Air Carbon Fuel Cell

OK, I already have a topic going that I can place the new version that was at Argos 2016. It’ll take time to take pictures or find old ones and tell the story. Maybe a few weeks.

I can start with hydrogen peroxide used in the humidity ash pan. It was more than 3% because I spiked it with some higher stuff. At first I didn’t think it helped but later after switching to pure water it seemed like it might of helped a bit. But only some careful testing would tell the true story. We can’t make hydrogen peroxide so I see no reason to continue using it. Just something I wanted to try for a long time.


Jeff - Looking forward to the pictures.

I am especially interested in your grate design, and how well it has held up.

Is your new grate design the same as the last one, pictured above?

How thick is the refractory cement?

How many hours did you put on your previous design? Did it hold up well? How about your current design?


Hi Jeff

I just saw the video of your small carrier timber (the one made by Mike Argos in 2016)

Great little machine, it must be very effective on a wooded lot
It is the ideal tool for ecological forestry
Congratulations, I think I’ll 'm inspired to build myself


Thierry, thanks for the kind words. I’m sure most would find it too small but I can find a lot of jobs for it.

Kyle, the old grate has been used in a few versions. Maybe the last three years. One time I put it inside the producer, on top of the refractory, and it glowed red so I put it back where it belongs, outside under the bottom where it can get air cooling and moisture. Plus some ash on top of it from time to time.

The new grate is the same idea but more user friendly. The bottom of the tank is curved so the thickness of the refractory varies. Maybe 2" at the grate.

Last year I decided it was time to start counting run time so I installed an hour meter. Well, it rained at Argos last year and shorted it out. Maybe a hundred hours last year. Not much time but work gets in the way. Ask me five years from now and I’ll have a better idea.


I use an innertube for the hatch seal. I should sand it a bit where the molding lines are on the tube. It acts as a seal and a spring. Not sure if it will puff off or not but it is easy to stick your finger between it and the producer. Without the tube I needed a lid that fit the shape of the tank but with the tube I bet I could use different shapes and sizes. Maybe the part I cut out of the top of the tank.



Thought I’d take a break from the nut and bolt talk and post a video. Can’t see the flame but I started it twice.


Playing in the dirt after the start up.


Back to the new version. I’m not an engineer but I like to think of engineering as the art of compromise and this part is a compromise. I kind of like a divorced fuel Hopper.

The advantage of a non-devorced producer is that it is more compact, fuel cools and filters the gas. For me the possible disadvantage is changing engine vacuum as the fuel level changes. A burst of moisture from the fuel in the beginning of the run. Having to clean the build up of dust in the producer’s fuel more often. I’m trying to keep the reactor variable stable by doing this.

The tube between the fuel hopper and reactor passes a few inches into the reactor creating a gas space for the outlet. The incoming fuel still should be preheated by the outlet gas.


Hey Jeff just a question: Why not just create that space for the gas exit in a larger cylinder? I would think you get better heat transfer to the vessel for cooling with one container and better charcoal flow down.
Best regards, David Baillie


Hi David, I think that’s a good way to go. I just wanted to have the minimal amount of charcoal in the reactor and always the same amount. So far no problem with flow but ask me five years from now. Sweep the dust out of it as fast as possible. Keep draft resistance to the engine constant for less mixture adjustments. And have the reactor charcoal have a constant fuel weight on top of it. Just trying to have the reactor be more consistent. Cut down on as many variables that it is exposed to. Also consistent moisture in the gas stream, not a big burst at the beginning, assuming there is some moisture in the fuel.


without a shred of doubt… i like your idea…
Good thinking behind the doing…:+1:


Is there any advantage to preheating fuel when using charcoal? With wood gasifiers the moisture in wood is driven out by preheating but you do not need that with charcoal.

1 Like

Mr. Don,
Wood, charcoal, gasoline, the more heat you can put into the process without actually burning away the fuel the more efficient it will be.


Mr. Marvin,
Didn’t they used to put ice coolers on the fuel lines of carbs of race cars to get the most power?


Yes Don, back in the 70’s we coiled copper in a coffee can put dry ice in it, the theory was the cold gas was denser, and would vaporize faster hence burn more completely, more power. We called them cool cans. Al


Just did a google search, shows commercially made cool cans, didn’t know you could buy em!


Power yes, efficiency no.

Cool dense fuel or air would allow more in making more power in an engine.

In a gasifier more heat will be required to make the conversion to gasses. The heat has to come from somewhere so you’ll be burning away some wood or charcoal to produce it.

An engine (or gasifier too I think) will be more efficient the hotter it’s run right up to the point it melts down. Less power in an engine though.

We’re kind of mixing two subjects with the engine and gasifier here.


These were only used for drag racing


The point is, indeed, to use heat/energy to gasify the charcoal.
If external heat is applied, less charcoal would be wasted… but, finding efficient way’s to apply external heat is the game…, preheating with waste heat from the engine, why not, only make sure to have a correct balance :wink:

Keeping the exit temperature from the charcoal gasifier low, saves already 18 to 22%
The diameter size from the reactor and the heat pulled upwards, without radiating to much outwards, is also good for 5 to 10%
The size of the reactor, determines the descending charcoal speed not loosing to much heat by radiation and absorbs the heat sufficiently to make a low charcoal bed possible…
The sizing of the charcoal, greater surface to absorb the heat from the gas, is equal important for retaining the heat as for fast gasifying the charcoal…

Hence, based on the basics of a Gilmore, so much is possible, even simple…

Lets build some :grin:
even i like the idea to play around with Hydrogen peroxide… yumi another experiment, what could go wrong ?


You say “I just wanted to have the minimal amount of charcoal in the reactor and always the same amount”

What advantage to have a minimum amount of coal in the reactor?


1 Like