Hello all… I’ve been trying to understand as much as my simple mind can grasp of wood gas systems. I’d like to do a truck and a generator. Prob purchase the gen set from Matt.
But one think that i want to make sure of is the % of fuel from gas vs. wood. My whole purpose would be to have a vehicle and gen set that will work if the country goes to poot.
So, with these systems do i need any gasoline at all or would i be able to run from pure wood fuel? Being able to use both is great in a functioning society, but if the shtf then i would like to be able to run on only wood… LMK what you guys think.
Hello Jesse .
Gasoline can be a conveniences but a good gasifier needs no gasoline at all.
When you are learning to run our machines. I recommend a 1 hour gasoline run after every woodgas run for a while. You will drain the final filter after each run and observe what comes out. It tar is present here then this will tell you something is wrong, too wet of fuel, too dense, improper automation set up. etc. If you do have tar in the drain and run the engine on gasoline it will clean that out and prevent you from issues later on. Once you have have some experience with the machine and the drain is only dropping condensate, than you can stop running gasoline.
Performing a liquid fuels cleaning every once in a while is a good idea as well. If in gasoline shortage or whatever the case maybe ethanol then can be used and home brewed
What Mr. Wayne said, but I would add — how are you going to prepare your wood for the gasifier?.. Cutting down a tree with an ax or a bucksaw? I guess I would have to recommend you buy a couple of electric chain saws and run off your generator. You might need to convert a tractor to woodgas that you could use to run a sawmill or buzz saw, and probably a log splitter, chunker, or similar machine to make small peieces.TomC
Thanks Tom… I bought some two man cross cut saws from lehmans. Have a couple gas powered chain saws with 4 yrs supply of fuel. Not quite enough i suppose.
Rotate that fuel it is only really good for 6 months then modern gas breaks down and small chain saw engines will not like it at all. Old carbs in tractors from the 60s don’t either I know that one all too well.
Just repaired all the fuel pump leads and the bypass dribble lead … Also welded the trailer hitch solid … Good to go again on the woodgas … I have to replace some duct tape on joints and , of course, wait for warmer weather … This truck has never thrown a computer code in thousands of miles of woodgas… Weird winter here. Ground is still frozen … Maybe somewhere in the next 2 weeks it will thaw … Mike LaRosa, Linden, Wisconsin … Thank God it’s Friday !!!
Oh, gasoline used in emergencies only …
As Dan said, gasoline goes bad. I would sell one of the gas saws and buy a couple of electric ones. Try to use the gasoline up that you have in the one gas powered chain saw. The electric chain saws partially solve your problem of making small chunks of wood. With the cross cut saws or with a chain saw, cut 1 1/2 inch rounds or disks off the logs. Then using a hatchet on a hard surface, chop the rounds into 1 1/2 x 2 x 2-3 chunks. Will save having a gas powered saw mill or wood chunker. TomC
Hey Tom C,
I have a 15" saw with Lithium ion batteries … I can cut up near a whole tree with it … It does 12" no problem …
After being in a coma and being assaulted with resulting heart attack and then a stroke I’m a happy camper … The electrics are much lighter weight … Don’t have to pull that cord or smell gasoline …
Love, Uncle Mike
PS, I got hit by lightning right after that trip … You should have seen my hands stick out … Looked like a scare crow …
As you have been answered well; once you have a good working gasifer/engine combo AND THE EXPERIENCE PROPERLY OPERATING THESE you would not need any gasoline at all.
Gasoline can be readily stored for at least 3 years. Out to even 5-10 years. Not cheaply though. Non-ethanol marine grade “clear” gasoline with Briggs and Stratton brand preservative at 1 ounce per gallon in air tight plastic cans good for 3 years.
The 5-10 years needs the same more expensive “clear” gasoline; NATO spec metal cans; and a preservative called PRI??. Can’t fully recall the name.
Wasn’t a time frame I felt sustainable. Gasoline would get personal “emergency” used up. Bartered away. Or stronger arm, stolen.
Propane “gas” is the longest term storeable. As such an excellent fuel though, none be able to streach even a 500-1000 gallon tank past 3-5 years of winter heating/ summer AC cooling.
Electric saws nice . . . but. Contact brushes DO wear out in a few hundred hours… Get spares ahead. Practice replacing. Chains do get filed down worn. Practice minimal removal hand filing. Electrics starting torque snaps off chain teeth. Experience shows the need to upgrade chain size. This means a wider kerf cuts; more power used up. ALL batteries use/age, and need replacing out. Expensive to spare ahead on these.
Experienced? Oh Yes.
Realistically a five year at best solution without new outside materials inputs.
Hand processing is always the back up, reliable.
DO/Practice before the need. Bought the crosscut files? Bought the tooth setters?
I can hand process enough wood fuel chunks in 45 minute a day to replace the small engine equivalent of one gallon of gasoline.
Use/Practice before need. Learn to base-needs electrical energy live daily on the energy equivalent of one, no more than two gallons of gasoline daily is the only safe bet.
No gasifner/engine needed to do this. Just a little gasoline genny. You will find your self pre-invnesting in many LED lights; small wattage electrical plug-in’s. Upgrade change out old high energy refrigerators, freezers, cloths washing machines. DO THIS NOW. With out slaving out your children woodchunk fuel making you cannot DIY gasifiy out of grid-made-possible, energy-pits.
Make damn sure any gasifer system you buy into for SHTF can run on hand processable wood chunks. All pellets will be used up quick. Pellet making, wood chip making are very energy input needful. SHTF and these will no longer be made. Just not personal DYI possible. Need lots of BigHydro/Nuke/Fossil fuel “energy slaves” to make these.
Good question set you put up.
Just-In-Case Steve Unruh
Fuel wood p
Hi Jesse, Another option is to use charcoal as your gasifier fuel. You can easily cut wood into long lengths with an axe. Charing can be done in steel vessels or even in piles using leaves/grass and dirt for a covering. Once charred, the long pieces of wood are easy to size into engine grade charcoal. Charcoal will last for thousands of years even if it gets wet. A charcoal gasifier is easy to make, light weight and easy to start with a hand crank blower within a few minutes.
Hey, I’m almost talking myself into using it!
Gary in PA
Total agreement with Gary, especially the basically eternal storage capability. There is energy loss up front from the charcoaling, but Gary has come up with a practical heating variation of the TLUD, his Keystone stove. Barrel TLUD’s, steel pail TLUD’s, or various combinations using retorts, or a pure retort system as Koen Van Looken has posted are good at making high quality charcoal (not all charcoal is the same). Best to aim for a system that makes use of the “waste energy”, and burns clean.
I would like to challenge this statement:
I agree with the pellets, but I found that chipping took about 3% of the energy in the wood if the chips were air/solar dried. I will see if I an dig up those numbers.
Ha! Ha! Yes StephenA a couple of days after I said this it finally perculated back up into my memory your house/woodlot capable chipping system.
Then I recalled Canadian Greg Mannings videos of chipping hard frozen down winter sap down scrub trees.
Site made fuel, for on-site use always puts a multiplier costs down to it.
My “prejuduce” against fuel chips is those thinking they can just call up and have units quantities delivered. Not without paying a premium for special size classified fuel capable chips. And these will be playground chips, or paper-pulp capable chips. With fuel use taking the third down-price priorty.
The least cost effective fuel to distance transport (and distribute out) is low volume density wood chips.
J-I-C Steve Unruh
Ive been researching pellet mills and want to attempt to build one. I dont see how they are all that in efficient. They make enough fuel that would fill one of my small machines or ones like Stevens in no time. Just guessing but that amount of fuel I think could in turn run the pellet mill for an hour or two considering the density of this fuel. Ive developed our machines mostly around chips as this was what the majority of our customers wanted and the equipment is readily available. In order to increase run times auger fed systems came along so chips again was the fuel of choice. Our machines set up for chips I dont see an issue with running chunked fuels as long as it is sized according to what the machine can process. However, I think as I move forward and begin cost cutting in our manufacturing process our cost will soon begin to drastically reduce. This would leave room for the added cost of a pellet mill and finding dust for free is easily found. If not there is a company near me that produces a crumbler that can turn a log into dust in a matter of a minute. We could put a small version of this directly on top of the mill and shove chopped logs into it. There are a lot of other benefits, easier to flow, easier to auger, higher density, longer run times, allows for more compact systems, fuel storage and most of all fuel standardization. This opens possibilities for adding in other sources to be mixed that would not otherwise work in a gasifier. So I do think future development will be driven around pellets, the machines should begin to shrink in size but produce the same power but at a higher level of performance But first I need to make that pellet mill, see if we can run it on its own fuel and what the return is vs fuel invested
The crumbler is sort of like this thing.
Matt it will always be a trade off between the ease of operation and the energy used to produce the fuel. If you get dust as a waste product from some other value added process. For example milling lumber that is one thing you are turning waste into fuel. Closing the waste cycle is always a good thing. When you look at that crumble machine just grinding trees into dust then processing it into pellets the process has to use more energy to make fuel then just chipping, chucking or splitting it into stove wood. It is more processing in the quest for ease of operation. I am sure there is a market for pellet based systems because I am sure there are people who either don’t have access to their own fuel wood, don’t or can’t do the work to process it. As we all age we get to a point where working up wood isn’t as much fun.
I guess my point is don’t fool yourself into believing that the answer is to just fully move to an easier to run finial process. There is a need for both. Selling a pellet machine really just allows people to switch which company they are dependent on. That isn’t totally bad using our waste sawdust and other stuff that can be processed this way is a benefit over FF. But it isn’t as good as the chips or chunks comming off your own land.
I received the large rocket stove that I bought from you yeasterday! This thing is AWESOME! I’ve never seen one with so many shut offs to control! I’m sure this thing will be more fun to run than my wood stove. If you were able to make one that would be like an out side ‘kitchen’ type stove that you could could on for a group with 3 or so burners at waist height that would be really cool to. Thank You!
The crumber vs the chipper both are going to use energy. The video is an extreme example of one. What we would build is a crumbler about an 1/8 of the size of this. This company builds machines for recycling various materials into usable medias. Glass, plastics, metals, wood, ext.
What Im after with pellets is putting that equipment into the hands of the user, while producing a machine that will be more practical along with easier fuel processing. Im am sure and 100% positive that this process will be more energy dependant, but if it saves time and the amount of labor the user has to put in then its worth it. Then to add indeed the whole point is to be renewable so waste product for fuel media is part of the goal. The crumbler added then gives the user the ability to take down there own fuels on their land to be processed.