more and more the case in major cities around the world. DME Fuel Truck Demonstration in New York City
These are only two examples of ‘waste to fuel’ projects that have the potential to benefit humans. There are very many more.
This is HUGE!!!


Never make decisions based on money. Make your decisions based on process improvements! Use the money data and other data to help gauge how well your process improvements helped.


Costs can be measured in more ways than just $'s, cents, Euros.
I fall into the category of those doing this for Energy Choice. Energy Redundancy. Energy Use Responsibility. These all have a value and price to them.

A car loving neighbor fell into a 1st generation Toyota Prius. He has drifted into the carbons reductions camp.
Hybrid motive power is great, I told him. That way you can recapture the thrown away braking energy. Tune an IC engine for peak efficiency letting the battery bank be the peaker power booster. Letting the battery bank be the parking lot, and in/out of garages trundle-around power.
I told him that the railroads went to diesel-electric locomotives back in the 1940’s “hybrid’ing” for these, and other costs savings reasons.
Just taken us decades to road travel catch up.
Told him that for sure 2nd and 3rd generation Prius could battery and electric motor still travel with an IC engine failure. Redundancy. ( I am admittedly no sure of this on his 1st generation)

If just personal driving "fuel’ savings was a goal you cannot beat the current in-Washington State situation. Go get a still Fed subsidized new all-electric plug-in car. Then power-up, recharge for FREE at the State mandated charging stations any and all new public accessible businesses, and public service facilities are forced to install. Wal-Marts: here on the I-5 corridor even.
Free transportation “fuel” subsidized by all private and public gasoline, diesel on-road users.
Hog trough’ing at it’s very best.
Can’t afford New, for the Fed purchase subsidy?
Used Nissan Leaf’s out of California can be had for very reasonable now.
Piggy-trough for your FREE transportation energy.
See? Energy Use irresponsibly.

A person personally woodgasing for energy KNOWS the sweats costs in obtaining, processing, maintaining. Re-growing.
Wood-for-Power is one of the only personal levels of usable energy solutions.
Energy Choice certainly is NOT free, or cheap.

But, hey! All of that wood-sweating will keep your healthy, wise and connected back into every thing that is really important.

De-consumer yourself. Become your own supplier. Shun energy comodilization. Choose to woodgas. Choose personal freedom.
tree-farmer Steve unruh


The better title for the thread would be whether it is cost prohibitive. :slight_smile:

The backgrounds of everyone is different, the motivation is different, and skillsets are different and obtainium is different, incomes are different and philosophies are different. However, everyone wants one else to succeed at this.

There was a lot more people involved in the Money aspect when gas prices where 4 dollars a gallon and predictably those people have for the most part slipped away.


The only good thing about common fuels is when you loose your health. At that point it become impossible to fuel sweat your fuel for any serious distance. And all the wood sweat exercise in the wold will not save everybody. In other words, pros and cons. :grinning:


My primary reason for doing anything with woodgas isn’t because it is necessarily cheaper to do in the current American paradigm, but because it can make possible some operations that would not be in other contexts. Not everyone lives in the current USA with cheap oil/petroleum fuel. Others live where gasoline costs are many times higher than here, or where it is not available at all. I work in those areas trying to help people develop themselves toward something above a state of perpetual poverty. Woodgas is “of the people, by the people and for the people”. LOL… Meaning that a Zambian with some trees can build himself a contraption that will run an internal combustion engine to do enormous amounts of work for himself and he can make his own fuel that he could never buy from the international oil market. Woodgas/chargas makes it possible…
The same principle holds true for lower income people almost anywhere, including here in the US. Producer gas greatly excludes the need for a huge infrastructure and international monetary/industrial system. A lot like growing your own food and saving your own seed and producing your own eggs, etc…Not necessarily cheaper than buying $.78/dozen eggs at our local Aldi grocery store, but in your local control, and therefore replicable in the grassroots, local environment.

Also, what everyone else said.


i love it good job =)


My response would be, things can change. In simple dollars and cents terms, gasification isn’t sensible.
Probably the only person who is definitely money ahead on modern wood gassing is probably Wayne Keith, and perhaps people overseas, Vessa Mikkonen, and Max.

And there’s a pile of work, learning and development before it gets routine and reliable. Access to wood fuel, and the ability to process it easily enough are also key to the worth of the effort.

But what I would add, is that things can change. In 1939 in Europe they never imagined trying to live without petroleum. Lucky for them people were already hard up, just ending the great depression, and commercial wood gasifiers had a foothold. Suddenly the poor man alternative became a necessity. And then their lifeblood, to the degree that even the German army ran tanks from railhead to battle front on wood, then dismounted the units, only using real gasoline to fight.

The best time to have a skill is before you really need it. It is quite possible that petroleum pricing and availability could suddenly change for the worse. Then, as with the example of Steve’s eggs, current economic price is irrelevant. It’s then a question do I have, or don’t I?

Shaft power, and motive power are probably the greatest advances humans have made, and we would be in rough shape without them.


Well let me just throw in a couple of facts. My sallary is a averidge one for this country, spins around $1100 a month. Petrol price is at about $6/gal, and l currently burn about 25gal/month. You do the math if gasification is feasable for me or not :smile:


Excellent point. From an environmental and conservation point of view, I wish we saw those prices here, hard as it may be. The equation of what makes sense would rapidly change.

1 Like

i personally thin people dont think hard enof to solve there problems for them selfs i have this 84 f-250 3/4 4x4 351w and the state of CA said i was not aloud to drive it on the road any more b/c it would not pass smog now the truck it self has under 80k and it was my dads and i was there when he baut it so its important to me there was no way to make it pass smog for several reasons 1. the fuel it requires and was designed for dose not exist 2 the smog sys was experiment for its time and only use one year in one state CA 3 CA tightened the belt and the limits are actually more stringent that when it was new (so in this reasoning a car would pollute less as it gets older =( ) i said NO WAY!!! i got super lucky and found an exact copy of the truck color and all but it was a diesel 2x4 now i need 4x4 for the snow and i didnt want a diesel b/c it gets really cold here but you dont have to smog diesels of this year i took the hole lot apart and put my dads truck on the diesel frame so not i still have a 351w i dont have to smog it B/C it has the diesel registration and there is no more smog equipment i removed it all and low and behold it still runs drives and its been a few years since the conversion so i guess the state of CA was wrong its not terminus it was a ton of work but i solved my problem and i get to keep my truck =)


A couple of points if I may
Any way you do it harvesting wood for any reason always has, and always will be sweating-the-wood. And that will mean a youngman (or stout girl), and a fit-mans work. Even with diesel and gasoline helping.
These young 16-30’s men and girls; and under employed 30’s 40’s and 50 somethings are out there.
Old, sick weakened it is YOUR responsibly to have cultured the relationships to have them want to help you. Every year now I am offered. Some years thankfully accept help with my wood sweatings.
It IS our responsibility to have the skills, tools and safety habits to share, train and eventually gift on.
Ha! Ha! Good, true story there. The latest young strong family buck to come-of-age just graduated H.S. and joined the Army under a medic program. He wants to earn the credits for a Trama Doctors education. He has sweat the GPA to justify this.
He started at 14 y.o. stacking wood for us/me. 15 y.o. he got to operate under close supervision the engine powered wood splitter. For pay! The only one I payed for my wood that year. Ha! Then he learned as the only one by then with money in-pocket HE got to pay for the crew lunch. True. I really did this. (only half that days pay). By 16 he was big and strong enough he asked me to teach him how to hand split down the big rounds. Ha! My b-i-l, his Grandpa, was the one who had to do the splitter maul handle replacing.
At 17 driving; then we got him onto chain saws.
So . . . he’s had his blisters, splinters, tired sore muscles, splits pop-back bruises and blood lettings.
Army boot training was a piece of cake coming off of summer firewood harvesting for him.

Old men who do not invest into the future, will leave no future. Curmudgeons, complainers.

Germany, France and even the U.K. went into WWII already with a few decades of governments sponsored wood/fossile coal/peat sod vehicle gasification program experiences. I have gifted to me Dutch book on this complied and published dated early 1940 just before the Low-Lands invasions/occupation.
They knew from WWI that shit-hit-the-fan again; and they would be needed it without in-country control of any usable oil fields.
USofA? Canada? We were oblivious with in-country oil glut.
Australia and N.Z pre-war? Some vehicle gasifiaction development awareness.
Japan was willing to buy oil. Or seize the nearest fields.
Ha! China today.



We are moving to pellet fuels and this is for a great many of reasons. The first is our reactor technology is by far years ahead of the chip fueled machines and are much better in performance. Using a fuel standard closes the gap greatly on user success. Not all follow the rules and when they fail, then we have also failed. Pellet fuels are far more dense than chips, this allows for a more compact system resulting in lower build cost, (much lower). Pellets are easier to manage in a bulk fed system, vs chips where auger jamming was an issue and we had to build very expensive robust drives. Again lower cost; In fact our cost for a machine with the same capabilities as the chip fueled counter part will allow for the additional cost to purchase the pellet fuel processing units. Cost with the combined equipment will be even lower than a chip machine with out processing equipment.

Generally when a power system is concerned the user wants to fill it and walk away from it for more than an hours time. Most want 24 hour run times and that presents a big challenge. Building a machine to do this and build so its small enough to ship world wide economically and cost effectively. So pellet are a big win here.

So now instead of going back to chip fueled machines and try to develop them to the level of our pellet fueled systems. Our time will be much better spent building a pellet fuel processor for the end user. All this equipment already exist and is well proven. We will build a combined processor for the end user to produce their own fuel. Making pellets with this equipment will be much easier and more efficient with 100% yield of your feed stock. All your house hold waste will go in this processor plus other renewable feed stocks. This opens that door. There will be zero sorting, and the drying process is part of the pelleting process. When the pellets are coming out of the mill they are well over 220 degree. From a good mill anyways. We plan to start with a machine that will input mulch and chips. So indeed there will still will be the chipping process. However this is not really adding a process, its eliminating the drying and sorting plus giving you the full yield of your input fuel. So many things to consider when factoring in pellet process efficiency;; need to look at the full picture not just a part of it :slight_smile:

Here is the next level machine design, this thing is just 42 x 42 foot print with a height of 56" tall. The mid level package will produce 8 kW of power plus 40,000 btu heat with a run time of 16 hours at the full 8 kW load. Typically the end user is not going to have this pegged out the entire run, so most likely it will exceed 24 hours run time. This machine running in full auto mode as battery charger could run many days on a single hopper load.

Price point for this machine will around $13,500.00. This is very cheap @ just $1.6 pr watt and thats not even factoring the heat energy output!

Also something to keep in mind most us companies are really just in our infancy yet. Still a lot of development and figuring out the best way to manufacture these systems. This has not ever been done before in a modern manufacturing environment. We truly are pioneering this as we go along with other modern technologies that were not viable even 10 years ago. Cost will go down and we are very close now see next gen machine bellow Cheers!