Water bubbler - scruber

Anybody have any thoughts on bubbling the gas through water mixed with lime to reduce the co2 ?

After reading this page I think I will put wood lye in my bubbler http://www.carboncapturefilters.com/clean_up.shtml

Just remember wood is carbon neutral. It spends it’s whole life sucking up CO2 because that is what it breathes and without CO2 they die. The carbon that comes out of these gasifiers is in solid form and good fertilizer. CO2 is only harmful if there are no trees to suck it up or if the wood puts more carbon back into the atmosphere than it consumes. Impossible to do as long as the idiots in this world don’t cut down all the trees and then not plant more. Ask someone to prove to you that more CO2 is pumped into the air than what is consumed by all the biomass in the world. Think about it.

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Thanks for the reply. Producer gas is approx 4.5 % Co2. Remove it from the gas before we use it and we have better fuel. Scrubbing with wood lye also removes some of nitrogen. I’m not sure if the extra hardware is worth the effort or not but better gas equals more power, less wood and better performance. This is my goal here.

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Wayne’s gasifier produces enriched gas because of it’s unique design. The colder the gas is by the time it gets to the engine, the more potent because the molecules are closer together. My experience with filtering wood gas too much leads to clogging very rapidly. By volume we use twice as much wood gas as compared to gasoline vapors. Carbon monoxide is combustible in the engine. By the time all the combustion is done the NOX reading is down to about 88 parts per million in the vehicle exhaust according to the last test that was done some time back, it may be lower now. Some soot is going to get through to the engine and so far in six years of running on wood gas there has been no engine failure or loss of oil pressure. I am referring to the red Ford with 460 cubic inch V8 Wayne depended on daily to run his farm and feed his livestock.

Oh yes we tried a water scrubber with several different mediums and found the hay filter works just as good and the hay can be put in the gasifier and disposed of easily once it has run it’s course in the filter.

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I would wonder what the evaporation of water into the gas stream does to the vapor mix and to the engine? I have often thought of a bubbler type filter myself but was unsure of what side consequences I might introduce. I would expect however that with a radiator system you could get the gas temp way down.

You can see the whole system on my truck below. The pipes and the condensate cans are all designed to get the gas down in temp to condense all the moisture. By the time the gas gets to the engine the gas is dry the pipes are dry. I gasified this truck just to see how wood gas runs on the newer computer systems. The truck itself is not a good candidate for wood gas for several reasons. When we did the packed bed wash down filter with recirculating water all the moisture was gone by the time it got to the engine, but there were other problems that make the water system too much bother to fool with and the results were no better than hay. The gray box with the white pipes coming out the top is the hay filter.

Is there an engine size or at truck make and model that appears to be “ideal” in your research? I am in the search for a vehicle segment and want to maximize my opportunity for success.

I’m wondering what truck to buy also. I have 2 full size 3/4 T Chevy’s but one is too old, the other too new. I hope to replace the old one with an “ideal” one soon. In my case I will just need a light duty truck for running around, and "showing off " :slight_smile:

This is what iI plan on using

http://driveonwood.com/forum/95#comment-85 this thread gets into which trucks to use.

Hello Dave,

I can’t help you much with the water scrubber advice. I have never used one but Mike LaRosa up in Wisconsin says the extra water will bring on issues in the cold climate.

Steve and Carl,
In picking a vehicle most of the time the important thing is what ever you have or can get easily.
I try to get one that has plenty of power because there will be about 25-30% power loss on wood.
Plenty of working room under the hood and under the vehicle. I personally like the Dakota pickups but they are not a work truck but good for traveling.
I wouldn’t put out a lot of money on your first wood gas vehicle. Let it be a learning tool. Right off hand I can’t think of anyone that has built only one gasified vehicle. If you build one later on you will want another after you have learn the rops.
I have mentioned several times that gasification is 25% machine and 75% operator. I think the regular wood gas driver will agree will me on that

Just joined the forum… and I’m very excited to find you guys!

After reading the article about Wayne in Mother Earth I bought a 96 Dodge 1500… to convert. I’m not sure if the on-board computer on that model will cause too many issues to be practical. Got it cheap, so if it’s not a good candidate, no problem.

Anyone have any thoughts or conversion experience with that truck?

Gary in Arkansas

Hi Guys! Sorry, no picture yet but as soon as I can find one I’ll attach it. Lye (sodium hydroxide) is highly corrosive and aggressively eats aluminum and a lot of other things. As such concern is appropriate as to whether small amounts over time would make it into the engine and damage it. You would probably have to have a lye scrubber on the output to get rid of the traces of it. Lime (Calcium hydroxide) is a lot less agressive but still could be detrimental if traces of it continuously got into the engine.

I was wondering if any of you have ever measured the pH of the water condensate from the combustion process? In olden times lye was made by leaching it from wood ash. Hence the question. If the pH is significntly above 7.0 (7.0 is neutral, higher is alkaline) it might be able to be neutralized with a weak acid.

P.S. I did find a picture.

Thanks Guys. This is what I needed. It seems that dealing with frost in the cooler and constant water treatment under changing load conditions, that this is not practical for mobile use. It might work with a generator in a more stable environment. I will look into that.

CO2 (and H20) are produced in the initial burning in the gassifier which is highly exothermic (produced a lot of heat). If the conditions are right you end up with a lot of glowing hot char (C). Forcing the gasses through this can lead to some of the CO2 taking up a C being converted into CO, and H20 taking up a C being converted to CO and H2, which do burn. The result is endothermic (loses heat) but does produce more burnable CO and H2 and less unburnable CO2 at the engine. The hard part is getting the entire process well-balanced, especially as the engine input demands vary radically with throttle setting.

Sigh. In the 1930’s the German ands French governments knew they would be sea embargo petro-fuel screwed AGAIN in any upcoming wide spread war. So they dumped millions of marks and francs to encourage alternative motor fuels development from any and all of their domestic possibilities. Most systems then in times of NOT need were geekish. This always happens when not real world proven. By the end of the 40’s with real in world desperate million of hours refined useage all of the geek got replaced by daily usable and maintainable system solutions. Noboby anymore used unified all in one separetion/filtering/cooling systems. They then knew well by then about hot gas ability for liquids steaming, organic filters alternatively steam or condensate drop out moisture drownings, and tars and soots clogging every thing possible. Cooler filter trains were by then evolved to separate items to be able to be separately serviced for their different needs. In the 50’s after the Suez shut down Crisis and the hot East/West Cold War raging the Swedish and Finnish governments sponsored gasifier system modernization with stainless and acid proof steels, rolled tube constructing, ash slope insulating, condensing monorator hoppers, etc. THEY then 1940’s experienced made all of the ash separation/filtering/cooling as discrete separate serviceable components. They went now with with hot bag house or panel filtering. Google up Swedish SMF and Finnish VACOLA systems.
In the the 70’s, 80’s systems we forgot and went back to 30’s with unitized cooling filtering again! In the 30’s they did not know - unkowlegable - inexperienced. In the 70’s 80’s no excuse except just modern “It’s a New Age” “We went to the moon!” arrogant and stupid attitude.
All of the current hundreds of hours usable systems today in the 21st century wisely back to using individually discrete serviceable separation/cooling/filter trains now again.
Combined separators/condensers/filter/conditioners have failed the test of actual in real world usage time and time again.
Why?? Output gasses Heats, Ash, Condensates, Tars and Soots.

Every minute word speculating on this puts you that much farther from either building and learning these all your self; or, going somewhere to learn all these hands on.

Seriously I am trying to save you fellows the year lost out of my life wasted until I learned woodgas is best learned hands-on.

Steve Unruh

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Hey everybody,
Thought I’d chime in on the “lime” thing, hopefully for clarity. Limestone, as it is mined is calcium carbonate, CaCO3( this is the stuff you put on your garden to buffer(lower) soil acidity. When limestone is heated to 1000 degrees it becomes calcium oxide, CaO or quick lime(used in mixing with mortar for its stickiness, not your garden). When CaO- quick lime is added to water it then becomes calcium hydroxide, Ca(OH)2, (a corrosive base).
Remember all acids begin with the H radical, H2SO4- sulfuric acid, HCL- hydrochloric acid (also called muriatic acid-used for cleaning mortar off bricks,etc), HNO3-nitric acid, etc. All bases end with the hydroxl radical (OH) as in calcium hydroxide-Ca(OH)2, Lye- sodium hydroxide-NaOH.
IMO all acids and bases should be avoided.
Hope this helps, Pepe


Hi Guys,
Steve gave me this advice a year (or longer) ago and I should have taken it more seriously. It wasn’t a total waste of time but it surely will get you there quicker.
Thanks for sharing, Steve.