Jesse North's Restoration of Mike La Rosa's Gasifier Trailer

Hello this is Jesse North, My parents went to Wisconsin this weekend to get Mike La Rosa’s two trailer gasifiers.

I want to start working on restoring them. Once I get it going the plan is to run a 4 cylinder engine on it for a power head. I understand the basics of the gasifier but a lot of it is new to me. This one is different than a WK which I understand much better. If any body knows the details of the design please post them in this thread or let me know where I can find the information. I would appreciate your help. Thank you. Here are some pictures of the gasifier. Does anybody know what the plug thing is in the first picture? It is in the pipe above the cyclone.
If you need more information, just let me know. Thanks Jesse



Im pretty sure that plug is a would plug into a handheld reader.
Somewher i have a sketch mike made for me trying to explain his. System. Im not sure if it would be helpful.


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A sketch would be nice. Thanks Jesse


Hello JesseN.,
To follow MikeL’s work you nned to start with his hearth core doubled up center cast iron brake rotor set. He calimed this was for char/gas flows shaping like an IMBERT hourglass shaped hearth. Having readily available junk-vehicle components.
Use experiences had taught him the advantage of bolt head down? versus nut&washer end up? to be an ash insulator catcher on his hubface-to-hubface rotors bolt togethers. Ha! You tell us. He would plug off different cast rotor web channels leaving the others as air jets. Or some times drill and tube-jet insert from the hub-t-disc step-sides.Depended . . . a lot on what he was working with.
The other best-done about MikeL’s learned system was his insistence on huge cooler tubes. He wanted always gas-passing bypass capability even if restricted by frozen condensate/soots slush.
Wisconsin and other 4-6 months all water-as-frozen still must-work system.
Instead of gas temperature monitoring at close-in to hearth, Mike would down stream temperature monitor. Interpret from there based on his experiences.
Mike was always about making vehicles operate on woodgas as a free-from-the-MAN fuel. Never about make-gas-as-a-base-stock for other thermal-chemical processes. For GTL. For methanol making.
His self-measurement of success was a vehicle starting and running under it’s own power parade-use-crawl to interstate traveling. He readily conceded that his Fab skills limited him on the second.

Life-lesson there. Only truly trust the humble.


Thanks Steve, valuable information. It is great that so many of you have been in this wood/charcoal Gasification for many years and were all learning from each other on the other gasification sites. The more of Mike’s knowledge can be placed here the better.


I worked today cleaning out the char bed to see what is underneath. Then I replaced old rusted cans used for plugs. Here are some pictures inside and what I did. Also, I installed a sucker blower to get ready to fire this thing. Hoping to make a flare tube and flare it tomorrow. I Will let you know if that happens. Thanks, Jesse.



Way to jump right in there Jesse.


Hi Jesse; When Mike first started playing with brake rotors and “stuff” I also built one with rotors as my base. Ran it for some time, ( down to Argos in 2017 ) It worked just fine but I always though that many of the dimensions did not fit what were suggested for the Imbert. Two years ago I tore it apart and started rebuilding with virgin material (as apposed to “obtainium”) so that my dimensions would be “right”. Still trying to get it running— monyona maybe. TomC


So is Mike’s gasifier an imbert style? I am still trying to learn enough about it to know where I need to look for study materials so I will understand how it works. I understand the Wane Keith because I have to explain it all the time when we have classes and when I give tours on our campus. But I have no experience with this kind. Thanks for help, Jesse

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Hi Jesse, l saw your message. Yes, this gasifier is a Imbert. It seems to be in good shape. Please, send some details and measurements so that we can help you out.


Nozzle diameter

Nozzle tip circle

Restriction diameter

Height from nozzle to restriction

Height from restriction to grate

Also what is the grate like? Fixed or moveing?


Jesse; I am not promoting my thread on here, but go all the way back to the beginning of my thread ( some 1120 post ) and skim through back when Mike was posting with me. He tells some of the things he did, such as putting a stainless wire screen to catch the soot and tar. Might explain some of his thinking. TomC


Kristijan here are your measurements. Thanks Jesse

Nozzle diameter; The hole in the cap is 1/4 IN (63 mm) the size of the pipe is 1/2 IN (1.2 cm)

Nozzle tip circle; Diameter 9 IN (22.8)

Restriction diameter; 3 1/2 IN (8.8 cm)

Height from nozzle to restriction; 4 1/2 IN (11.4 cm)

Height from restriction to grate; 4 IN (10.1 cm)

Also what is the grate like? Fixed or moving? Fixed


Thank you Jesse! Sounds good. A ballpark judgement would be you can run a 1,5-2l engine on Jakobs size wood and a 2,5-3,5l engine on slightly smaller (egg size) wood.

Make sure there are no leaks in the hot part of the gasifier and you are good to go!


Here’s a video of my second flare and a little bit of a tour of the gasifier. Sorry about the blower noise.


Finally found it! A sketch by by Mikes own hand.


You are not my son. But I for one am very proud of your accomplishments. I think there are many here on the DOW that feel the same way.


What Tom said .

Jesse makes us all proud!!


Way to go Jesse!
Soon you could be teaching us new things about wood gas. Mike would be proud knowing his gasifier was handed down to someone your age and willingness to learn. I’m proud of you.


Hello Jesse and thanks again for the video.

I use an extension on my torch so I can reach down deep in the gasifier for lighting and kinda stay not so close to it. Also you would make me feel a lot better if you where wearing glasses while lighting and looking in the hopper .

I have had gas to remain in the hopper for a couple of days . What a surprise when I reached in to light !!