Mikes venture into the dark side

Ouch… l (unfortunaly) know how that feels. I melted enough of my hard work to learn the charcoal gasifier can only be sucsessfull if it is built to run only on charcoal and air. Everything l add to it later is just a bonus.

One more problem l see with water cooled nozzles is the fact water leaves lime scale behind as it boils. It can plug the nozzles or prevent water to touching the metal, thus overheating it. Distiled water is an option but usualy not free…


If the thermal cycling idea works there may not be any boiling water to leave scale in the nozzle. That is the idea with the top and bottom water lines.


Well scaleing allso happens prior to boiling, less thugh… but what you can do is run a cup of vinegar trugh it periodicly and draining it later, shuld disolve all limescale!


Hey Dave, It took me a little bit because I thought I had posted. but here is the link under charcoal nozzles from 2016

Gary in PA

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Hi Gary , thanks for the reminder , yes i remember seeing that way back then , but had not heard you or anyone mention of it again till Mike’s build when he mentioned your nozzle at Argos and thought you must have built a new one , on that note at the time i was wondering how you capped the end off between the 1 and 1.5 inch pipes that allows the water to be held in , did you use a blanking plug and silver soldier it to the inner pipe and then drill though the middle and then silver soldier to the outside pipe , trying to understand how you managed to get it water tight in my head .
Cheers Dave


The ends of this nozzle are closed off using two reducers. I ream out the restriction that prevents the smaller pipe (1") from stopping. The end is then brazed on where it is in contact with the charcoal. The end outside the gasifier is simply soldered on with tin. The concern about lime build up over time is possible but should be easy to fix with vinegar if it happens. During winter use, this water is changed every time you stop using the unit to prevent freezing.


How do you get the water out? I know you nozzle is angled down into the unit.



I expect most chargas people are familiar with this, but I don’t recall seeing it referred to on the DOW forum, so I’ll add the link here since it sort of fits in with the discussion. If it should be posted on the “Charcoal nozzles 2” thread let me know.

This is an article which includes plans for a water-cooled charcoal nozzle made entirely of plumbing fittings https://www.pssurvival.com/PS/Gasifiers/Motoring_Without_Petrol_1957.pdf


Could you just put Anti-freeze coolant mixture in it to keep it from freezing? Or would it be to hot for that?



Still making progress.
I want to keep the weight down and so am experimenting with a plastic water reservoir. 1/4” street elbows can be retreaded to 1/2” NC threads then weld a washer and 2 O rings make a good seal.

Now need to build the wood gas and air valves and feed to the engine carburetor.

I will leave the gasoline connection for startup and the electric shutoff on the carb for turning off the gasoline


I think a thermometer (candy type) might be handy. Some plastics have a higher melting point than others. That blow-molded bottle might give out before the tubing. I know I poured some hot water into a cheap container and it lost all its shape immediately. Maybe use a microwave-able plastic container.


I should have filled it with boiling water to test but with so many unknowns
Flow rate, cooling in the feed tubes, and boil off rate I just scrounged a Kirkland nut jar.
Who knows I may add a needle valve and add water drip if there is inadequate water vapor into the air supply


Good practical idea. I would aim to just use rain water, that’s free distilled water in volume.


Slow but steady progress. 9 days of rain showers this month means there are inside and outside projects

Push rods for the 1 1/4” air and gas valves. Still need to fabricate a final filter for the char gas and will use a commercial intake filter for air

3” cyclone with 1 1/4” plumbing, 1” lighting port and nozzle cleaning with a 3/8” poker.

Will reduce to 1” sump pump hose for the connection to a final filter


Final filter is a 4” fitting stuffed with fiberglass filter material.
I am getting real close now. Probably be mowing grass powered with charcoal tomorrow!


First startup at about 3 PM yesterday, and 20 minutes of driving around, light mowing, checking tempretures .

Then, MELTDOWN, the radiant heat from the lower part of the burn tube softened the plastic pipe and filter to the point that it sagged down and the front wheel caught it. Mower died.

The water cooled nozzle seemed to work great, the thermal cycling was very visible, steam bubbles aiding the flow in the upper outlet. BUT the clear plastic water supply container began distorting.

So began rebuilding with thin steel tube to move plastic further from the heat. And use a metal can as a water supply.

Smiling with every 1/2 mile!


This is great Mike, I hope this new nozzle is a winner. I have been looking at materials that I have laying around to build something that will run my generator that is portable and light weight.


I have been trying to keep the weight down and estimate my whole system at 50 lbs.


I found some cheap flexi stainless steel 1 inch dia tubing on ebay last week in 1 meter lengths for $11 AU so ordered a couple of lengths , its so expensive to buy new over here normally and i only get to use scrap bits i find in the past and these ones have smooth ends so you can use hose clamps to connect them onto standard pipe , these are sold as truck heater pipes .


We need a report, report how is it running?