What are you using for fuel

This is what we use for fuel in our lil gasser

I have a 1984 Chev LUV (1.6L) I hope to run on wood, but first looking for fuel source. Here in NE Washington there is a lot of thinning of mostly pine forest. The thinnings are piled for later burning when they are dry and the burn conditions are right. I’m wondering if the branches of this pine (or fir also) would be suitable for a gassifier, or are they too pitchy.

Any input would be appreciated.


We use chipped soft wood. If your unit is working properly can’t see why you can’t use it… just understand you’re gonna use alot, as softwood is less dense than say something like birch.

I am using pellets, and could try some of those wood chips but will probably not be able to run wood chunks because they are too big for the lower hearth area in the G3 design I am exploring now. I am really interested on your hopper lid arrangement. Looks like it works well - even one handed operation I saw in one of the videos. Does it drip at all ? Does it have flat flanges or some kind of inner and outer lip arrangement with a gasket ?

Hey Gary,

yes the lid has an inner and outer lip with a fiberglass rope and rtv seal. I works very well… to the point that with suction it can be hard to open :slight_smile: I guess that isn’t a bad thing.

we have tried a few different lid styles but this one is always much easier to make and seems to seal the best. also with the inner lip I don’t worry about the rope/rtv seal being displaced if there is a puff.

there is very little tension on the spring hold down… just enough to pull it back in place if need be.

Hey Jim Moore,
I must have missed your questions on the first go around.
Pine and fir limb and tops chunk-up will work just fine if sized cut down proper for the gasifier hearth size. Good info other places here (use the search function) and on DJ’s MicroGasifers PDF in the Resources -> Links here on fuel wood sizing to the hearth core.
These are lighter weight density woods so it will take more volume versus a heavy dense hardwood for the same power use. Pitch in these not a problem. Just adds more energy. ONLY when I’ve gasified 100% with actual dripping heavy filled fir pitch wood (just like pine Fat wood) did I have a problem. The starting up charcoal in the lower hearth will get all used up making CO fuel gas before the pitch gets burnt out of the upper raw fuel. Only then will the upper raw fuel carbonize and replenish the shrunken char bed. Process will crash into smoky combustion without a continuous resupply of char for the thermal/chemical “reduction” conversion step.

Steve Unruh

I had thought about pine and fir. But in my case, wood isn’t as plentiful as hay. I wonder if hay could be used for bio fuel in a unit? If so, what would be the modifications, if any.

Hi RickG.
I have a very small limited experience using AG wastes fuels. Pits and nuts, nut shells are great. Chunked corn cobs only fair. Chunked corn stalks bad. Just as the books say the 2-3X higher levels of mineral ash in comparison to wood in the stemmy stuff is low temperature silica based stuff and melts and fuses into clumps in the lower gasifier clogging it up.
I read of some claiming to be able to do this as loose fuels though in radically different gasifiers than anybody is using here.
OR . . . they are chopping-up, grinding-up and change this stemmy stuff into some thing that will gasifier process easier.
Jeff Davis is doing this with his “Fireballs”. I do not see him a member here on D-O-W. You can read his stuff here:
For just back up generator use any to town/city trips always with a pick-up can bring back scrounged shipping pallets as a storable wood gasifier fuel source. Any kind of actual wood will be much easier to fuel with.
Charcoal if you have the set up and place to make it (good use of nail ridden pallet wood) even easier to small engine fuel with.
See the Charcoal section here.

Steve Unruh