FEMA gasifier problems

I have built a stratified, downdraft gasifier from FEMA, but I am not producing enough SYN gas to even ignite. If anyone could help me trouble shoot this problem I would be very greatful.

First what is your fuel and its moisture content?

I am using commercial produced wood pellets I am not sure of the moisture content

did you start with char in the bottom? and how big of a burn tube and restriction are you using?

Yes I am starting with a char in the bottom my burn tube is 2 in. diameter. What do you mean my restrictions

with a 2" tube you won’t need a restriction… what are you drawing on the system with?

If you are sure that you don’t have air leaks, then it may just need a little time to get burned in good. Keep trying.

Tell us about your start up procedure.
We bought a Chinese gasifier several years ago and our first run was a disaster.
There are many similarities between ours and a FEMA. Except that we have more effective filtering.
You can see all the things we did wrong at:

Maybe you can get some ideas from that video, or at least be able to tell us more about your process.

Pete Stanaitis


Put a water manometer on it to measure your suction:

You want about 4-12 inches of water column difference. A standard squirrel cage fan will give you less than 1" and won’t work well.