Humidity's effect on system?

I ran my last JXQ-10 woodgas run yesterday. The whole area was in dense fog and the temperature was 46 degrees F, I only ran my engine for a few minutes, but I got about 1/2 pint of condensate in my cyclone separator jar. (In my case, the cyclone separator is only used when the engine is running.)
In the past, I have only gotten half of that in an engine run of an hour or two.
What are your experiences with high humidity and condensate or, for that matter, gas quality?

Pete Stanaitis

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Hi PeteS
I get 300+ days a year here with always near 100% humidity from 30F to 70F.
I’ 85% efficient burn wood for space heat/ventilation and have now woodgasified for shaft power in these conditions.

Air will hold an amazing amount of water vapor. Far more than enough to grossly affect these processes.
Lots of on-line and engineering books on the amount of air moisture in volumes and weights.

Your experience is typical.

Functionally once I eliminated woodstove top cast iron pot humidifiers I found that I was able to in-house remove ~1 pound of moisture from any and all sources an hour. Call it 1/8 a gallon. Be ~ 3 gallons a day = 24 pounds of moisture a day. So moisture from Me and the dogs dragging in; OR - weight reducing down 24 hours worth of brought in-house fuel wood from ~20% to 10%; OR - that amount of weight in laundry/cloths drying.
Every 5% additional wood fuel moisture above 10% in the fuel wood that I woodstove with I am forcing the woodstove to internally handle it costs me ~10% GREATER woodfuel use consumption to get the same needed base in house heating.

Carrying this experiences over to woodgasifing for motor shaft power has proven to me the most simplistic non-insulated and heat recycling wood gasifier systems WILL work fine IF the fuel wood is kept a dry, dry below 10% moisture by weight AND the incoming air below ~50% moisture saturated. Below these then hydrogen and wood methane noticeably falls off as shown in engine power.
As the gasifier/hearth system advances for internal insulation and heat recycling then the system ability rises in it’s capabilty to handle wetter fuel wood and air moisture and still get good motor fuel gasses balances rises.
The problem being the system thermal capacity to handle the additional moistures.

Read Mr Waynes comments on his power and collected moistures going in and out of moderate to high humid conditions.

Only if you were in dry, dry desrt conditions would you benefit adding moisture to a woodgasifer.
Charcoal gasifiers (or a woodgasifier with all the wood burnt down to jusrt glowing char) are heat buget surplus.
Why they for motor fuel gas balances can benefit from adding back in some moisture to utilize this surplus heat.
Woodgasifier this is best done just putting in more now can be more wettish wood fuel.
This is in all of the good published literature’s.
Up in the Resources -> Articles section here this is best layed out in the 1974 Pegusas book download. Was renamed Drive On Wood.

Steve Unruh
Ha! Ha! It is the rare low humidity/dry times that throw me operational off my pace.

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Steve, you said “below 10% moisture by weight”. How is that different than 10% moisture with a moisture meter?

Hey back DonM
What may seem like a straightforward answer to a straightforward question, ain’t.
Net search up “wood moisture meter reviews”
Look for an American Woodworkers moisture meters review article. Read this and others will show you that wood moisture meters need to be adjusted/compensated for both wood species and temperature.
Then since they are all internally battery operated really need to have an always before use zeroing check/set like a VOM to compensate for battery state of condition.

I used a $20. Chinnee wood moisture meter that would never read less than 7% and top out at 44%.
Woodworker nieghbor to the north of me, a retired mechanical engineer, used a $70 meter with compensations capability to be able to know when to work his cabinet woods.
Neighbor just to south of me an active working mechanical engineer working in wood products plants uses a $150 meter that is very capable, repeatable with results that could be published out.

Yes. Yes. Scale weighing means the scale really needs to be calibration checked for relency before publish broadcasting out.
When I worked in the electronics Fab plant info/data had to be relevant to send to the 5 Japanese plants, the Malaysia plant, the Irish plant.
Wood stoving and my own DIY woodgasing cardboard box "wetting’ for air moisture and wood chunk “feel” on my know species is plenty adequate. “Pinch of salt” tech.
Now I go to cartridge reloading with canister gunpowders I DO recalibrate check the scales whether mechanical beam or electronic down to the tenth of a grain each and every time. 7000 grains to the pound. So accuracy down to 1/70,000 is critical using published loading charts/books. Overpressure events in firearms are non-linear quickly made. Under-pressure squib charges just as bad leading to a bullet stuck barrel. That next bullet up the spout . . . . the REAL firearms blow-up, kill’ya problem!!

Steve Unruh

They were a little cheaper back then, but not much!