Lack of condensate and drought

Hi Gang, I haven’t seen a drop of condensate since the Argos get together. I had some on that trip but none since. We have been in a drought zone since spring. We have had some rain but the trees still show stress. There is a storm moving towards us now. I mean I see nothing in the cyclone, cooler, filter, or piping … Dry as a bone. … I’m sneezing my head off … Must have been something in that soot from the cyclone. I would think that Ron Lemler may have been seeing this as well as his area was / is also severe drought … I have been a few hundred miles since Argos with the trailer. Is anyone else observing this ?? In the spring I could dump a half gallon in 40 miles or so. Car is running great so I don’t care but I’ve come to the conclusion that most of the condensate in the cooler is atmospheric. My hopper gutter still produces plenty in 20 miles (a cup). My cyclone outlet was running 110°C on my way home last night … ML
PS, I ran some heavy oak last night and the car ran fine but at half the power of the light weight maple I ran the last few trips. I will try some poplar next drive …

Mike, We have been getting a bit of rain here and there so I’m not as worried as I was a month and a half ago.
I am wondering how the Ranger will perform under “normal” conditions. Meanwhile I’m enjoying the dryness.
For a round trip to work(34 miles) I get about 1-2 cups from the hopper nothing in the cyclone and 1-2 cups from the filter.
Strange you get more bang with maple than oak. I usually run a mix so I can’t compare. Cold start up, under 4 gallons for 17 miles.
I had to burn out the reduction a week ago, strange. It ended up I had char to the gills. I was wondering how far I could go between dumps.(about 750 miles)

Thanks for the info Terry. I thought I was dead in the water with this topic. Seriously, I haven’t seen any condensate since Argos. I drove the first 40 miles till my hopper ran out and dumped it on the shoulder. I think I left my previous load at the fairgrounds. We had 2 inches of rain that Sunday night and it cooled off near 20 degrees. I needed to keep plugging and get Anthony back to Linden so he could make back to the twin cities to close his day out so went back to gasoline. He was gracious enough to let me stay the extra night and relax which I did. I rarely get away. My cyclone is rotted out and all taped up but This was probably due to moisture in the hay of the filter and related “vinegar” odors migrating back. I will probably mount my new cyclone when things cool down a bit. The current one is working fine and I plan to party till it pukes. I think I “should” have taken a better look at your filter to see what it actually is. Have you driven in the winter yet ?? It’s a different story and it is hard to watch things rot from the salt. My previous trailer was run on 4 vehicles if I recall right. This one has been on 3 so far.
I had to toast out and then clean my grate with threaded rod to get it all moving again last week. I will probably do the threaded rod again before my next drive. Something is causing deposits to form on the rebars and they close up. At least I know I’m getting most of my heat back into the primary air. Mike

Hey Mikie ,

If you will wait until a huge rain storm and fuel up right of the ground you might get some condensate.


when you guys do get condensent what color is it?
is it pale or black? mine looks like weak tea
i seem to get a good bit of it

Hi Tom, You are in Washington. When I do have condensate which has generally been the case for many years, it is usually near clear with a bit of the usual soot in it. If I leave it in a pan the soot will settle to the bottom. Let’s not talk about the stuff from the hopper gutter. I am paving my driveway with it :o) … Has to be safer than what they usually use … Oh, weak tea is a good way to put it … Wayne, Glad you have enough rain. I just worked on my mower to get it part way back to snuff. I had a large walnut split right in the middle and one half is over one set of my solar panels and wiped out my radio antenna system. The other half is laying on another set of panels … No “real” damage but I feel for the tree because it is still alive and FULL of walnuts … It split and bent perfect to survive … It’s just in my way now … I’ll trim it back after things settle down in the fall … Maybe post some pics . I hate to lose trees to stupid stuff like this but I suppose one of the storms we had put a twist on it. It’s worthless for lumber now but is full of good protein in the nuts and the stuff I trim off will run the car fine but with much ash. I try to avoid black walnut but it runs just fine and with good power … ML

Hello Thomas,

If you get condensation after gasification (post gasification) in a new unit it should be clear for a while but after a few hundred miles it will have soot particles in just as M ike said.

Condensation before gasification (fuel hopper gutter) will look like week tea and smell rough.

I mowed the lawn today and ran two 5 gal. pales through the unit. Im in west MI so humidity in the summer months is just the way it is, drought or no drought. But I dumped the condensate and there was about a liter of grape colored condensate there. Before I mowed I serviced the machine and drained the condensate and it was clear. I think the outside temps have lots to do with this along with humidity. The hotter it is out the less effective your condesnor will be. I think in the warmer wheather you will see clearer colored condensate and in cooler wheather you will see dirtier colored condensate. The reason it is dirtier in cooler wheather is because the condensor is doing its job much more eficiant and dropping some of the tars out that made it out of the gaisfier.


David O is correct Wood has tannic acid in it. Oak having the most. This is also what gives tea it’s color.

OK well never mind then…I put the condensate from the last run in a gator aid bottle to see if it would settle and become clear like the last run. From the time of my last post to now it is just an amber color :slight_smile:

Mike, With the dirt roads I have, even wet weather results in sandblasting the undercarriage. This spring when I got it running, it was low 30’s often on my run home. I don’t plan to run anything much colder.

Dave Bloom, Hopper drippings are evaporated tar and moisture. I don’t know if it would have wood “tea” in it.

I’m vacationing with the family now, but I’ll post some condensate pics when I get back.

Cooler condensate should look like clear water, hopper condensate is orange.
The theory says bone dry wood should give best performance and for some time I believed that. But after some time, a more experienced gasser can tell science that practice is somewhat different. Foggy weather askes for bone dry wood, but on dry air performance is best when the wood has 10+% water. Excess can be drained by a condensing hopper. I do not store wood inside anymore just for that reason.


Thanks guys for the help that tells me a lot
my condensent is like weak tea but then i remembered i’m using my china hybrid for tests and it doesn’t have a monarator and hopper drain i bet thats causing me major crap
hope to start on the WK about the 21st that will be nice

Hi DJ, I have been using wood that has been stored inside and this is probably a major factor, especially this drought year. I have always had a bit more power on foggy days or in a light rain. If the wood has a higher moisture content I generally observe that I have to drive 2 or 3 miles to build up any heat in the lower hopper and get it all stoked up. Then the power and temperature goes up. In other words it has to cook much of that moisture out. I just have a thermocouple in the cyclone outlet. My condensate from the cooler is usually near clear but with soot and rust solids in it. I do not have a hot filter on the trailer. The stuff in my hopper gutter collects in one side as it is not level where I park. It dries out there and turns into a gooey wood tar. I usually scrape it out with my poker rod and drop it back into the wood chunks but this may be what forms deposits on my grate ??? What I drain off from the gutter is always black and stains the road if I drain it in town. It washes away in the rain eventually but I like leaving my mark :o) … Mike