First run with gasifier- 13hp Honda

This my way of learning. As you can see, my ideas are pieced together in stages. That’s why there is so much distance between each fixture. This way I was able to move things around and see what sequence worked best. I used the torch as a gauge prior to firing up the engine. Even after adding a 16 gallon oil can filled with wood shavings, I had moisture getting to the engine. I emptied the shavings out after the run and they were completely damp and condensation was heavy inside the can. I am almost done with new copper radiators and will post a more complete video then. I have to say I am embarrassed with my cyclone filter because it way too big for this unit and is worthless. It was my interpretation at the time and I thought it was a good idea at the time. I will eventually replace it with a size more suitable for this unit. The 6" collar around 4" fire tube was my interpretation of preheating the intake air. It seems to work well, but I have nothing to compare it to.
If you noticed, I have an additional tube coming out the top of the reactor. This tube is for torrefaction. When I can run the engine without fear of too much water I will be better able to tell how well it works. To me it’s an important experiment for my future gasifier build. Currently it is being used to make sure my fuel is dry.
Other that the moisture, which just may be the wood, the gas was really clean and the engine ran great! I was able to idle it down and rev it up the first time. I can’t even tell you how excited I was. With this engine I plan on installing a hydraulic pump. With hydraulics the possibilities seem endless. First off I want to make a wood chunker based on Wayne’s concept.
I’m not sure how I got this right the first time. What I can tell you is, I’ve got the bug now. With this unit I can hook it up to my 56K generator to charge my electric truck. I feel free.

Hi William,

The moisture you are getting is due to the gas being at 100% humidity even with dry fuel. Any drop in temperature means there will be condensation, this happens right through to the engine. Mixing in fresh air cools it further so condensation is occurring after this point. To manage the water mix the fresh air in a little before the engine and have the last of the pipe to the engine going upwards and some way to trap the water and drain it off.


Good Morning WilliamS.
Glad you could follow the bread crumb trail to get here and are willing to post up about your system.
I can only see the one cropped picture showing just your hearth core . . . . your words saying you put up more pictures??
Anyhow. GaryH is 100% correct - “ALL wood/producer gas will be wet gas” - VesaM; Max gasman; Doug Williams and others.
Taken me years to one by one ID these moisture sources:
#1 Obviously; the humidity in the woodfuel put in.
#2 Much less obviously - the humidity in the air sucked in. (Thank you Greg Manning)
#3 The center system combustion process to oxidze the complex volitals down to useable and a bit of the freed up then bulk woodfuel char cores are oxidized to make the HEAT that drives the whole system. Product of complete combustion are HOT CO2 and water vapor as steam. S.U.
#4 And as KoenVL has just stated a reaction that produces the small % of methane that we make will have some water as a byproduct.
So you could put in 100% bone dry dehumidified air and wood fuel and you will still have wet woodgas.
“All wet gas will be dirty gas.” Doug Williams and Dutch John.
No matter. You can still safely run an IC piston engine with this composite fuel gas. Heres how.
Everything you build past the grate if the gas is reduction below 212F will have condensate dropping out. Make a BIG down leg at each of these for moisture collection and drainging out so you will not water slug block the woodgas flow. You will get a lot of very fine carbons soots washing out that will collect and clog small drains. 1 1/2" are the easiest to clean out.
IF you drop too much gas temperature in a cyclone or a much overall better settlement chamber you will create a wet, gooey, ash and stoot mucky mess in these. NOT fun to clean. Best to keep these hot still enough even if you would have to insulate. Cooling tubes/cooling rack/transer piping: Now drop your gas temperature here intentionally and then you can use the unaviodable condensate falling out wash to soot wash out the woodgas flow also. Lots of different scemes to do this. Again, just be aware you WILL have lots of condensate volumn to handle with lots of wanting to settle and now cake soots. You will be forced to design you scrape/power wash out the muck that then will not just drain out. Look at the old best systems pictures and they evoled to handle these woodgas realities. To intentionally bubble gas flow up therough this muck in my experiences results in to much susction engine power loss loading.
Filtering. I’ve personally used wood chips, wood shavings, shredded wood/papers/sisal, different open cell foams and more that ALL fall into the caragoty of ABSORBSION. Use. Remove and replace. Lot of moisture volumn to have to remove with again soots. Some just OK if you have them as a FREE availble wastes as in a wood products mill. For scrounging and buying only some of the open cell foams were worth it IF set up BIG with the abilty to gravity drain out and collect condensates. And then continue to use until too soot clogged. Then a disposal problem.
Another easy type of filtering is IMPINGMENT. That would be small round rocks/stones to the best in Hay filters. Yes hay. The Hay/Straw needs to be a hard stemed type - with just some leaf. Doesn’t actually absorb the moistures or soots. These hard hollow stems coat and are then dropped out condnesate washed down. Pressure monitoring or engine loss of power will tell you when to open up and pressure wash clean to restore. Keep it closed up without oxegen and it will not rot. Small system; a single small bale would be enough for three change outs, say a year.
Your location puts you in a place where water is a solid for the much of the year you would need this as a back up electrical power system so just hippy-skippy past the pumped water gas washing systems. Thats for the Florida guys. Reverse blown to clean “hot box” membrane and Caldo rod filtertion is PITA expensive overkill on any small IC engine system. Gov’mint/University geek systems.
These downstream condensates WILL BE ~ two points basic corrosive from 7.5 ph nuetral. Plastics, bronze, brass, stainless steels are are all excellent. Oversize as needed for heat transfer. Copper and solders OK; carbon steels OK once soot coated will then have minimal corrosion. MOST aluminums WILL corrode away quickly - coated then lose their excellant heat transfer. Anodized - one nick or scratch will become your problem point corrode through.

Once you get the woodfuel gas to the engine mixer the ways to prevent additional condensate dropping out is to reheat the woodgas AND the incoming air with engine exhaust heat - doesn’t need to be over 120F for this IF you have done your major gas condensate dropping out earlier in the cooling and the piping. Or . . . just stay basic and let the engine eat theses moistures.

Dutch John lines out with pictures the paraticalities of all of this for smal genrators on his: -> MicroGasifiers

More pictures please.
I put a couple of my mixer design FAILURES to show some of the materials used learning good materials to use for woodgas handling.

Steve Unruh