The gasifier of the future

Wood-fired gas generators are the only available method of generating energy today, in which the planet is cleansed. But this technology still has serious flaws.

History says that it was the appearance of the electric starter that gave a powerful impetus to the spread of cars. If only we could save gas generators from the factors that restrain their widespread distribution!

  1. Too large dimensions and weight. Let the whole system be the size of another fuel tank! Filters and coolers will be hidden elsewhere in the car.

  2. Complex ignition process. The client is ready to wait a few minutes, but let the gas generator ignite from the button or by timer!

  3. Heavy process of fuel loading. It would be nice to use an ordinary hose to load fuel into an ordinary tank. No smell and no back fire!

  4. Instability of the gas composition during transient modes of engine operation. Modern gasoline vehicles have long been equipped with fuel control electronics. Maybe it’s time for the gas generator to get its own Arduino?

  5. Significant loss of engine power when running on wood gas. And, probably, it is possible to make the power be even more than when working on gasoline!

My suggestions for each item:

  1. We make a gas generator like a horizontal pellet burner. With a screw feed. Small dimensions with a large gas outlet will lead to a high temperature load on the throat, grates and lances of the gasification chamber. We do all this from pipes through which we pass air for cooling. Next, we install two electrostatic precipitators. One works - the other is cleared. After a while, vice versa. After them, a gas cooler with an electric fan. A regular brass radiator should do the job. Below is a condensate drain valve. If the radiator is collapsible, it will be even better! Fuel either pellets for women and office workers, or sorted by size pieces of wood after a branch chipper. The electric shredder can be carried in the trunk.

  2. For automatic ignition, you can install a cylinder and a compressor to take gas during the operation of the gas generator. Or with an empty tank, a port to connect a small camping tank. Install the gas valve and piezo ignition in the air pipe. Make the air supply forced, as in point # 5. Discharge non-combustible gas during ignition into the exhaust pipe. Gas sampling should be done before filters and cooler. Install piezo ignition and flame control there by a temperature sensor or high voltage.

  3. Use a regular tank to store and dry fuel. And the auger of the gas generator will take fuel from here by itself. Make a monorator in this tank. With temperature control and condensate drain.

  4. After the gas generator has switched from the nominal gas extraction mode to the mode when gas is not needed, turn on the compressor and pump gas into the cylinder. With a subsequent sharp increase in gas extraction from the gas generator, add gas from the cylinder until the gas generator returns to the nominal mode. Use the same bottle and the same compressor as in point # 2 for automatic ignition of the gas generator.

  5. Install an electric turbine to pressurize the gas generator. It will require a powerful (about 2-3 kW) electric generator. You can immediately put an electric generator with a power of 5-6 kW on the car engine, and use it for emergency power supply of the house during bad weather, as well as for an electric saw and a shredder of branches during a trip over long distances. It can also be useful for powering the welding machine when repairing farm equipment right in the field.

    Perhaps someone else has ideas on how to make wood-fired cars more attractive for mass production and sales than gasoline and diesel cars.

    Either we will make a gas generator of the future, or we will suffocate from oil products and nuclear power plants (for charging electric vehicles), and then our children and grandchildren will have no future at all!

Sincerely. Marat Lysenko.

5 Likes

The EV will be the woodgas vehicle of the future. It will plug and play with off grid as technologies across the board further develop, evolve and integrate.

For me I am working to develop advanced CHP systems with charcoal gasification at the heart of the system. Combined heat is much more viable with charcoal as you use the charcoaling process for heat, hot water, cooking and ammonia based AC / refrigeration. Solid Oxide Fuel Cell technology will be employed once it eventually becomes viable to manufacture cost effectively. The SOFC will quadruple both in efficiency and power output of a typical chargas system. Todays woodgas system that produces 2.5 kW fueling an ICE will later output 10kW hours fueling an SOFC. With 1/4 the user effort: more than enough to fully power a home and support multiple EV’s especially if combined with solar. This system will eliminate the hot water heater and power robbing AC and refrigeration so the off grid system will not need to be as big as current solutions leaving more for the demand of the EV. The typical EV adopter is not going to drive more than 50 miles a day. This system will be plenty to support not just one but multiple EV’s

EV range in 10 years or less be a minimum of 600 mile with premium versions ranging beyond 1000 miles. There are already battery technologies that can do this today right now. Lithium is only a stepping stone and it will be phased out, today’s battery tech is not a permanent standard.

11 Likes

Here is my car-of-the-future, Matt!

It will run on any fuel, as long as that fuel can generate electricity. When the fire season is past, and the sun stops shining, I am going to work on getting a charcoal generator going for it. I agree that this is the way forward. I dont think woodgas could ever make much of a dent in our dependence on fossil fuel - but I do believe that biomass has a part to play in generating the power that we are going to need going forward.

I think your insight on CHP is right on the mark. So much of the energy that is produced from burning gasoline just goes out the tailpipe in the form of heat. If you could be doing that process at home and using that heat to keep the house warm, the efficiency goes way up.

As a rather mediocre engineer, I will probably never be able to achieve what a well designed system is capable of efficiency-wise. However, I do think I could probably come up with some sort of flame-cap boiler that heated my house and produced enough charcoal fuel to get me through the gray and cloudy winters.

I am not sure I believe that cars will someday have 600+ mile range unless the charging speed does not also come down. I suspect as batteries get better, charge times will improve too. Unless the cars also drive themselves, people are going to want to stop and get out more often than every 600 miles.

11 Likes

That is a fantastic build, you are a great engineer as well. Keep up the good work and innovation. This is thinking outside the box.

5 Likes

Wow, way to go!! Looking neat!!

And I think the same as you guys.

3 Likes

I like your way of thinking. I think gas producers are great, … for people who don’t mind getting their hands dirty and who like to tinker. But most people are not like us. They’re just not.
I may be mistaken, of course. But I think the fuel of the future will be dimethyl ether.
Here are a few facts about DME:

  1. Diesel substitute.
  2. Easier cold weather starting.
  3. Very low NOX so no catalytic converter.
  4. Very low particulate so no PM trap.
  5. Compresses to liquid at 75psi, so LPG tanks and equipment can be used. Read low infrastructure cost .
  6. Made from syngas. Woodgas is one type of syngas. Can come most carbon containing waste streams including MSW (garbage). Can be produced in remote locations. This will make the use of ‘stranded’ natural gas easier

My pipe dream is to see a bunch of people producing DME in sheds behind their houses. Much the way biodiesel is made. This would allow a new market to develop. People could buy and sell fuel grade DME in much the same way farm wives used to sell eggs. :grinning:
Rindert

7 Likes

Very cool and it can be used a a refrigerant!! That’s a big deal!!

4 Likes

Carl,

That is the perfect truck for my kind of errands. Did you start the electric conversion?

1 Like

Hey, I feel like we kinda hijacked this thread, so I wanted to clear my conscience and give my opinion on the original post, at the very least.

So, Marat, you have an interesting idea: namely take a century old technology and update it for the modern era. I personally think that the hurdles are going to be massive. First off, is the scale. US drivers drive like 4 trillion miles per year. National Household Travel Survey Daily Travel Quick Facts | Bureau of Transportation Statistics
That would take an astounding amount of wood. It would have to be processed, it would have to be standardized, and it would have to be distributed. Rebuilding the whole nations fueling infrastructure, and replacing all the refineries with pellet-mills would be massively expensive. The electrical grid is probably not up to a wholesale switch to EVs, but at least the groundwork is there.

I think all your points are valid - to make a mass-market wood-powered car that you could actually sell, it would have to be as good if not better than a gasoline car. But nobody on this forum is making cars to sell. The whole appeal of wood-gas is how simple the engineering is. Some people have gasified a car without even using a welder! You can literally make engine fuel in a fire-pit on your patio, and use it drive around. How cool is that?

I think if the idea of a biomass-based infrastructure is interesting to you, you should focus your research on the fuel side. I think if you crunch the numbers, you will find that it would be really expensive and that to do it renewably is going to require too much land-use change. If reducing fossil fuel usage comes at the cost of clearcutting every last tree, have you really saved the world? Anyway, I think it is an interesting idea, but I would give a wood-gas resurgence about the same odds as a whole-sale return to hydrogen-filled airships. If you want to build a car that you can fuel yourself, then you came to the right place. You will need to roll up your shirtsleeves, though, and do some honest if somewhat messy work.

Yeah, I did the whole process from start to finish. There is a link to my build thread over on an EV forum in my profile. I think I should be able to get 60 miles on a charge pretty easily. 75 might be possible, but I might be limping along at the end. I have taken it to 55mph, but I am not really sure what its top speed is. I am a little too chicken to try and find out.

5 Likes

Hey Carl nice job you did on your truck conversion, and also how you over come all the problems thrown at you to get a road legal ride !

Well done :partying_face:
Dave

3 Likes

Karl, 4 trillion miles a year is a lot of fuss. :wink: The area of the USA is 9.5 million sq. km (2.348 billion acres). Each hectare of forest gives an annual increase in timber of 10,000 kg. Corn yields are about the same. But a forest can be sown once and only branches can be collected for centuries! A kind of personal wood well. :slight_smile: That’s 22,046 pounds a year. That’s 8,921 pounds per acre of land. What is the average American wood consumption? Offer: 60 kg of firewood (equivalent to 20 liters of gasoline) per 100 km. Or 212 pounds of wood for 160 miles.

That’s it, after that I give up, - finally got confused in the translation of units. And in how the fuel consumption of cars in America is measured. Excuse me, please, then I will calculate in more familiar kilometers, hectares and kilograms.

So, to drive 6.4 trillion. km (4 trillion miles per year) need 3,862,425,600,000 kg of firewood. To get that much firewood annually, you need 386,242,560 hectares of forest. Or 3.86 million sq. km. forests. As you can see from these numbers (if I was not mistaken!) Less than half of America needs to be planted with trees. :wink: The same amount is occupied by the East Siberian taiga in Russia. If this is done in the United States, then the planet will have two full-fledged lungs for breathing. And at the same time, there is no need to change into cramped small economical cars! There is no need to build new Chernobyl and Fukushimaa for the sake of charging batteries or producing hydrogen. But then where would people get so many lemons? :wink: Probably in their greenhouses, heated and illuminated by their own gas generators.

About huge expenses. GM spent $ 1 billion on the EV-1 project. The result is zero! If we came home and told our family that we spent the same amount of money and got the same result, then we would learn a lot of new things about ourselves! And they would have learned for themselves a lot of new obscene words. :wink: And our relatives would be absolutely right in their assessment of our mental abilities! Corporations and governments are very inefficient ways of managing huge resources. The worst idea is to collect huge amounts of money somewhere and not check how it is spent.

At the same time, if several masters of new types of transport make a mistake, then the losses for humanity will be insignificant. In addition, other masters can always come to their aid. These are not billions of dollars.

I am sure that everything can be done completely free of charge, without government and without large corporations. When 386,242,560 Americans take over 2.5 acres of land to live in their home, on their own land, with their own garden, vegetable garden, small forest and lake, in order to leave behind a piece of beautiful paradise for centuries for their descendants , then there will be no problems with obtaining electricity and fuel for travel! All this will come when people understand that the main meaning of human life is the Perfecting of the Habitat. And what else could the beloved children of the Creator of the Universe be created for?

And these are not my empty fantasies. In many countries, people are already creating Genus Estates. Uniting in the Settlements of the Genus Estates. It’s just that Russia, Ukraine and Belarus have the most of them today. And people are closely faced with the issues of energy supply, because they often choose vacant land. No roads, no power lines. Among the pristine nature.

I think that no one will think of completely cutting out their forest in order to sell it as fuel for passing travelers. You can offer your sorted and dried fuel, as well as your apples and goat milk. :wink:

But the beauty of the forest is that even after a fire, it quickly recovers. Or it is not recovers, and then this land becomes very affordable for purchase and improvement for the sake of themselves and their descendants by more thrifty owners.

GenusEstateLysenko

This is what will remain, for example, after me. Our Genus Estate is highlighted in green. A lake with a volume of 600 cubic meters, in the shape of a heart, I dig with a shovel and bring it out with a garden wheelbarrow. With thoughts of myself and my descendants. A forest will grow north of this lake. There will be a hedge around the entire plot to protect the entire plot from the cold. And also to retain moisture in the plot. Also, this heart will be our personal resort and fire-fighting reservoir.

Earlier, when we lived in a big city, I managed to make an adapter plate for an asynchronous motor, for installation in my first, small, lightweight and economical car. All that remained was to buy batteries, a charger and a frequency converter. Now I understand that I will never have my own factory for the production of batteries, solar panels and wind turbines! When my eldest son bought a car that was 2 times bigger and more gluttonous, it turned out that it was much more convenient and that I no longer wanted to drive small cars. In addition, we really need a machine to collect feed for our goats. The tractor is not suitable for many reasons. In time it will be a big, frame SUV! What kind of batteries are there? Thank God I am not Rockefeller. My tasks are enough for me.

Where we live there are no problems with free branches. There are very few neighbors near us. But when the descendants want to plant greenery in the desert, I don’t even know from which side to approach such a task! At least we have fuel in abundance. It remains to be done the gas generator.

Freedom for me is when I have my own food, from my plot (for in order for plants to not only be food, but also to heal the flesh, they must have information about a specific person. How does this work - ask the Author of all things!) … And also I must have my home and my energy. If for the sake of these basic needs I have to go for someone to work (especially during the next economic or pandemic crisis), then I feel like a slave.

Maybe someone will offer to refuel with electricity, or hydrogen, or dimethyl ether or biodiesel, but the one who offers cheaper and more environmentally friendly fuel will win the market. And what could be cheaper than something that grows everywhere free of charge, and requires a minimum cost of processing into a convenient form?

In the end, it is possible a small team to produce kits for converting certain gasoline cars into modern and convenient gas generating cars. As they do now for converting cars into electric vehicles.

7 Likes

This is a lovely imaginary world you have created, but I still think it is a fantasy. I am not going to sink too much time into refuting you, because I do believe there might be a way this would work. However, I stand by my assessment that it never will.

For one thing, 4 trillion miles is only Passenger miles. It does not take into account freight and other commercial vehicles. I am not sure how much that adds, but to switch to wood is going to take a major increase to truck all the wood from the areas that are rich in it to the places people live and use motor fuel.

America is Huge! It is also about 10% desert. Much of the forest is in remote, mountainous areas. There are vast plains with very little timber. A quick search said about 33% of our land area is forest. So, if we need to get to 50% (Just to cover passenger miles), without converting farmland, we will need to plant all the deserts and make much better use of marginal lands.

Also, you throw out a figure for biomass growth, but is that an average or a best case scenario? Anyone who has been hiking in the mountains can tell you that the trees are small, and they grow SLOW. If you are then going to use 100% of that yearly growth, you are in effect going to completely scratch out the carbon capturing ability of the entire forest! Since we need not only to reduce our carbon emissions, but also start clawing back some of what has been released; this idea strikes me as being counter productive.

Anyway, its your day dream, so dont let me tell you that you are doing it wrong :grinning:

If I was going to wave a magic wand and make the world into a better place, I would start with cities that did not clog up with cars every day, and one where the idea of people driving trillions of miles each year would be considered obscene. People could walk to work, or ride their bikes if the weather was nice. If they wanted to go visit friends or relatives, they would hop on high speed electric trains and sit and sip coffee while they watched the farms and forests and solar power arrays whiz past. To me, a different fuel for cars is not the solution; it is simply perpetuating the problem: Cars themselves!

7 Likes

Well written and stated MaratL.

There is a USofA map graphically showing in area blocks the percentages of USA land mass committed to what uses; and purposes.
I still search for a down load link to that.
You and oregonCarl are essentially saying the same things but coming from different social/cultural historic back grounds. Russian centralism->Soviet super centralism->to State/Republics . . . still too much centralization. Cities are always central-centric. Justifing thier size and growths to “make-better”.
Versus USA historic take-a-risk fiercely individualistic now being dragged kicking and screaming towards centralization. Urbanization. Citification.
Yours; oregonCarls; mine/ours; and many here on the DOW, Rural-choice living situations are really quite similar.

So here is where you are both wrong . . . . thinking still in terms of “for others”. Futurist insistence. Be a Here and Now.
Screw those who want to shitty(city) squat in their collective-social-Matrixes. For “cultures”. For Entertainments. For perceived “safeties”. Crime? Noise and air pollutions? Diseases spreaders events? Officious regulations insisters? This is NOT a safe environment.

In truth a family only needs 5 acres/2 hectare-acres to supply your foods and basic energy needs in temperate fertile lands. Less fertile areas, with less rains, and more mountainous and rocky grounds then 4X to 10X that Five-for-Freedom will be needed.
And yes: wheel barrows are the best low level tools. Sweat for health.
I’ve done the mini-trucks . . . . ok but . . . somewhat limited.
Much, much better small-land usability in a larger 2 wheel drive full sized pickup truck.
If you are only going to only have one motor vehicle Rural living: make it a 2200 pounds (1000 kg) load capable pickup truck.

Regards
Steve unruh

9 Likes

Was all thumbs upping you until we got to the 2 wheel drive part Steve. May as well cut off one of your legs.

1 Like

While I am sure some people like the thought of living the lifestyle that this implies, I suspect that the vast majority of people today would not.

I was not trying to tell people how I think they should live - only making the observation that since people are currently flocking to the cities, maybe they should at least be nice cities. I do not like the idea of living cheek and jowl with a bunch of other people, but if I had to, I would at least like there to be a lot of parks and greenspace and be able to walk to a bar and the grocery store. If I was going to have to go to a city job, I would not want to have to spend an hour each way stuck in traffic. Much nicer to stroll through the park, or ride on a dedicated bike lane.

I think the automobile is likely a technology that will never really go away, but I do think that we drastically over-rely on them. I am incredibly lucky to live on 80 acres, but still only be 5 miles from a town of 50,000 people. If I was really dedicated, I could make do without a vehicle at all. The thing I would probably miss most of all would be my wife and child, though, when they moved somewhere more convenient :grinning: As for living in the here-and-now, I am trying to slowly work my way towards a version of what you are talking about. It turns out it is an awful lot of work to grow all your own food! With a little more trial and error I think I will be able to get charging infrastructure to cover the usage of an electric vehicle. Mostly with sun, but maybe some biomass will help. The nice thing with electric is that it will have no problem charging in town.

7 Likes

No you do not have to read the 26 minute article.
The USofA land-use resource map load immediately up.
Apologies for the many advertisements sponsored presentation.

Interesting map, eh.
Maple syrup land-use is the same as Golf courses.
I’m in the Rural housing category. We had been in the Private Family Timberland category before harvest, and land sales taking us down to 5 acres.
Steve Unruh

3 Likes