Don's Geo Tracker Project - 2- - Charcoal

No Abner the hearth is 10 inches round.

1 Like

Don - Do you have a thread with the build details of the charcoal gasifier you are putting in the Tracker?

Also, over on the charcoal generator thread, you showed a picture of a charcoal gasifier that had a hearth style grate with air intake from the bottom.

Is this the same design?

Does that configuration solve the nozzle melting problem?


Yes Kyle, same design. Too early to tell how long the nozzle lasts


Is there a replaceable nozzle Don or is it just the bearing hub of a brake rotor?


It is replaceable after disassembly


That is one neat custom build ,


Here’s the gasifier build, a video slideshow.


I should have taken a lemon along on my 9 minute and 50 second ride on charcoal this afternoon to keep my smiling face from cracking, but when I got back I needed a candy bar to balance my disappointment when what was supposed to be a 9 minute and 50 second video on the video counter turned out to be corrupted. Bummer!
I learned a few things though. First my oxygen sensor does not heat up fast enough to tell me I’m rich. I had to rely on the familiar sound of the exhaust to know when to shut down the fuel pump, which was almost right away. After a couple minutes it finally registered.

Second I had to open the air butterfly further than I did with the wood burner which confirms my suspicion of an air leak somewhere in the bowels of the wood unit.

Third, I would not have needed the heat exchangers to cool the gas after the cyclones as they were cold to the touch after ten minutes on the road.

Fourth, Whatever power loss charcoal might have less than wood - if any - is made up for by reduced weight because I really could not tell the difference. 5th gear overdrive could be used as before and 55 mph at 3100 rpm was easily attained.

I will have to get used to the temp readings in relation to the probe placement and that might take a few runs to know what is normal.

So far I am very happy with the outcome. Now I just have to wait and see what breaks first. :smile:


I couldn’t be happier for you. I’m smiling also. I didn’t think you would need the furnace coolers but though you left them in for the replacement of the wood gas. Think how it would run with out those sails up in the air. Did you have a liquid additive to the nozzle? How do you feel after one run about feeding this new system> Hope I make it to Argos so we can discuss your nozzle. Still haven’t got my head around that yet. Great job!!! TomC


Congratulations Don.

You got that done in record time.

And it sounds like a very successful test.


Don I’m looking at your pictures and trying to figure it out. Is that your air intake in the ash dump? and water drip in the shaker great? or am I missing something? Very nice addition and back up unit on a very well thought out and useful rig.


Yes Jim , the pusher blower and shut off air valve is on the other end of the ash dump intake.That way I can supercharge the reaction and also shut off the air at shut down. The water drip pipe enters just below the brake rotor and puddles around the nozzle pipe where it cools the nozzle and makes steam for cooling the reaction and making hydrogen.


Or… the charcoal gas is so much better then just plain woodgas :wink: :grin:
The charcoal gasifier gas content is, by my own observations, “different” then woodgas content, mainly the Co2 content is lower and the H2 is richer…
and so much more :grin:

Could not resist this one :grin: :grin:


I wish I knew somebody with a gas analyzer.


Somehow you can DIY with your temperature probes…
How hot can you get your flame, with how much % air mixed vs calculated mixtures / diluted gas…
A kind of Archimedes solution…


I think that is a little beyond my small mind.:grin:


Well, there is another reason he may need to open the air valve further. Charcoal being a simpler process, is probably less restrictive than the woodgas system. The better the gas flows, the better the air must flow to match - and so, the valve is opened up more.

What kind of vacuum readings are you getting Don?


I forgot to look. I have a gauge only hooked up to the filter barrel. I seem to get more flare gas with one bilge blower on charcoal than I did with 3 blowers on woodgas though, so that makes sense.


I may have one from work. I will try and remember to bring it to Argos.



You said: “Somehow you can DIY with your temperature probes … How can you get your hot flame, with how much% vs Calculated air mixed concoctions / diluted gas … A kind of Archimedes solution …”
Can you explain more for slower people like me.

Thank you, Thierry