It is all about B-A-L-A-N-C-E!

What is, SteveU?
Woodgas making, using is about balancing Time/Temperature/Turbulence.
Good woodstoving is about balancing Time/Temperature/Turbulence.

In ALL things worthwhile doing/pursuing you never have less than three major factors always to keep balanced in-play. More often it is 5 to 7 factors active to have to work.
The old; how do you eat an elephant approach of one bite at a time results in futility, failures and a lot of wasted efforts.

Rocket stoving is over-focusing on Turbulence at the expense of Time and Temperatures. Hard, hard on materials limits if pushed into continuous usege.
Some over-focus on Temperature at the expense of Time. Extreme super heated steam systems and Stirling engine systems . . . and a few others. Again. Hard, hard on materials limits if put to actual continuous usage.
And when the material envelopes suddenly fails . . . safety flies away. Hurts then bite down hard. Accident? NO. Unintentional? YES. Be wise and safe. Intentional. Responsible.

So as “boring” common as bulk woodstoving and piston IC engines may seem these represent experienced learned usable balances of combustion’s/pressure rises/releases of the combustion triad factors of Time, Temperature, and Turbulence.

Other active factors to have to account for are air humidity. Altitude. Fuel wood species. And which “cut” of that species. Systems work loading’s. And more.

This is why the maths modeling always will lead to poor useable results. Most of these factors are live/non-linear.
Why the scientific approaches always fall short of “promises”. To be valid scientific you must have repeatable results possible by others as “proofs”. Standardizing all factors to restrict down to just one variable is not real-world-use at all. As harsh a space exploration may seem there are fewer active factors to have to track and account for.

Why for real world use systems a good operator can beat out had-too engineered in limitations.

But in our social-net world it seems too many want to either be-Entertained; or Entertain; that extreme mis-balances in all things NET; rules over things real-used, valid, and use-practical.

tree-farmer Steve unruh


Thank you Steve for put in to words for easier understanding, on the real practicable importance of how it’s built to be used, the 25% building part. also the importance of balancing whenever operating any gasification unit, part of the other 75% in gasification.


The balance in “practical engineering” should indeed to be found between a good operator, good math and a good understanding of whats to be done… it is never a single outcome, its always a fluctuation between max and min values

I call that farmer wisdom… my favorite…


My motto is, “engineering is the art of compromise.”


I just finished up reading a new-old book and was struck just how mirrored I could see each and every wood-gasser fellow I’ve ever encountered. Ha! Including myself!

“DAY ONE: Before Hiroshima and After” by Peter Wyden. Published in 1984 on the 40th anniversary of the first nuclear bomb. As the title of the book indicates the whole last half of this book is about the 40 years after August 6th 8:16, 1945.
First half about the 20-30 years of stairs stepping to boom thinkers/developers leading up to the American/Canadian-British/German/Japanese & Russian race for an Atom Bomb.
About the different ones of these fellows (and a few gals) who would opt’out, and not participate for future effects moral reasons. Leave this Dragon safe it it’s bottle, unknown, undisturbed.
Those who would slow walk it (a German scientist, and a Japanese scientist) to not be available in the then current war available. Hoping for cooler heads to decide in the future. Chapter 7.
Those who would push it forward along, “for the science”.

And then those who would push it along for bigger, better booms . . . smaller and smaller delivery systems capable.
Those who would foreign enemy, pay-back, demonize, justify using it. Those who would justify using it to not to have squander all of those years and millions of dollars of efforts. And those who would justify probably accurately to save overall lives from continued months of war, using it.
Whole chapters in this book about the fierce internal developers debates to pre-demonstrate the big-boom, or go directly into cities/moral busting use.

As the author Peter Wyden points out in 1984 very evident the Who’s, who prevailed in that argument back then. And the fear-arms-race tech cold war that the Doubters-of-Development&Use had predicted would take place between the Americans/British, and the then Soviet Union.
Peter Wyden’s third book. The others “The Passionate War” and, “The bay of Pigs”.
All chains of events that seemed driven to go off-the-tracks no matter how little sense and unwanted they were.

Hey. I am an American and can be critical of some of our historical mistakes. I could add two more in recent modern history endeavors gone on-and-on-and-on refusing to die away from just accepting non-accomplishment. Ain’ta’ goona’ ever.
Another book, different author, “Why Do We Keep Making the Same Mistakes?” (failure to read study broad slices of history’s and find your own place in-currnet-age wisdom’s of Do’s, Don’ts, and Never-Every-Again, from them)

So it really isn’t that anyone of us is exactly like one of these 1920’s thru 1954 big-bang Nuke developers.
But we do fall into repeating human characteristics patterns.

Oh? And me? Niels Bohr is probably the closest. With a large smattering of hands-on Deke Parsons blended for balance.

And who would be General Grove’s " The Biggest Sonofabitch I’ve Ever Met" (chapter 5) who would, and did push for doing it? The burn-all-up biomass gasifier.
And who would be the Edward Teller racing to make the biggest, baddest “Super” duper? The power whole cities Gasifier.
And who would be J. Robert Oppenhiemer doing it for the adoration, fame-name, see-me, worship-me? by making a “for-the-People social Gasifier”

Ah . . . the real reason history repeats. Again and again. Human natures are difficult to face into. So many, so sure, they are right. Too many willing to leave the heavy thinking and efforts lifting to others. Not enough willing to say, no-way-Jose. Especially when not-doing is really, really going to get you beat around the ears.
tree-farmer Steve unruh


I like the perspective, universal human truths about our vanities and personal drives to seek acclaim, and too often self serving, both in the fears we claim of the “other”, and how we wrap up our personal interests in a larger narrative.

I will leave the political commentary to you, respecting that it’s said as “small p” political.

I do wish that more people could travel, spend time with “the others”, learn their languages and values. The universal truth is that people are all the same anywhere you look on earth once you get past the language barrier, they want the best for their kids and communities, and to live in peace, and if necessary fight for the good cause.

Everyone can be lulled into thinking they are fighting for betterment. WWII German citizens and soldiers didn’t get up in the morning, look in the mirror and tell themselves, "I’m fighting for evil "… Big governments and elites thrive on good people who they can manipulate, sadly the majority due to our awful education systems, that turn out sheeple, rather than thinking aware citizens.


Hey GaryT,
Then there was the one of 2-3 Canadian early Nuke developers in that US bomb program: Louis Slovin. The designated “Dragon Tickler” page 206, chapter 18.
You see the theorist/mathematicians/physicists could calculate fairly well how much uranium or plutonium it would take to make a critical-mass go boom. What they needed to know is how absolutely close the separated portions could be set. That would set the overalls bomb size weight envelope.
LouieS was the guy enjoyed screwdriver sliding the pieced toward each other while others monitored the induced excited activity, and activity metals heating up.
“Using a screwdriver as a lever, Slovin, a cheerful, bronzed Canadian of thirty-four, also performed this operation routinely in experiments to determine the point of criticality for various reacting masses. This was known as tickling the dragon’s tail.”
Ha! So I guess a bit’o LouieSlotin risk-taking channeled over into me too.

“At 3:20 p.m. on May21, 1946, in Omega Canyon Slotin’s luck ran out. His screwdriver slipped.” “He hurled himself into the mass and tore it apart with his bare hands to protect the others in the room.” “He died an agonizing death nine days later.”
This incident was characterized in a later drama movie about these fellows and gals.

Yes. Yes. Always a small p.
Always a small “h” humanist - that is me. And as maybe you noticed even always a small “g” from me.
The big A, atheists; big F, feminist; the big G, greens; the big E, environmentalist; virtually all of big letter self-declared anything’s, in my experiences, are usually such pain-in-the-asses.
Now the satisfied-to-be little letter folks of all of these, and I; usually get along with just fine.

tree-farmer Steve unruh


Great point about little letter whatever it may be. No person has the ultimate answer to anything, unless it’s by random luck, and even then probably no truth is true in all circumstances, where people and their values are concerned.

I recall the story about the risk taking Canadian scientist. Canadians made substantial contributions in aeronautical engineering, physics, and simply resources. Incidentally, the bomb material for the Trinity test, and the bombs dropped on Japan came largely from northern Saskatchewan / the northwest territories, so far as I know. Even in southern Manitoba the decaying uranium brought by glaciers from those northern deposits causes trouble with radon gas.

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