Densified or supercharged fuels

Have been thinking about you guys running on batch loads. A hopper can be thought of as a volumetric measurement of fuel. It holds only so many cubic feet of feedstock, in other words. The gas produced is not relative to the volume, however, but to the weight of feedstock within the hopper.
First, the densified fuels. Probably not many of you have access to a briquette machine, but maybe some have access to briquettes. They are the ideal densified fuel. Pellets are densified, but there are problems with interstitial space, so even though they might show a higher weight per cubic foot, briquettes work so much better.
Those of you who run the formulas probably already understand this.
To give a real world perspective on this, weigh a five gallon bucket of chunks or chips…then weigh the same bucket full of briquettes. The difference in weights gives the ratio of the extra miles per bucket, or in the case of stationaries, the extra hours per bucket. That difference can be quite dramatic.
Now to the supercharged fuels. I remember reading a good while back about some European drivers who would pitch an empty oil quart container into the hopper for an extra kick on the drive home. At the time I found that amusing, but not useful. Now I can make sense of it, and it is more or less the same as the reasons densified fuels fuels pack more energy. Somewhat. Take a peek at the makeup of the average polymer. It is basically composed of carbon carbon hydrogen hydrogen hydrogen hydrogen. There are variations on that theme depending on the plastic, but if you notice it is nothing but pure fuel, whereas wood is more a conglomerate of many odds and ends, not all of them fuel, and those that are can be somewhat difficult to break down and combust. So for every unit weight of plastic you get almost a perfect combustible, which is not true for wood. Extreme energy in a small package, so to speak.
Adding charcoal can supercharge a feedstock also- since it is basically carbon. One just has to pay attention to temperatures so as not to over-do it and melt something or create barrages of clinkers.
One simple way I used to supercharge my feedstock came about by accident. Realizing that oils will reach out and grab tars, I began to soak my sawdust and shavings filter with a small amount of diesel. It really helped clean the gas, and I would always empty the soot filled canister back into my feedstock. The soot, the diesel, and whatever tars it had grabbed…all perfect combustible fuels. I ran at a little higher temps but damn it ran good.
Running with plastic additives will require running new formulas based on the stoichiometric combustion of the particular polymer if you wish to get it tweaked in accurately. For instance, the necessary air intake jumps dramatically and your nozzle sizing might not be adequate…
Anybody interested out there might play around with this some. Just be careful. It can be rocket fuel.

Hi John, I think that most of us occasionally throw a quart of waste oil in the hopper (in the container) if we know we are going to burn through the whole hopper. That 600 btu gas is great (90 mph) … In the state of Wisconsin it is against the law to burn any plastics. I personally don’t consider gasifying plastics as burning them but I have run into a few nut cases that got all over me because I mentioned CO so I now say CARBONIC OXIDE instead unless the person I am talking with has a brain … Please teach your kid Hinglish … Peace Out, Mike

Didn’t know you guys were already rocket fueling, haha. It was something great to discover. For awhile I dumped my char from the grate, but if you keep recycling that it slowly builds up higher ash content. So I quit. Plastics? That’s what I’m working with now. As you probably can see, it will come down to how the mixture will flow through the zones. And there are plastics and then there are plastics. PVCs are a no - no. It’s the chloride. Nasty stuff when gasified.
I think there has been some govt. regulation BS that finally identified “incineration” as separate from “gasification”.
So according to the feds if you gasify plastic you are not burning it.
Do you guys have temp gauges for your vehicles? I was wondering if you noticed how high your temps got when you pitched the oil in there. And have you figured out just how much is enough and how much is a little too much? That’s probably all trial and error figuring, as most of this is.
So I take it from what you said those Europeans were pitching a full quart of oil and not just an empty container. Twas a long time ago I read that.

I threw a 10x12 plastic dropcloth in last week after it was starting to shred (UV disintegration). Better than garbage can filling and watching the wind scattering bits everywhere. I didn’t think it ran all that well, but it ate it. Too much, probably. Could have been the wood too… Haven’t tried oil yet. I do save it though, have for years. I just know I’m going to find a use for it…

What about the tars we collect from the hopper condensate? I drained some in a 9x13 pan and let it evaporate the water from it for a couple of weeks. I then took a torch to it. It burned well.
So my thoughts are to soak some raw wood in the next pan, let it dry out and then load it in the hopper.

I kinda got nudged in this direction for two reasons. First is that the Canadian company I am working with is plastics to bio-fuels, so everyone here speaks plastics with a Quebecoise accent. Crazy Frenchmen. Second is that I was handed a 500 kW Humphrey design and told to run that monster genset with it.
If this at all interests you get into the chemistry of it. Mole weights of the plastic or oil, find out how much oxygen needed, etc. But then being a long time gasifier you will also naturally be thinking about how it goes down through the zones. I am really not sure a regular design will do it without some serious modifications. The occasional quart of oil is one thing, but I am looking for something more like a 60/40 ratio to get what I need. Questions pop up like char. Plastics can make the needed char, but not like wood. Some plastics make more of a glassy clogger-up type char. And then there is no ash. Most of it will simply combust if given the oxygen so relying on making enough char with the wood becomes necessary. I haven’t really looked into the actual chemical formulas for our oils. That’s where you would have to go if you plan on using the oil, and if you have been storing it…there you go. Lots of fuel for gasification there. I would imagine Texaco has tons of patents on just that issue.
What triggered all this thinking of sharing this was the guy trying to make a several thousand mile trip to see his family with gasification as his means of getting there, and I thought this is one good way to stretch the miles out before a reload.

Excellent idea if you have the time and patience to do it. Just make sure you are not adding too much moisture back into the feedstock. The wood should soak up the tars well, and maybe some drying system would finish it off. Voila! Jet fuel for your gasifier. It does take care of your environmental concerns also. You don’t want to be dumping that stuff into your groundwater. Where I was working before I jumped one guys chit when I saw him dump a five gallon bucket of condensate on the ground. Told him to look over there at that well where I got my drinking water.

Even though I am hard into only site grown and use of raw actual wood fuels a fellow has to be practical.
Chunked up and trial’led with some of these regional Bear Bricks:

Chunked size figured out these work well as a drop in substitute in a chunk wood configured gasifier hearth.
I now keep a hermetic plastic wrapped double six pack of these now set back for NO DRY WOOD cold gasifier systems starting ups. My system in a couple of hours is configurable to dry down condition it’s own winter wet picked up fuel wood with gasifier and gen set engine heats. Just need that first two hour cycle.
These bricks work just fine along with a sealed bag of wood charcoal as a “match light” system jump start fuel back up. Ha! Ha! Work in the wood stove fine too of course.
Yes John. Fuel l-o-n-g and hot.
Expensive energy though bought out.
Fellow driving would be better cost BTU/milage just buying pump diesel in a downsized fuel sipper.

You are also very correct with too much dense chained HC’s supplementing solid char chunks becomes the limitation on a configured for chunky fueled set up gasifier system.
Hate to say this but a “reviled” common, relatively cheap chunky very high carbon fuel supplement would be one solution: fossil coal.
And just that “word” then in a commercial operation put you then into a whole different level of regulations and oversight controls.
Energy bootlegging making is just so much more finger licking fun. Yum. Yum. Then the only thing that matters is your satisfaction; and keep 'yo mouth shut; and ‘yo grinnin’ to a minimum. Share with friends. Leave the world saving to the preachers and the missionaries. But that’s just me talking now. A know scofflaw.

Steve Unruh

Yepper, we be on front street here with EPA and all regulations, so everything we do has to be correct. That gets quite expensive but cannot be avoided. It just goes into the numbers pile with its own slot.
One good thing that has happened recently is that gasification has been separated from incineration in all the federal regulations.
As you well know, there are several camps in the gasification tribe. The retreat into the bunker survivalists. The I am tired of gas prices good ol’ boy crowd. The wow look at what I can do crowd. The I wanna be green crowd. And then there are the commercial boys that I hang out with. We each have our own perspective. But it is the same beast we are trying to tame.
I realize that gasifying plastics is combusting more fossil fuels, but I guess on the moral side I would rather see some electricity come out of it than to see the landfills grow and grow…and keep growing.
Pretty much everyone knows that the world needs to go renewable or recyclable, and even though the big boys are busy trying to slide all the proceeds into their bank accounts, there are plenty of crumbs hitting the floor. And bootleggers have always been my heroes.
I get off on the applied science angle of it all. Way back when in the old yahoo forum days I spoke about going quantum physics with this. Still am. Picture a long chain polymer. Then realize that for that chain to break one of the little hydrogens stuck inline with all the rest has to either get very discontented with his position in life or get so friggin agitated that he just has to jump and run, and he leaves his position to travel all the way down to the end of the polymer…leaving a weak link in the chain. That’s where it breaks. The weakest link. I want to know just what it is that gets him to that state of mind. Those polymers with pendants, attachments of whatever that makes one polymer different from others, make it harder on the poor little dude because he has to climb out and over that big hill in his way, but he will, and he ends up at the end of the road down at the tip of the chain. Those polymers are harder to break.
Same stuff is happening in wood… just easier to visualize with the neater more organized plastics.
It helps to be crazy. Been smelling woodgas too long?

Excuse my ignorance because I’m reasonably new in wood gas. You mentioned above that dumping the condensate on the ground is contaminating the ground water. Will you explain this a little more in detail? Is it just the hopper condensate or the cooling condensate as well? What part of the condensate does the harm? What do you do with yours? If the hopper condensate is creosote and they use that on power line poles and rail road ties for protection of rotting the wood, do you feel that is also contaminating?

Hi all, Yes I make my way around to post here occasionally.

About oil. I played with it a little on the lawnmower.
If I were to either soak the oil into the wood or place a canister of oil into the hopper, the results would be about the same. The oil vaporizes all at once, sometimes stalling the motor from over richness.
The only way I can see it used is by drip.


Jeez, JohnB I so love it when you molecularly “dirty” talk. I’ve sure been missing that.
With just words you can paint an alive dancing three dimensional full color picture in my mind.
I’d say the woodgas huffing is just about right.
Those who can’t see these active pictures in their minds eye 'aught maybe get off hands sitting, make some smoke and huff more woodgas trying/DOing.

Now DOW site related. You listed out only five different gasifers segments.
Missing one that there is a greater concentration collected up of here on the DOW especially on the Premium members side than ANYWHERE ELSE on the Net now:
Personal Freedom Woodgassers.
Those made the hard choice; and paid the hard costs to be able in their own backyards be able to tree grow their own woodfuel stocks.
Actually nothing new here. Doug Williams Fluidyne site he says “Fellows, you all need to be planting and growing your own fuelwood trees now” He said that back almost 15 years ago.
MENS said it clearly over 30 years ago. Dutch John with his life living TODAY.

By any ONE of your of your defined out gasifier sements a Personal Freedom Woodgaser get crowded/pigeoned-holed into one of the other four narrow segments.
SteveU’s a Greenie.
SteveU’s a Doomer/Gloomer (survivalist, prepper).
SteveU’s angery/mad at the Energy companies.
SteveU’s rooting/farming info out to help make some ONE a Gasfication Millionaire.
Ha! Ha! None of these were every true; and would not stick long, well. Confused many non-freedom intent gasifier wanna-bees.
Heck. Clear still back up on the is still my Jan 2009 statement that from my own site grown wood, gasification for me was about personal ability to use MY wood to make MY power for me and mine.
And willing to freely share out the how-to.
I think only BenP ever really understood about this FREEDOM gasification segment. His"V".
Certainly only him understood this can’t-stop-me or buy-me-out personal freedom drive in me.
DougB and his associates now more clearly defining this Freedom drive too.
So. Any still wondering the “why” for ME, that Small Engine Corner host resigned needed was so I could finally be Free at long last to only have to cater to those with Personal Freedom Gasifing drives too.
Free now at long last to politely snore/ignore the other segments.

Ha! Ha! Sorry to seem to topic drift on you. Just so’s you know what you’ll run into with the strength of membership feelings here now evoling. Read Wayne Kieth’s living story. Others rural here too.
Why some of these other segmenter’s whine they feel that they get short shrift here on the DOW.

Hey. You the topic originator here. Means you get to moderate (control) this topic. I’ll edit remove as you desire.

I’d really like it if you would words paint the water to gas shift too. Make those heat enraged, oxygen lusting chars, come alive stealing O’s out of even chromium oxides and refractories.
Steve Unruh

Just caught your post. Back and forth to the plant stuff. We have warehouses of discontinued books that we are grinding and briquetting. Or should I say, trying to briquette with the new machine. Cough, cough, dusty as hell. I wiped some Shakespeare boogers out of my nose and then hacked up and spit out the whole collected works of Tolstoy.
You’re very right about the personal freedom guys. That’s really where this tech belongs, but then to get the steel and the gasket material and the blower motors you have to reach out into the “outer world”, you know, the world-wide economic beast out there. The needed replacement parts for your alternator might be dependent upon Whong Chow Dong, that little dude outside of Shanghai, and everyone has a part to play in the game to get it into your garage. We’re all connected, personal freedom or not.
Quantum physics? Basically that is saying that you, what you are doing, and what you are doing it to, are all just One. That’s why I want to know what gets the little Hydrogen atom upset enough to leave home, even if that means walking a mile in his shoes.
Now for some dirty molecular talk.
Naw, let’s do that later. I know you want to hear me tell you again how that bad-ass dyke Mama Carbon bitch-slapped H2 and ran off with his little lady Oxygen, but the gang-banging of CO2 is much more interesting and news worthy. Moral of that story is don’t go messing around down in Reduction Town if you’ve got an Oxygen hanging on your arm, even if your name is CO2.
Hot excited Carbon can be voracious. She can maintain and satisfy 12 different and unique relationships simultaneously.

Here’s from one study: “concentrations of naphthalene and xylene
were considerably high compared to the recommended permissible exposure limits
thus posing risks on both human health and the environment. It is therefore
important to treat the condensate before disposal to the environment”.
“tar containing condensate… disposal of those form can have undesirable environmental effects”

“has to be disposed of in an environmentally acceptable manner. The problems associated with
the management of these wastewater or solid residues are summarized as follows:
• “Tar” and “tar”-contaminated solid-waste streams are considered as special wastes;
consequently, their disposal is usually cumbersome and costly.
• “Tar”-bearing wastewater is usually a bi-phasic mixture requiring various steps of treatment
before final disposal.
• Most water-soluble “tar” components are refractory to the usual biological wastewater”

So the best I can come up with is that they are potentially harmful and the only way to know for sure is to have them tested. I know of no commercial plants using water scrubbers due to the EPA hassles. They will be forced into expensive testing and proving the safety of the release, which they know that they would probably not be able to and so don’t bother trying.
Me, I can smell the stuff and would not want to have it enter my drinking water. Nor would I want you to have to drink my phenols. Personally, I would expect the same consideration from any of you guys.

I now see what Steve means by painting a picture with words. That paragraph made more sense than in one read than the first three months of me trying to figure this out.
Not sure if you noticed the post I wrote above Steve’s. Maybe you just haven’t had time yet.
Thanks for your explanation John

Well there I did it again.
Damn, John - not that dirty man. Energetic described, yeah, but . . .
and I just out of skinning past being briar patched out of unable to General section post.

The most important expression of Freedom is the ability to just say no. Or yes - only on your own terms.
It was not that we Americans would not trade with King George and England. We just said from now forward when we say negotiate, you asshole: You will take Our terms cause we will no longer be dependent on you. We’ll make out own shovels. Our own manufactured goods. Or do without.
By 1980, with the years since 1974, we should have been able to have told OPEC to stuff it; If we’d had the will and direction in those year between to dig in, do A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G needed for that Freedom to say, “Keep your damn oil. You drink it. Enjoy.”
Guys we will always be sold out by the Money guys. Our own Money guys. Can’t blame anyone but ourselves.

So just going old low tech isn’t freeing yourself. Using less than half the bought out dino fuel from 10 years previous like I do now, IS.

Lots and lots of confusion even with Americans nowdays on what Freedom really is.
Again. Ability to say NO and make It stick irregardless of the price. No matter how hard it hurts.
Ability to say YES. But only on my terms. And make that stick too.
Gods sake two year olds are some of the most cantankerous NO free’ers of all. Moderate this O.K. as you grow and mature. But why throw, or sell it all away “growing up”, eh?

And not even about property ownership.
It is demanded ownership again of your developed ability to just say NO and make it stick. Live with the consequences to make it stick. Yes: only when it is agreeable to you. Thats being Free.
Woman seen to know this far better than men.
Ha! Why we have to clean up the direction I’ve started us on JohnB.
Or - “the Women of Gasification” will want their card back they sent to me. Stop feeding thier men putting you and I out deep, in the cold, cold dog house.
Hey I like you man, but . . . two stinky old goats . . . in the same doghouse . . .

Now about those pesky de-energizing cooling off still “free” “still lonely” carbons and their insistence to dog-pile-up, arm-in-arm link-up, and chained-up C-c-c-o-o-o-l-d to keep themselves crowded-in company.
Five different kinds of soots I see in my gasification.

Hey save me a Trotsky if one floats through. Never did finish it. Tolstoy’s too lightweight for my tastes.

Yeah, I woke up this morning to edit that out. Must tell you though, that was the toned-down version of what I had really written to begin with, haha. Point being to all that is that when carbon is hot and excited it is a very powerful atom and can get its way with just about what it wants. And it does have twelve faces, each with its abilities to hook up. As you had mentioned, it can even reach INTO refractories and grab oxygens out, hence the crumbling and pitting that takes place down there. I don’t care if the refractory is rated for 5,000 C, the carbon is still going to have its way.
Freedom, let freedom sing. We travel through time and space and many lifetimes with the one and only tool we have…the.will to chose Peace to all you gasifiers out there. I have to go grind some more Ancient History and maybe some more classical literature. Gonna wear a dust mask today, cough, cough…

I thought your description was entertaining. I was unaware of the ability to pair with 12 oxygen molecules. Is that only if it gets past a certain temp like 700c? And that’s the reason when we make tar because the temp is too low? Also the reason open tops such as the FEMA has such a reputation? Interesting

Yes, and yes BillS.
The importance of thermal half of the “ThremalChenical” is the overlooked half of most DYI’s.
Carbons look innocent, innocuous almost darn near inert you’d think. After all you say it is oxegen that is the active player. EVERYBODY knows this. Hear it every day: anti-oxidients, rusts, corrosions . . . bad, bad free radicals.
It was JohnB taught me to veiw the carbons as normally one of those mud laying fish, just laying there quietly until something they want causally swims by and then SNAP, Gulp - down the hatch. And who me? I’m just a rock. Ignore little ‘ol me.
Yes. Now heat these fooler’s up to 800C is like hopping them up on crystal meth, PCP - they go into a ravenously barracuda frenzy. Hate each other then running around going to steal, rip and tear away to posses any oxegen child they can find no matter how tightly held by it’s mother or partner. Oxygen possesing is one of the only things that will settle the energy “on-fire” that YOU heat over-stimulated/drugged them to then be.
Ha! I think of them as enraged frenzied males, rioting, ravaging, Looting!, hell yes.
JohnB prefers to make them female. O.K. Women then at a red tag shoe/clothing sale where it is Heated-up announced that there is addtional 50% off, but ONLY FOR 5 MINUTES. Arrrg!! Get outta’ the way. Civility. Politeness. Disappear in a heart beat. And it becomes a grabbing, tearing, stomping possessioning lusting frenzy.
Oxegen doesn’t have these twelve faces like a carbon. Oxygen “He” can be energized excited alright given the right circumstances like a football game, a war and such. But “he” is easily tired out, manipulated, conned and subverted. Real easy to distract on oxygen. Folks think of “him” as active. Yeah about like a trout. Takes the just right lures and baits. Not a candle to a rockfish morphing barracuda carbon though high on Heat frenzy.
That’s carbons. Twelve faced suckers alright. Activated carbon charcoal “Filters” needs no heat stimulation. “Activation” is making all of the rock fish line up with their mouths open. Now swim though that! Then they will eat darn near anything.
Read the charcoal guys, and once made and cooled, they have to seal up their char so it will NOT grab out air molecules passing by. Humid air - it wets. Dry air - it spontaneously heats and starts to smolder, burn.

I don’t know for sure that it can bond with 12 oxygens, I somewhat doubt that, only that it can have 12 bonds simultaneously.