Wood gasifier suggestions and ideas- What would YOU do?

Hello and thank you for welcoming me to this site. For some time, I have been wanting to build a wood gasifier and yesterday, I came into good fortune when I found what appears to me to be 2 pre-made units which look like an easy set up. They said WOOD GASIFIER all over them as I pulled them from the scrap box at my work. Yes, they were 100% free!

Now, how can I make these work to produce actual gas which will run a 6500kw Onan Emerald III generator? I am collecting ideas and concepts at this point, so all input would be greatly appreciated, as I am certain there is a collective here who are much smarter than I… Pictures posted, hand cart indicates size of the units. Please take a look and give me your thoughts on how YOU would utilize what I have here.
All thanks to everyone!
Rob G.


Hi Robby,
Nice find, man! Ready made funnels, wow. Yes, gasifier all over them! Now for the dimensions. As far as I could
find out your unit motor is about 14 bhp ( if I’m wrong, please correct me} as imbert gasifier
construction dimensions are based on HP. For an actual well detailed build of an imbert
gasifier, check out, “My first small engine run” in the Small engine section on this site. I
built mine to handle up to 30 HP, so I used line C dimensions on the imbert chart. Yes, I have run
5 to 10 hp engines well on this size, since I had no larger engine at that time. Still don’t. See how the
engine runs and judge for yourself. As on old carpenter told me, measure 3 times and cut once.
I’ll be glad to answer any questions I can, so don’t hesitate to ask. Pics are invaluable!
You’ll find more folks pitching in, too. A great site full of great guys willing to help.
I noticed a flapper type device in pic 2. I know you haven’t started yet, but you want to avoid
buried flapper valves like pic 2… How do you clear and free it, if it gets tarred up!? Opposite cords
or a lever handle, aggghhhh, air leaks, big pita and dangerous!


Best use for these is sell them to me.:grin::grin::grin::grin:


Great plant however the NHE engine is a flat head and will burn gas like the second coming is near…
The control boards and regulator are as rare and expensive as golden unicorn droppings if you fry one.

That plant might not be the best choice evn though I know its been done ( youtubers )

If you want a flat head, stick with a K series Kohler
Rebuild parts are cheap and the electrics are crude and very insensative to speed fluctiations and abuse.

Chinese OHV engines are disposable and easy to modify for wood gas.

OHV automitive engines in stationary plants offer the best compromise in efficiency and cost effective repair.
Electrics are always a crap shoot if they use sphphisticated regulators and controllers, but there are work arounds ( for the onan too) if you fry boards and controls but you need some electronics and electrical skills


Pepe- Oh man, this is a lot of valuable information! I was actually leaning toward round bales of pine needles which would fit perfectly into the hoppers and would pack much more punch than wood. I have more pine needles than I know what to do with on my property and they rake and bail nicely. They are quite gaseous as well. Being I could build 2 identical units at once, one could be in use while the other would be cleaned and reloaded for a continuous burn if needed. These units were pictured exactly as
I found them, those flappers must go indeed as
I have no use for them at all. I will be capping the ends and installing a drain valve for wash out. That area will serve as an ash collector… I believe I personally would sleeve the entire unit, add burners, add a removable cap and split (Y) the gas produced back into the unit and on to a gen-set… Is what is in my head anyway… I believe, the gas which the gen-set doesn’t use can fire the unit.


That makes a whole lotta sense. My Onan is running on vapor now and it uses very little fuel on the vapor set up. I have bypassed the carburetor completely, and also the circuit board no longer controls the ignition. I simply installed an ignition switch. I see what you are saying and you are 100% spot on… The Onan is my tinker toy. Something more viably efficient would indeed be a far better option. Yes… This is my YouTube video… LOL!

I appreciate your sensible approach, and I think you are 100% correct on all levels. It is hard to have that Onan and not play with it though. I would love to see it running on pine needles just to say it can be done and astound my neighbors…


Not sure how well pine needles would work for biomas engine fuel, i think they would be too much tar iñ that type biomass ?


Hi Robby, in order for the gasification prosses to work you need to have a charcoal bed continuing being made for the CO2 and H2O to pass through the white hot charcoal and be stripped of the O molecule making CO and H2. Pine needles are to small and are full of tar. You need wood chunks small and larger pieces. These wood chunks are turn into the char bed, it is a conituing char bed making process going on in the gasifier. There are two types of gasifiers wood and Charcoal gasifiers. Charcoal gasifiers are simpler to build and work great with small engines. Check out the "Simple Fire Gasifier " by @glgilmore Gary Gilmore. I would not want you to tar up a engine with your first try.
There are people who have built wood pellet gasifiers.
It might be possible to use some pine needles mixed with charcoal or in a wood gasifier. All I know is the long pine needles that I have burn, produced tar black smoke and was very fast burning with no charcoal left over. With the right set up in a gasifier you can burn up the tar if it is hot enough and can go though the char bed, and filtering the soot out prosses is done making a clean gas.
Looking forward to your build and running on wood/char gas.


I will be brutally honest with you now watching that video.
I don’t Ike what I am seeing and think a catastrophic failure is coming
The AVR can not take that kind of surging and if you had not bypassed the safeties the machine would shut itself down.


From my experience and listening to the sound of your engine your air fuel ratio is a little lean. When burning gasoline this is bad. Your engine will produce NOx (pollution) and it will run hot. You could burn your exhaust valve(s) and possibly other parts in the combustion chamber.
Once you get your air fuel ratio dialed in I would want to see a good long test to see if you actually get better fuel economy. At this point this whole ‘engine running on vapors’ thing seems like snake oil.



He talks about 2-3 % gain


Beating a dead horse about the fuel vapor:

I got lost at the beginning of that latest video when he said:
“in theory”
Well, whose theory is that?

and at the end where he said:
Come on, guys, a gasoline engine runs on fuel vapor anyway! The liquid is simply vaporized in the carb/injectors, etc…
We know that the stoichiometric ratio for gasoline is about 15 gas to one air. So, looking at all that bubbling going on in the canisters, how wet do YOU think the air going to the engine is?

I read someplace that Henry Ford got his first engine going by having his wife dribble the fuel onto a cotton ball held into the intake system.

Onan engines DO run on woodgas:

That’s a 6.5NH, genset which is the earlier version of the 6.5NHE.

I know I’m not in the mainstream here, but I use wood chips. But I, too, would avoid pine needles for all the reasons previously mentioned.

Pete Stanaitis


Yup, a 2-3% gain IS conceivable. I like the guys attitude. He is skeptical, but can be proven wrong.
This makes me think a foundry furnace could be made to use gasoline in a simple way. This has to be the cheapest carburetor I ever heard of. I definitely learned something.

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What Mr. Pete said .

After the motor quit on the gasoline liquid test I would have like to seen how much gasoline was left in the tank and the carb bowl ?


Yup But the NH is a very different machine electrically.
They have power to spare on gasoline, no need to derate for propane .

But a flat head on low calorific fuel will burn more fuel per kW of power electricity than say a JB.

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