My syngas / gasifier not flare,

Hello everyone here, I need your help and advice, My name is Olajide from Nigeria, am not only interested in gasification of coal and all other biomass, I have spent a lots of time to trying to build a gasifier, tried to copy a downdraft gasifier from YouTube, but this gasification process not working for me when I tried to flared it, picture and video will be attached . the. Attached is picture of the pump, burner chamber .



Is the gas pump and burn chamber the container with the motor in the centre?

I constructed the pump myself, I could not get a good pump from makert, below is the picture of the pump , burn chamber,

Followed by burn chamber
I await your humble advice and suggestion s

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Hi Olajide, wellcome!

Plese give us more info. What kind of gasifier, what will it power, what fuel it uses…

With no hose connected to the inlet of your blower, turn the fan on. Is there suction at the inlet? Can you feel air blowing out the outlet of the blower (flair burner end)?

Thanks for your support, please take a look at the operation here. Can’t load video on this site

But when I did the suction test it suck,

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Kristijanl, thanks for your question,

its downdrafts FEMA , my plan its to build gasifier and flare syngas,

maybe in future I may want to power electric generator .
Attached is YouTube link, I have fuel it with charcoal,

I started out with a small fema unit, as did several others. It is a good place to start, but they are known to make tar, which you don’t really want in your engine.
It can take a while to get a good char bed built up to where you get burnable gas. I gave it up for a while, and then went back the next summer and got it running good. Also, I may have fixed up a couple air leaks which will sure ruin your gas production. It looks like from your video that you may have more velocity on your gas stream than you want. It seems to flare easier with a gentle flow.

Thanks Andrew , comments and suggestion from people like you are my hope , I strongly believed I will produce burnable syngas one day, this my second attempt,
One last question, does syngas flare with high temperature? Let say 120degree f

I’ll look at the videos later. I had a FEMA also. It never flared on all charcoal. First I would start the fan. Next light the top of the charcoal. After the top of the charcoal is glowing red apply raw dry biomass on top. After 30 seconds it would flare. Rice husks worked good. Best to make the charcoal from what biomass you will be using. I agree with Andy, mild draft.

I am worried that your large volume fan housing might explode if air leaks in and the flame flashes back.

Big thanks to you jeff,

I will work on all advice you guys gave to me, you make me believe I can do it , you guys are giving me hope, I will start by switching from charcoal to wood gasification, and will also try to change my pump design,
one last question, does temperature has any notable effect on gas flaring?

Please get back to me after watching my video !

Only worked with a FEMA for a short time so I am not a specialist. The temperature your gas is coming out suggests to me you have an air leak and are burning much of your gas before it gets to the burn chamber. In my Imbert style I get 900 f at the grate and about 600 before going into the cooling rails. TomC

@ tom colins,

Thanks for your support , your point is important one , I will take it back to workshop to amend all suspected leak, my next flare will be displayed here !

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Welcome Olajide,
I guess woodgas would flare easier if steam is allowed to condense. Cool gas = dry gas.
Chargas is usually dry already and temp shouldn´t matter much.

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Hot gas mixes better with hot air but 120°F should not be a problem unless wet. In the video the meter must be reading 90 not 900F. I have an old pdf of my FEMA that I asked Chris if he can place it in the library. It is low value information but it might help.

Your fire tube might be too short.

I don’t want you to waste time rebuilding your fan, just be aware that a value of gas could puff. Not really an explosion but the top could pop off.

Edit: It does look like the gas might be burned to smoke.

It will still need charcoal too work with the biomass.

Welcome, Olajide,
You have entered a very interesting quest, gasification. Like many others, myself included, you are starting with the FEMA. In that respect, I offer some pics of my humble beginnings. I finally got the gas to flare and did a whoopee dance around the unit. I was hooked, but I had also done more reading on the subject and realized the FEMA’s usefulness was very limited due to the relatively low temperatures, tar production, etc. The experience was not a waste at all. I got back into welding and fabricating, honing those skills and found the imbert design I finally settled on. Go on experimenting and reading about gas production. A great site for information on the science of gasification and how it relates to gasifier design is put up by Jim Mason, a guru on the science of gasification and design, imo. There are ten 15 minute sessions. You will learn so much there, you will never regret the time spent.
He’s here,

Here’s a few pictures of my FEMA so you can see how much the project entails. This can be built smaller, depends on hp required. There are charts on the site here.

The left is the base where the fines settle. The middle is the shell that holds the firetube and where the gas is drawn from. The right is the 6" fire tube inserted into a milk can for ease of installation ( fire tube sized by hp needed). Airtightness essential.

Gasifier with cyclone (to collect particulate matter) and cooling tubes (to cool gas and condense the moisture). Not shown is a collection container for liquid to drop into at the end of the cooler run. Also not shown is a final filter before the gas enters the engine.
Here’s a vid of one of my FEMA runs:

@4:40 use this for paper test only! Wood fire will instantly melt your vacuum hose. Now how did I find that out!
Note sizzling moisture in gas at end of run. This moisture will be sucked int your engine and foul the plug for a no start! Drain it out of the system before the intake.
Have you considered using a vacuum cleaner as your fan.
I hope this helps, but whatever you do, have fun!


Jeff, jan-ola,
thanks for the lesson, am sorry for my late response, its due to power outage in my community, electricity is not regular in this part of Africa, i started this project for the fun of it, just wanna flare gas, its coming at the right time now, i will proceed to get a good electric generator to power my house, it will salvage a situation like this in future ,


Big thanks Richard,

I will not hesitate to ask you if there is any thing difcult for to understand, I have watch your FEMA sample , its lovely


hello everyone,

i have been trying for weeks to build a FEMA type of gasifire, but no luck, i never believe it will be this so hard for me, Am Biogas expert, i have more than ten years of experience in biogas digester design and construction, in-fact am making living from it, i have exhibited my work in many online and offline platforms,
i never believe wood gasification could be this difficult for me,
I posted my project here last week, and series of advice was given, which i tried all but no luck yet, list of corrections includes

1 i can see tar, and smoke
2 i worked on temperature, i included heat
3 i change from coal gasification to wood,
hence i notice tar and condensed water in
heat exchanger.
4 the temperature at the burn chamber is 110
degree f

Here is the link to video of my new design