I’m new to gasification

Hello I’m new to gasification and I was hoping you guys could help me learn a little. So I would like to build a vehicle powered by wood gas and I don’t know where to start. I figure it would be smart to make a smaller unit first something that could be used to run a small engine while I’m still learn the basics. I don’t currently have a small engine to run on wood gas but I would appreciate any advice you could give

Thanks all, dillpierce


Fine, so you have Wood?

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Haapio, I don’t have any wood stockpiled but I work at a lumber yard and live in a community where there is plenty of forest land. I figure I can get some.


That important, i need drive 10 km too farmer for me woodships.

I have a friend , he have a car drive on wood, but not drive that car.

I using wood-chips for heating.

And have a very good book From Vesa Mikkonen.

I know here , there is a car driving on wood for sale, but i don t want that.

I like build a tracktor , drive on charcoal.

but need first make a good proces formake charcoal.

This can be a good tarcktor too start.


You work in a lumber yard. Start collecting all the scraps and cribbing you can carry home. Cut it into chunks and burn it in a five gallon bucket to make charcoal. Lots of info on making charcoal here. You are going to want to start with a simple fire charcoal gasifier. Lot’s of beginner examples here. Start exploring the site.


Tom holton, What are the benefits of a charcoal gasification compared to wood?..I figure having to make charcoal might make it a bigger proses

If you have an overpowered vehicle that can handle extra weight, then go with wood. If you have a low powered and light framed vehicle, go with charcoal. Over-simplified rules of thumb: wood has 50% more power per volume, Charcoal has 50% more power per weight, and a wood gasifier is 50% heavier and 50% more difficult to build.


Thank you Bruce Sutherland, that makes sense. Does charcoal gas require the same amount of filtration before running it? I would figure that the proses of making charcoal would Cook most of that off.

Correct. A charcoal gasifier only requires dust to be filtred out. The size of filter in my 2.3l mercedes was about 6x6x10"


The main thing is to get started and make some gas Dillon. I was told the same thing when I joined and instead of starting out with a basic simple fire I made something that took much longer and had way more of a learning curve to make it work. You don’t even need to power an engine on your first build, if you don’t have one. Just make gas and flare it. It will give you confidence that you can actually do something and then expand on it.


Tom Holton, that sounds like a great plan I think I’ll do that


sorry about the wood, i live i me forrest, but neighbour make the woodchips.

you can also use Fuel wood pellets.

i warm me house for long time , using wood-chips

and observing the process , burning flame …

study here in chat and book Vesa Mikkonen.

in spring i go visiting , the 3 wood gas installation in a farm

yesterday i was visiting a metal scrap place

there are 5 old woodburner, and i thing bring 1 at home, for me projeckt.

learning englisch writing

that me position


on the bottom there is some charcoal

less ore more depending woodspeed


Good Morning Dillon. Welcome to the DOW.
Does your lumber yard give, and forests give you softwoods/conifer wood; or deciduous hardwoods? Like maple and oak.
Steve Unruh

Haapio, nice chips you are getting. No leaf. No needles. Bark content consistant with limb and twig chipping.
You show a burning picture below.
IF this is in an airtight closeable fire box here is a technique.
Put 2 kg into brown paper sacks rolled up tightly.
Place these one at a time onto an existing hot bed of wood charcoal. The paper sack will keep your fuel-lump intact until a blackened outer crust is formed. Then the heat will outgas your fuel wads pyrolosis oils and gases out through this outer burning hot crust. Do not poke or disturb this slow release process or you will break your char skin getting smoking. without the reduction complete combustion.
Close couple woodgasification and full no-smoke combustion of fine wood chips and sawdust.
Done right in a large enough scale you can use up to 40% moisture wood chips/sawdust.
I learned this from WWII Japanese vehicle gasification pictures.
Also I believe how the Danes used dried seaweed for vehicle gasification in their desperate WWII Occupation years.
Steve Unruh

I’m willing to bet there were a thousand people who came to this site and thought they were going to be running the highways at 80 mph like the pro’s here and gave up when they hit the first hiccup. Any time you burn wood you end up with charcoal. There are some ways to make a lot at a time but to start out you don’t need to do that. Right now I’m just taking it out of my wood stove. Crush it down in a bucket with the head of a hammer or anything and screen it . You are going to want it between a half inch and a quarter inch. you may have to run it through two screens those sizes to get the right fuel size and get rid of the fines and dust but no big deal there. Look at the one Vinrod just built to power his small motorcycle. You won’t need as elaborate hold down at that but in not much time he was running that engine. many examples here. Nozzles are always a problem. They will melt down if not protected with TIG cups or these which Dave from Australia recommended. https://www.ebay.com/c/1832907530
Pipe nipples are pretty cheap. Even if you melt a few starting out no big deal. You can believe that everyone on the site wants you to succeed. This is fun, messing with this stuff. You need some wins when you start out so that you don’t get discouraged. That’s why it’s best to start simple.


Hi Bruce when you are making the energy density comparisons are you factoring in a water drip system. Because this comparison is not my experience at all. Charcoal by weight is roughly 15% to 25% more BTU by weight. Wood chips range from 5500 btu up to 8600 and charcoal is generally 9600 btu pr lb. “google searched for those numbers”

Volume I can see where this can very greatly by how small or large you process your charcoal. On my M-1 Ute gasifier I have achieved 1 1/'2 hour run times running the Predator 420 cc engine power generator. I have years experience running this generator and on woodgas and the 2013 thru 2017 M-4 / Utility direct wood gasifier would also get around a 1 1/2 hour run time. However those gasifiers have larger hoppers. So for me energy density with a good water drip puts them nearly the same as far as energy pr volume goes.

Size pr size 1 inch cube of charcoal verses a 1 inch cube of wood is probably a 2:1 ratio. However, realistic sizing of the fuels for the required gasifier process changes that ratio. The direct chip fuel gasifiers required 1X1X1/2 inch thick chips. The charcoal units you can size to 1/2 inch cubes. So you can fit a lot more charcoal into the same vessel for comparable energy density.

Edit: after sitting here trying to wrap my brain around all this. What you and I are both describing are the same. Factor the water drip into the energy density pr wieght and that gets you to the 50% higher energy density range on average. So factor that higher energy density pr weight = 50% less needed by volume to achieve the same result of raw wood fuel. Ok time to get some Tylenol and get back to work. lol

Its all a matter of your perspective. So what if you ran your chipper with a gasifier? How much fuel do you think it will take for it to fuel itself? In this scenarios you are burning wood to make fuel. When you make charcoal, you are burning wood to make fuel.

Burning wood to run a chipper is way more complex then burning wood in a kiln.

If you use 30 lbs of fuel to produce 80 lbs of fuel do you really get that 80lbs of fuel? Nope, you need to set aside 30 lbs of it for the next time you process fuel. That ratio is pretty realistic after you discard your waste.

Chipping is not straight forward, you generally have process time into prepping the fuel for the chipper. Same goes for charcoal, you have pre process to prepare it for the kiln.

When you are charcoaling think of that heat energy to process to charcoal the same as the fuel it takes to run any processing equipment. When you process for a kiln you generally will process the fuel in much larger chunks and you are really unlimited to what you can process. For instance ever try to chip up a use pallet? It wont fit and it will have nails in the wood. If you cant process waste materials like this than it is really is a waste.

To process for a kiln you do not need big equipment. An electric chain saw, skill saw, chop saw, table saw, and a small splitter is all that is needed. All of this can be ran off of electric from the very power generator you are operating. Even the splitter and all are low power consumption devices. Incorporate your kiln process into a heating application and you have a viable CHP system that produces fuel for itself.

Add in the reliability factor; charcoal systems run very stable and with out tar production. With a direct gasifier you are guaranteed to make tar I promise you this! Its only a matter of when you do. A direct raw fuel stationary gasifier must be automated, there is absolutely no way to overcome grate clogging, hopper bridging, and gas energy density fluctuations 100% with varying fuel inputs without it.

Oh then everyone seems to forget about the water drip system. This is putting energy back for basically free and is a very simple feature to add. With this system, this can boost gas energy density beyond wood gas. We really need to break that myth that wood gas is more powerful than char gas. This is not true at all, a good charcoal unit with a high volume water drip will outperform direct wood gas any day.

Rather than focus on a complex wood gasifier, focus on better charcoal production methods. I have achieved a 50% fuel production ratio with my kiln process and we do use our system for heat. There is no better way IMHO