Power adders for wood gas?

Newbie here just doing some research, so the question might not be the smartest, but why can we not use a power adder on wood gas engines? With gasoline, if you take a normal IC engine, inject double the fuel, and double the air with something like a turbo, then you will get about double the power out of the engine. Why can this not be applied to a wood gas set up? Have some sort of air pump that sucks the wood gasses through the system, and pushes it into the cylinder at some number higher than atmospheric pressure, and a turbo to push more air in, would this not create more power to make up for the normal power drop when converting to wood? Is there some reason like the volatility of wood gas or something that doesn’t allow this to work? I’m interested in hearing yall’s thoughts, Thanks!


Boosting can work, drawing both the gas and air through it into the engine like a draw through Turbo or Supercharger.

You can increase your engine compression to get horsepower back.

Increase spark advance.

With a small engine you can really only do so much. Flywheel timing advance key, shave the head a little. Woodgas can withstand about 17:1. Doesn’t mean your engine and valves can withstand that though. Always remember clearances of your moving parts.


it is done by some.

Problem is there is ratio of idle to full power to consider.
The gasification designs we use have a ratio that allows the engines to start and run at modest speeds then have a minimum peak power.
Beyond this peak things start to melt down in the gasifier.
if you shift the peak up ward with a bigger unit it might not make clean gas at lower power.

So the solution is generally to use a larger engine and stay in a narrow range of high to low power.


Interesting idea! Also I would suspect the colder you can get the gas, the denser it will become, also increasing power.

For folks in colder climates, do you notice a difference when driving in summer highs vs. winter lows?

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There is a lot of reading here on turbos and super chargers if anyone wants to go through it .


Without any boost at all gas quantity could be increased by running it through an Intercooler like those use on turbo set-ups but due to the size of the piping the intercooler would soon plug up with soot. When my friends and I raced drag cars at the track, coolers full of bags of ice were always brought along to lay on the intake manifold before a race to try and cool the gas some as it passed through the intake runners. It would be interesting to see if that would have any appreciable effect on wood gas though I think it would be hard to quantify the results.


The problem i see with wood gas turbo boosting is the fact that you would be prone to use up wood faster, and have too fill up every 20 min. insted of fill up hopper every 40 too 60 min. with regular wood gas supply system.


In my experience the power increase is just about noticeable. It pretty much equals the extra power needed to turn around all the stiffened grease and motor oil, or to compensate for studded tires and snowy road conditions.
Personally I’d much rather have sunshine and T-shirt temps all year around :smile:


This is a process that uses heat to convert solid fuel into a gas.
REALLY think abut that…

if you waste heat by dumping it in a gas cooler thats wasted energy.
The ideal solution is to put that heat to use in the gasification unit itself by heating the incoming air.
Then you are burning less fuel in the process to make drive the operation.

BUT if you heat your air too much it starts the thin out and then your working harder to draw in air at high load ( so you use bigger tuyers )
This big tuyers kill velocity at low power so now gas flow is a little off and you are not making good gas, maybe even a little bit of tar get in ( not because of moister of low temperatures just because the tars are allowed to slip past the hottest parts of the reaction zone where they should be cracked.

How do you work around these problems?

Well there are ways but they add complexity.

The point is you want the right size gasification unit, you want to run it within certain parameters and you want to recover as much heat as is usable to drive the process…

Coming back to the turbo now.
A turbo lets a small engine draw at higher load like a bigger engine…
But at low power its still a small engine so draws like one.


I don’t know much about turbos or superchargers and i have no woodgas experience with either but i know Ron Lemler supercharged his truck and he said he wouldn’t do it again.


I agree jakob, plain old dakota with v8 seems too work nearly perfect enough.Or works fine and more simple, less problems.


Probably no good reason to do it Jakob. There was no point in putting a man on the moon with a golf club either. It’s that mountain. Why did you climb it? Because it was there. I’m looking forward to seeing what Kyle comes up with.


It’s nice to see a guy who dreams of making existing gas generators better!

You can put a turbine, but compact good turbines operate at very high speeds (tens of thousands of revolutions per minute). How to lubricate its plain bearings? But its drive should, ideally, be independent of the rotation of the engine! How to turn it at such speeds (the power of the drive motor will be about 3-5 hp)?

And for her longevity, she must work with clean air, and not with gas, and not with an explosive mixture of gas and air.

As already correctly noted here: the dimensions of the gasification chamber will be unpredictable. At high gas flow rates, the gasification chamber will overheat, and if its dimensions are made large enough so that this overheating does not occur at high flow rates, then at low loads the chamber will cool down so much that undecomposed resins will go.

There are ways out of these difficulties. But they are still only in my head, and not in practice.

  1. Lubricate the turbine from the engine lubrication system, but its oil pump must be driven by an electric motor, and not by a camshaft, as is usually done. Turbine drive: instead of a hot impeller, press the rotor from a brushless DC motor directly onto the turbine shaft. With appropriate fastening and protection of the stator from overheating, from dust, with electronic speed control and other nuances.

  2. Make the gasification chamber initially small, but with auger supply of firewood, as in pellet boilers. Control the temperature of the gasification chamber. Reduce the temperature increase by supplying condensate to the inlet air. Extinguish excess fire. And this will inevitably lead to the use of programmable microcontrollers. Otherwise, adjusting manually there will be no time to look at the road. If it’s for a car. Or there will be no time to drink coffee in peace, if it is for a stationary power generator.

And when programmable controllers appear in the system, you immediately want to get rid of manual ignition of the woodgas generator, filters using hay or sawdust, and many other points that you need to take into account yourself until you use automatic electronics. And then it is no longer just “put a turbine to increase power” …


Translates 100% Marat L.

I like your conclusion line the best.
Steve unruh


3 AM. According to the internet my brain is supposed to be operating at optimum efficiency right now. How sad. Anyway I’m going to chew on this bone for a while. I keep getting stuck on intake air and hybriding with other fuels. Turbo is not an on or off operator. It has to be operating at some level and for it to build pressure the throttle body or carb has to be sealed back to the intake side of the turbo or even one of the other belt driven superchargers. If you tried to supply WG into a pressurized plenum the pressure from the turbo would prevent it from entering. If you fed it through the turbo where would your normal air supply come from?

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AI has learned to translate texts from one language to another very well. And if I am talking nonsense in one language, then in translation this same nonsense retains its properties. :wink:

Above, I proposed to supply condensate to the air. Perhaps this is where all the nonsense lies. If we want to gasify several times more wood at the same time, in the same pipe section, then most likely we need to raise the gasification temperature. And if we limit it, then most likely we will clog the pipe with unburned firewood, and most likely, in addition, we will produce a bunch of tar, or gas in general, of an unknown composition. But this gas composition will most likely even refuse to burn!

So, another solution. Water does not evaporate in the air entering the reaction zone, but in a jacket around the pipe, grate and everything that is overheated in the gas generator during turbocharging. And even heat-resistant stainless steel, even with such external cooling, will gradually burn out. Due to the limited thermal conductivity of metals.

Another way: instead of a heroic struggle with high temperatures and overheating, make a large pipe, but at low gas flow rates, not only insulate the pipe and everything that takes part in the reaction, but also maintain a minimum gas flow rate for internally maintaining the reaction. Even if the engine doesn’t need that much wood gas. It can be burned in a separate pipe. And even better, so that the gas does not heat the air in vain during downtime, start frying barbecue and french fries in the back of a pickup truck on fire. From traffic light to traffic light. But then you need to constantly carry a cook with you. :wink:

For some reason, turbocharging a gas generator always leads to crazy ideas… :wink:

Of course, you can come up with a third option. Since the party has started…

When it is necessary to support combustion, we pump it into a cylinder with a separate compressor. Too bad generator gas doesn’t liquefy as easily as propane.

When we need to save the gasifier from overheating, we supply cooling to the gasifier jacket.

Everything. Without electronics, no more coffee, no traffic lights with this option, we will not see. We will be busy only managing the gasification of firewood. Day and night will make no difference to us. Stars, birds singing, people’s words will then lose all meaning for us… :wink:


Stopping at traffic lights is for sissies Marat. If the cook you get for the back WG grill is pretty and naked everyone will just stop and stare anyway. Your wife may have other ideas about that.


A Few ideas about improving wood gas performance:
-What about double cracking? Basically letting the gas go thru all existing cooling then rerouting thru reduction zone heat in metal tube, then going thru another cooling rail set up.
-Or yet still what about stroking & water methanol injection? I know of 8L v10 engines being stroked on gasoline builds, also I know water methanol reduces carbon build up on diesels, so why not for wood gas?
-I’d like to know from wood gassers what are the exhaust temps like from your tail pipe on wood gas vs gasoline? Perhaps exhaust heat post engine could be utilized in gasifier process as well?


Hi Sam, we do this with a preheating of our incoming air by a exhaust pipe or muffler heatexchanger and what is called a drop box heatexchanger. Also on the the WK Gasifiers the air is super heated by the firetube before the air enters into the nozzles.
Please show us a drawing of the other part of recycling the gases after it as been cooled to get a clear picture of what you are talking about.
We welcome new ideas always to this gasification site.


Just theoretical at this point, I’ll upload a drawing if I get a chance this holiday weekend; but basically same WK gasifier set up, gas runs thru cooling rails, filter etc then once gas is cooled & condensate is taken out running it in a sealed pipe traveling thru the reduction zone to crack it again, then cooled thru a duplicate set of rails & off to engine…

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