Vw golf on coal gas

I took a look at the coal I made and the epilogue is.

The cans on the sides don’t get enough heating (one can hard almost no carbonization)
Big logs is much harder to turn into coal then “sticks”.
Paper in the can seems to isolate and prevent the wood to reach the right temperature.
Dust mask and gloves would not be to bad.

Retorting and insulation and some way to use the excessive heat would make charcoal making a bit more useful.

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I will post a flare tomorrow, but I don’t think I will mount this system on my car, because it is not so big and well designed.

I want to use this car as my daily driver and I think that a wood gasifier would be more suited for my needs.
My reasoning is.
I can make wood cubes in much less time then charcoal and with less work (big plus!).
I don’t need water injection for wood that will freeze.

I do however think charcoal is the rightway for a higher powered non daily driver car as the high turndow ratio and low suction/vacuum design would be great for high power levels.

The next question is if I should go with the Imbert design or WK (or something else?) for this little vw car?
Keep in mind that I will have limited possibility of preheating and room on this little car.

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Jim; I’m going a little off base. A charcoal gasifier is the most practical for a ‘‘car’’. I have been at this since before WK book so I am all about Imberts. I recently took my Imbert apart to make modifications. I unscrewed the nozzles which left over sized holes where each nozzle had been. Then out came every thing in the fire tube— restriction, reduction bell, grate. It looked something like the inside of a WK fire tube. I decided to finish off making it into a WK --kind of. I left the big holes where each nozzle was and I made a large restriction ring that got mounted way down to the bottom of the fire tube. Then tried it out. My truck ran like a jack rabbit. Keep in mind I had NONE of the preheat stuff. After a couple hundred miles, I cleaned out and checked the tube. I found spider cracks around the nozzle holes-- the start of what happened to the WK’s. They have a solution, but I just went back to my Imbert. So far my Imbed rebuild is no where near the WK performance. TomC

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Hi Tom, if you build some heat shields and place them around the nozzles that would protect the nozzle area.
Bob

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Yes Bob. That is kind of what I was talking about “there are corrections”. In my case I thought that I would have to go to a larger diameter tube to accomodate the shields. It still might happen. TomC

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Did the car run like a jackrabbit because for the gasifier lacked prehating or what do you think?

Did it make tar free gas?

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If you have a source of wood chips and generally dry weather, making engine grade charcoal can be pretty easy. I classify chips between 1" and 3/8" screens, then pyrolyze dry chips in a 30 gallon fan assisted TLUD stove. All of my other retorts and kilns are sitting idle since I found this method. I live in New Hampshire where the local tree trimming guys deliver hardwood chips just to have a place to dump them.

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From this experience I personally have concluded that the WK design is much better than the Imbert style. Many people have used the entire WK design right down to using a Dodge Dakota V8 truck. As far as I know, these all have been able to run up in the 70 mph range. I only have experience driving my own truck with Imbert style gasifiers and I have been hard pressed to run 55 mph. Most of the Imberts have been built in Europe and they quite often speak of running 60 to 65 but they generally are reporting in Kilometers/hour.
What I think about “preheat”? I’m going to get a lot of rebuttle , but I think “heat” is good. Wheather you put it in from an outside source (engine) or maintain it within the system ( isulation, preheat,etc). BUT, I do question whether it is worth all the work that the WK design goes through. On this run, the air went from atmosphere to an air manifold, which did receive some heat from the produced gas, through the nozzles. That was it and the truck ran like a jack rabbit.
This was a very very short test, so all I can say about “tar” is— I saw no signs of it. Just good gas.
I mentioned this test run because I know you won’t have room for a full blown WK. You don’t want to do charcoal (Gilmore Simplefier). But you talked about doing an Imbert. The point of this “test” was having something the size of an Imbert, that from this, produced superior results. TomC

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What is the difference between WK and Imbert?

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If I’m correct so does it use lower vacuum to pull gas, the air flows more from the nozzles then blowing with high velocity as the imbert does.

It looks simplified like a FEMA with a sealed hopper on top of it.

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TomC.
North Dakota driver John Stout reported the same zoom, zoom upping once he WK-ized his hearth core system even without the ultra preheating too.
Just saying.
S.U.

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JimH,
True on the internal velocity comparisons.
A bit more complex that just that though.
The WK adds in zones fixing air jets. A tune-able restriction hole. “Choker plate”.
The Imbert has a small volume active area. Everything MUST march through Just-In-Time.
The WK a large volume possible active area. Lot of reserve Time, Heat, char, etc.
S.U.

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I think the firetube-air preheating on a WK shuldnt actualy be concidered as a preheat. Its just a heat circulation. Air gets hot yes, but from the heat stolen from the hearth. So it is stealing heat from the reaction zone then giveing it back via air. Not gaining any energy, not loseing any energy BUT protecting the firetube of catastrofic heat failiure. And, it adds to the heat flywheel effect when gas demand slows down (idle), helping the reaction zone not to suffocate with volitiles.

The exterior heat exchanger is a different story. But, that works the same for any gasifier.

So Tom, as long as the firetube is protected from heat, l see no reason why it shuldnt work. There are cheramic wool WKs that work fine from what l read from you guys, and l am sure those wuld work just the same with no firetube fins at all.

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To me it seems that Wayne Keith thought carefully about ‘turn-down ratio’, and thus was able to make a wood gasifier that makes tar free gas in the variable conditions that an automobile engine creates.
Imbert gasifiers might be a little better in ‘steady state’ conditions.

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I was reading though this thread and began wondring if I did get the terminology of “runing like a jack rabbit” right.

Runing like a jack rabbit is a bad thing? Or did it mean that the car was very fast til the cracks in the nozzles arose?

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Jim; “Running like a jack rabbit” to me means very swift–a good thing. TomC
PS Up to this year we had a football (American style) coach named Holmgren for our Green Bay Packers. They are a professional team. Any relation?:thinking: TomC

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You say the ceramic blanket in place of the finns around the burn tube worked well, the 4.3 chevy s10 i had worked well as you said , the turn down ratial at shut down, would cool down allmost too fast for restarts, without petro after about 5 minuts. ware as my Wk v8 truck would restart and drive after sitting maybe 15 minuts. Once running down the road the ceramic blanket worked good at idle or full speed, I would say the down side of ceramic blanket is the dust that rolls off the stuff while putting it around the burn tube, and or the posible heath risk involved, in the ash pit cleaning. I dont know about the blanket stiffening or the cements, i havent used them as of yet , THOUGH the blanket stiffeners would help limit the dust particle risk.

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That makes more sense then what I originally Thought.

I don’t think he’s a relative, I have some relatives living in Florida but I don’t know much about them.

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Kevin, ‘‘the ceramic blanket in place of the finns around the burn tube’’ If this means around the outside of the burn tube, where the fins are normally welded on, it won’t work. It would hold all the heat at the nozzles, and burn tube.

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I guess I started this ceramic conversation and I wasn’t clear. Instead of a heavy steel tube-- I am talking about, and I think Don Mannes did, was to take like a 5 gallon bucket , drill 10 holes around the outside and stick 10 pieces of 1/2 in. water pipe, 2 inches long through the holes protruding into the inside of the bucket. Put some sort of manofold arond the bucket on the outside to feed air to the pipes. Then take 2 inch ceramic wool and line the inside of the bucket, leaving the tips of the 1/2 in. pipes just barely sticking through the wool. Cut the bottom out of the bucket and leave a small edge for the restriction to sit in. Drop the bucket into a 30 gal grease drum and you can figure it from there.
Sorry I was so vague, but if you had been following the other guys that have already done this you would have understude. I don’t know what Kevin did that he replaced the fins with wool. TomC

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