Methanol from charcoal production?


I want to make methanol and charcoal by destructive distillation of wood and use the coal to fuel a FEMA gasifier.

Do anyone have info how I can make a simple and effective methanol still?


If you want to build a great efficient wood gasifier, this is the site for information. That’s not to say we don’t dabble in other areas. It’s focused around Wayne Kieth’s wood gasifier design. You can search topics by clicking on the magnifying glass on the upper right corner.


Unfortunately I can’t buy Wayne Kieth’s book as I live in a third world country in EU.

But may I ask what type of gasifier the WK is?
It’s so secret so I have no idea if it would actually be worth the money if one could buy it.

I did buy the Woodgas bible and it’s maybe a good book but not what I expected, so I was a bit disappointed.


Hi Jim. Wellcome to the site.

If your goal is methanol, you might be dissapointed. There realyisnt all that much of it in the distilate. If l remember correctly one ton of wood gives only 16l of methanol.
But if your goal is charcoal gasificattion l wuld suggest you dont go with a FEMA. There are simpler and much more effective designs.

May l ask which country you are from? I am from EU too. Slovenia


Ok, then the work of producing methanol will not be worth it, atleast not for me.

My idea of using charcoal was to get 2 usable fuels and if that didn’t work I would prefer to use wood.

I am from Sweden


Hi Jim, I do not consider Sweden a third world country, but then again I’ve never been there. As to your questions though, may I recommend a book about the Swedish experience using wood/charcoal gas from 1939 to 1945. Lots of good information and it is available at this link.
You can make methanol from wood, but it involves an elaborate system that is best done at the industrial scale. Making and using charcoal as the engine fuel is easy to do in your back yard. Forget the FEMA gasifier. It will tar up your engine. Look over this site for work others have done. some folks use wood as the primary fuel while others have delved into the dark side and are using charcoal. For powering small engines, charcoal is the go to fuel for ease of operation. For larger engines, you can go with either wood or charcoal. Welcome aboard to a site that is loaded with real world experiance from people who have actually built and operate their systems.
Gary in PA