Wood vs Charcoal for vehicle gasification

This subject DOW has gotten spread into several ways. We have lots of people who are driving on wood. Lately we have had a lot of discussion on “charcoal”. A couple of people have tried both. I would like to know how the two compare. Mr. Wayne went from home to Milwaukee first on charcoal and second on wood. What was his experience. Did it require more or less of one material than the other— weight and volume.? Mr. Don has used the same vehicle and driven on both wood and charcoal. He is at the beginning, but could you ever see driving to Argos on either one. Mr.Gary, I hear, took his truck to Argos, but on petro. What was his reasoning I want something smaller than my 5,000 lb truck. Passed up a couple of Trackers, and have been concentrating on a Chev. S10 with a V6. I could put my present gassier directly in to that. I’m finding it hard to get a V6 but a lot of 2.2 L four cylinders. The 2.2 might work like Don’s Tracker on charcoal. What do you all think about the two materials. TomC


I use the following crude and approximate comparisons:

  • Wood has 50% more power than Charcoal by volume.

  • Charcoal has 50% more power than wood by weight.

  • A charcoal gasifier weighs 50% less than a wood gasifier.

  • Engine grade charcoal is 100%more difficult to make than wood chunks.

  • A wood gasifier is 100% more difficult to build than a charcoal gasifier.

  • A charcoal gasifier is cleaner, smells better and is easier to maintain.

  • Charcoal is better for a vehicle with a smaller engine (better power to weight ratio).

  • A wood gasifier is more energy efficient (unless you have a use for the excess heat given off by making charcoal).

Charcoal is a good choice if you are willing (or like) to make charcoal
and you have 50% more space to carry charcoal (on board or in trailer) or are only doing short runs.
and are willing to refill more often.


Hello Mr. Tom .

You are correct , I once was on the dark side before seeing the light ( Bruce , Gary , Don and Dave just joking :grinning:)

For small applications where weight and space needs to be limited ( lawn mower , small gen sets , bikes and small vehicles ) I think I would go with char .

I agree will all Bruce said .

For the bigger units I will never go back to char .

I am about to hook the cattle trailer ( about 5,000 lb empty ) to my truck and take cattle to market . Very routine passing up all the petrol stations :blush:


Yes Bruce, you nailed it; couldn’t have said it better!