I have a HUGE challenge and need your help please

My name is Gerrard

I live in Darwin Australia and I drive a dedicated LPG Ute for my work.

Well it turns out, all LPG is going to stop being sold in Darwin very soon.

Can I run my LPG car on Charcoal gas?

If so, is there a system I can buy off the shelf to make the gas?

As much as I would like to take the time to experiment and play with the idea, I don’t have time for that as this will take effect in weeks/months not years… Please help.


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Hello Gerrard.Welcom too drive on wood.DOW.Not sure about charco gasifier sellers, though Matt Ridder sells wood chip gasifiers, he builds very high qually units as well as lower priced units, and may be able too build too size for your truck. Depending on your supply of biomass for fuel.?


Hello Gerrard.

I believe if I were faced with the same situation as you I had rather covert a gasoline vehicle to wood gas vs a LPG vehicle .:disappointed_relieved:


Cheers for your help, I’ll look into it.

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I don’t know much about your environment there in Darwin, but the first thing I would do if I was in that situation is come up with a setup for making charcoal, and collecting dry hardwoods for gasification. depending on your success at making charcoal or collecting wood chunks would map out your next step.
I did some research, and your situation may not be as bad as you think.

Besides, you can always chuck the car / ute and get a diesel something. I think Diesel will be available until Hell freezes over, which might be sooner than later. The Koreas have kissed and made up. :roll_eyes:


Does Matt Ridder have a web site?

Haha Yes the Koreans have made a large step in the direction of becoming friendly again of late… I do have plans to make charcoal retort and downed trees are abundant here right now due to cyclone Marcus last month so that shouldn’t be an issue, I also had plans to go hydrogen but the unit will take more time then I have to make. I’m thinking charcoal due to less filtering etc required, and I can make more each night as need if needed.
I’m basically clutching at straws at this point I get that, my thinking is that you guy would know best.
Thanks for your help. i’ll let you know how I get on.

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Not sure exactly what his web site is but you can ask questains at his thread called thrive off grid, if you caint find a thead i think you can type in the search box on top of the pages. Allso Koen may have tried cng gasifier vehicle, you could ask koen for addvise incase he had’ent seen your questains, as he lives in tyland asia and is getting ready for a trip too the usa for a wood gas meeting gathering one state from ware i reside and he may be buisy catching up on his work so he can make the trip. June 1st too june 3rd about those days.


It actually should be a fairly straight forward conversion to woodgas. However, you aren’t going to be able to compress it, and will most likely lose the bed space in the back of your truck. Which may not make it useful. Matt will be better versed, but iirc the compression is higher for NG, they typically use cylinders/pistons that are more resistant to corrosion, and have an adjustment to timing. Otherwise i would guess it is a naturally aspirated gasoline engine probably without some of the extra emissions things.

I wouldn’t even bother to switch to diesel, that will be cut out next. There are a couple of companies with an electric drivetrain out there. I would expect in less then 5 years, the market will have at the very least electric drivetrains with engines for range extenders available on the market, or pure BEVs. Nissan -may- have some but not available in australia yet. I would expect Ford to have some for the 2020 model year, etc. It might be in your best interest for planned obsolescence.

That being said, I would still talk to Matt, since even with the PHEVs/BEVs on their way, the ute may still be useful further converted into a charging station.

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Hello Gerrard .

Is your vehicle a gasoline / LPG hybrid or does it operate stickily on LPG?


I do hope you find a solution to your problem. If you do find a way to convert to charcoal, here is a tip. In many places, tree trimmers are happy to deliver wood chips for free. Screen them between 1 inch and 3/8 inch then pyrolyze to produce engine size charcoal.


Hi Wayne,
my ute runs strictly on LPG from the ford factory here in OZ
regards Gerrard

Hi Gerrard , is it a Ford ute that your driving ? , if you have room in the tub then a charcoal Gassifier would be a quick easy way to get back on the road and being set up already for lpg should help with engine timing advance , only problem i can imagine though is when you have to rego the car/ute and they ask about any modifications , in Victoria every number plate has a symbol on it saying if its duel fuel gas or electric , so not sure about up there in Darwin .

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the 4.0L LPi’s apparently have a 12:1 compression vs the gas 10.3:1. They all have variable valve timing and naturally aspirated. The other difference is the gas one has sequential fuel injection and the LPi has liquid phase injection. Liquid phase injection it is vaporizing in the manifold instead of sending being converted to gas and mixed with air like in vapor phase injection. At least that was the specs from the 2013 falcon.

It is a pretty sweet looking vehicle.


Hi Gerrard,

It looks that the OZ government is stopping subsidizing LPG, so less people will use the LPG , less filling stations in the future…

Simple answer: yes you can, an normal woodgas gasifier can do to. (WK preferable)

If my info is correct, your engine is a 4.0 Liter LPI LPG engine ? 198 Kwh ?

Your options:
1: Find a filling station that fills the tanks for gas forklifts, they might be helpfull

2: convert to CNG

3: Convert to gasoline, or get an engine replacement/switch from an accident ?

4: Charcoal gasifier, must be tailored to your engine needs

5: Wood gasifier , dito

Option 4 and 5 are not the most easy / user friendly compare with 1,2 and 3. but once hooked, you’l need a lot of lemons…

I think this answers the question for which is most suited to your needs

In any case ( option 2,3,4 and 5 ) you will need a good mechanic to tune in your setup.

If help needed give us a howl, plenty folks around here that can help you


Thanks Koen,
All great info to consider thanks
and yes its the 4.0L 198kw engine 2009 model XR tray ute… its a work horse that can still get up and boogie when she needs to :wink:

HI Gerrard,

I dont build anything large enough to run the 4.0. The only thing I could offer is a teamed unit where you would have two of my units: however, a gasifier is restrictive in nature. So if one of the units becomes restrictive the other free flowing one could potentially over heat and become damaged. But then again my systems are also automated to prevent restrictions and keep the units free flowing. So that being said it could work but this only in theory. I personally have not attempted this, but I do have interest in exploring this possibility.

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Good illustrative lesson here with this topic request you have put up GerrardG.
Welcome to The DOW and being willing to speak out.

I am fuel uses way over one half a century experienced now. 65+ year in truth.
The time to develop alternative usable fuels is before the needs.
Life shits happen always given time, events, decades, political winds of change, restrictive/eliminating regulatory blowing winds.

So of course use what fuel is currently offered and available. It will be the cheapest.
BUT . . . be hustling ass to have some capability to use other sources.
DEVELOP the use experiences in other sources BEFORE the need. This will tie up 2x, 3x, 4x the time/money/efforts of just using depending on what is currently available.
And you will be called a fool by some friends, and most family for your DYI fuel/energy pursuits.

Well, make other like interest friends. We can help with that.
Ignore the nay-sayers in the family. Irritated enough I keep a biting-back listing of their (to me) senseless pursuits.

How many fuel/energy alternatives to be using continuously daily? Need three. One or the other will fail you or can be withdrawn at any time.
I do self grown wood. Pay for grid-hydroelectricity. Pay for gasoline and bit’o pump diesel. Bit of bottled LPG.
Others with different circumstances will have different mix. With available street piped in natural gas. With 200+ plus days of meaningful solar.

Here are the real fools in my family and friends:
those who sheeple accept just what ever is cheapest and offered currently
those who “idealistically” insist on putting all of their energy/fuel uses in one +perfect" fragile basket. LPG. PV Solar. Big-Grid. Petroleum products. Elon Musks lasted greatest rare earths wonder-mobile. Doesn’t matter. Your fragile one-fuel basket will get dropped. Strong strong stolen. Creeping regulated/taxed make-a-better-percentage Elites world stolen away from you.

Past the what you can do mechanically/technically . . . it is what you can get away with doing road use legally where-ever you would do it.
I read in some areas of Africa they have legally restricted the uses of wood charcoal to prevent desertification.
Some forest areas heavily restrict any claimed-use of wood-for-fuels/charcoal during wild fire seasons. Germany and parts of Sweden forbid woodgas vehicles for gas-poisoning safety regulations.
This is legal/can-I-get-away-with-it is a whole 'nother reason to always have multiple viable usable proven-use options. Changes can be demanded as you are now experiencing rapidly.

Enough decades of living and an astute become wise person will shed thier sheeple mantle; and high-ideals; and learn you must row your boat with the currents-of-changes. But always with your goals steadfast in mind.

tree-farmer Steve unruh
three levels redundancy in all things except for the wife


Thanks for the energy philosophy. In Rwanda we are using 5% poo as binder with 95% crop waste charcoal to make cooking briquettes. I hope some day to use this same mixture to make tiny gasifier-sized charcoal for blue flame cooking and transportation fuel.

Thanks for thinking about alternatives and letting us weigh in.


Cooking on poo just don’t sound like a good idea to me.