Newbie that caught the sickness

Good Afternoon, All

My name is Seth and I am 38 yr. old outdoorsmen from southern Louisiana. I have a set of goals that I want to accomplish with regard to being self-sufficient. THE MEGA GOAL = 3-Year-old family home completely off-grid. I fell into gasification earlier this year as I have been researching and planning power generation methods with Tech in mind. After the hurricane season of 2021 when we were out of power for 6 weeks, I learned a few things. Learned a lot about fixing everyone’s generators and how much I loathe the utility companies and ideology of selling the population the basics of life for a profit, while our power grid crumbled in front of my eyes and are now paying extra fees for the cost to rebuild the grid that wasn’t properly maintained. (I am a capitalist but few know this is not the society we live in.) So the large problem that still looms for me is energy storage. I am very hopeful about the future of Vanadium Flow batteries but you still have to fill those batteries’ energy to store. I am firmly seating in the camp where I will use Solar PV and Gasifier/Gen Set to charge and run my home. sorry, I am rambling, Here is a couple of photo’s of the sealed downdraft gasifier with a 2.5" x 4" reduction plate with the goal to run up to a 500cc engine. I am still contemplating which cleaning methods I will use. I will keep you all updated. Let me know if you have and questions or critiques …

After spending hours on here last night, I see I will have to step up my video-documenting skills… lol


Welcome to the forum!

What design is your gasifier going to be based off of?

Cooling rail looks like a Ben Peterson design.


I definitely got that from his design. I have a sch. 80 pipe insert with the reduction tube welded to the bottom. Kind of have in my head that I will have different size heath insert that can be changed out as needed. Apologies for the lack of pictures. I will post the draw-up of what I’m planning, but basically the simplified and poor man’s version of Ben Peterson and Gek.


A few pointers that anybody here would tell you, with your restriction try to make a lip so ashes can build up. It’ll give you a 60° ash cone and self insulate the bottom.

Anywhere the gas is still hot, don’t use silicone or rubber couplers. Looks like you’re going with flanges up to that drop box so that’s good.

Preheating of the air is easy to add in at this stage, and will increase your efficiency and tolerance for moisture in the fuel. Many ways to skin a cat with that. The GEK form factor for preheating isn’t terribly efficient over time when soot clings to the air pipes.

Have you bought Ben’s book? It’s a wealth of knowledge.


Yes. I have read his and covered it in notes…lol I am using 4" long 3/4" threaded pipe with cap and bored out 3/8" jet holes, One jet will have an extension through the shell to light. I have attached a diagram of what’s my plan.


So you have gas exiting the grate and then a portion is supposed recirculate back into the " Hot Air Return Jets"" ??

It wont work like that. In fact it will do just the opposite and suck raw gas out those jets and into your exiting exaust stream.


so would you recommend spitting 2" into a closed of ring forcing exhaust back into the jets? Like the peterson?


You will need to elaborate Im not sure I understand your solution. But the way you have it drawn it will not work. The gas flowing from the above and down at that jet level is going to take the least path of resistance and it will flow out those jets and it will not recirculate. At least until they clogg up. You would need to use a pump to recirculate gas back through the jets at a higher presure than the low presure pulling the gas out.


I was thinking of splitting the exit pipe from the fire box to redirect it back into the jets. I did not think (or realize?)about the cfm needing to be higher into the jets than the vacuum rate of the rest of the system. I am currently consuming all the info in the premium section…lol


Welcome to the DOW SethL.
All look kinda’ sorta’ O.K. until the feed into the jets-nozzles.
Like MattR I am confused why you would want to put should be near zero oxygen output gasses mix in there. ???
How are you going to produce the Oxidization Zone needed whole system driving heat energy without feeding in oxygen rich outside air?
Produced gases have near zero oxygen left in them.

Re-read the early sections in BenP’s book with an eye for the five process steps.
Read in the Library section here Jim Masons gasification steps, “The Basics of Woodgas”.
Re-read the gasification steps section in Chris and Wanye’s Have Wood Will Travel book.
Steve unruh


Welcome!! Its always good to see a new member especially a premium member.
Look forward to following along with you an your journey and seeing ur progress.


You need an air jacket for the nozzles.

You will not be returning woodgas to the nozzles, that’s where you introduce air, wether preheated or totally fresh.

For example.


Here’s a consideration as well, just my personal opinion.

I would set up the Reduction so it can also collect ash and be insulated. Like so.

Excuse the fingerpaints drawing I’m on my phone. Obviously drawn in an abstract sense.

Above this could be the hopper with a monorator to collect water sweated out of the wood.

As ash begins to form, it’ll fill up voids like so.

This is a good thing when you take advantage of it.


cody, your design style is much better as picasso…


This is an aerial view of what I had planned for the hearth. Yes, I was planning on 4 jets just being return heat and gas inside the fire box tube, but the 5th would pierce the jacket and used for lighting and precise airflow can be directed to the center , above the restriction hole. (My thought pattern behind this was that I had full control of oxygen and shooting directly into the center would possibly stop or slow any bridging?lol)

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Sorry man.
This will not create a heat energy making COMBUSTION zone.
Your only oxygen laden air allowed will be from that one to outside jet-nozzle. Combustion heating from that will not be distributed around evenly. And that air will not even be outside blower sucked down trough a pre-charge wood charcoal bed above the grate and restriction. It will easier way be sucked backwards through those wrong-done four other jets-nozzles improperly connecting the lower and mid-sections of the gasifier hearth.

Even if it would combust and burn at all; burn poorly with little heat energy by being polluted from the other four jets-nozzles with below the grate gunk-gas you will be making.

Re-read the info sources I put up. Follow through on any of the flow diagrams.
You are still not understanding the systems flow needs. The thermal-chemical processes that must be directed and restricted to only take place.


To echo what everyone else is saying… thats just not how things work. Its like connecting the intake and exhaust manifold together in a loop on an engine and expect it to run.

Anything past the grate is not “hot air”. Its woodgas. It has no oxigen in it. Its what you feed the engine with. The nozzles on the other hand need just fresh air, nothing else. It may be preheated by outgoing gas but thats in a closed heatex


Perfect. Thank guys! ya’ll saved me from my first of many mistakes. I’m waiting on my book to arrive, so I’m sure my design will change based on the lessons learned in KW’s book. I have reached out to a buddy in Chicago this morning who specializes in industrial lasers (mainly for cleaning facades/art but my company is bringing the technology into the oil/gas field for material prep, blasting tool, etc.). My idea proposed to him was to use Biomass which will be “Cracked” using near-infrared lasers with PMI tech to correctly identify biomass substrate and use lasers surface plasma to create 100% calorie extraction while cracking H2S and other dirty gases. So my idea was 100% utilization of biomass and possibly using other wastes. He loved the idea but hit me with “the data needed to correctly produce an algorithm for feeding biomass while using the correct frequency, power, speed, and angles will be an expensive and time-consuming process because it doesn’t exist” Sounds like an opportunity to me…lol


My mind is always trying to find the path of least resistance but that doesn’t mean it’s correct…lol


Take a look at Stephen Abbadessa’s website. He has a very simple but functional design for his gasifiers.

He does minimum air preheating, the nozzles actually dont go to an air jacket but instead go straight to atmosphere.

This is because he doesn’t use a hot jacket, the gas exit is directly below the hearth, same diameter.