Hello All, im a new member and just started researching wood gas. I see here on the forums people using wood gas to run diesel engines. I have been a diesel tech for many years and my question is if your completely getting rid of the diesel how is the mechanical injection pump lubricated so it doesnt sieze up? I am assuming you dont need the injectors or fuel pump anymore can you just remove those parts so they arent ruined by running with no lubrication? Also not sure how the timing is controlled then with no pump or injectors. ( Just sucks in your fuel through the intake valves and when a certain compression is achieved it lites? Doesnt sound like a timed injection but im sure im missing something. Thanks
Patrick Johnson on the forums here converted a diesel generator to run his sawmill in Africa. You should be able to find his videos here or on youtube. He let the diesel return from the injection pump and kept track of the amount that it actually used. He has since moved out of Africa.
Here is a link for the youtube video…Woodgas powered sawmill, Cummins 6BTA running on wood gas - YouTube
So to answer your question, unless you convert the engine to spark ignition, you are not getting rid of the diesel fuel system, injectors or injection pump. That is what is not obvious in the Patrick Johnson video. He is running dual fuel while measuring the amount of diesel still flowing through the injectors. Diesel fuel cools the injectors, wood gas provides over 50% of the power to the load. The wood gas fuel can make use of the high diesel compression ratio due to high octane, slow flame front of wood gas typical chemistry. (A lot of inert Nitrogen)
Some diesel engines will not work well this way, and therefore the injectors can be damaged. I am not an expert, that is how it is supposed to work!
Welcome to the forum, Kenneth! Here is another video of Patrick’s setup that explains things a bit more.
I like to think of it as running a pilot light of diesel or some other fuel oil, with woodgas being the main fuel.
Thanks much guys. That explains it alot better. I bought a 3rd edition gasifier bible on Amazon im looking forward to getting it in and start reading through to understand how it all works. Only problem i see is scrap metal is priced so crazy now i would think would be stupid expensive to build.
Welcome to the group. One skill you will polish up big time is scrounging and looking at something for not what it is but it could be.
Check out Wayne’s book have wood will travel, I have just built a system like his and came right around 550$ to build it start to finish and most of that was things like gauges blowers and pvc fittings
There was a paper published up 1960’s? 1970’s report study of a Swedish? Finn? Government/University build and long term use follow of a flat bed delivery truck and a large Ag tractor changed to duel fuel diesel and on-board woodgas.
Different types of diesel engines and injector system.
Diesel injected was the timing initiation.
The AG tractor did burn out injector tips requiring modification to a higher diesel bypass flow to cool.
Hopefully my description will joggle someone here to put up a saved pdf, or link, to this information.
Yeah, i cant wait to get started on a build (especially the troubling times we are in now).
Ha! Found it.
Chapter 3; sections 3.1 and 3.2
In our Library as FAO 72
A pdf download. Safe to download.
Is this for a generator or for a vehicle? If it’s for a vehicle I would try to find a gasoline powered one first.
If it’s a generator I understand why, gensets are expensive.
Generator for sure. After i get that hammered out i may consider trying a vehicle.
And thanks Steve. That pdf has tons of good info
Thanks Mike. Like I am very new to this whole concept. Extremely interesting though, here I am trying to put away gasoline and diesel for my generators and side by side and now seems all the fuel i need is growing around my house lol. Thanks again
And like gasoline that will go bad, the trees just get bigger and bigger around the house.
Ahhh. Spark convert and then do away with the gasoline and the diesel, eh?
Man after my own heart.
Depends on the diesel engine system though.
Here watch these videos. LISTEN to the engine.
An English David Brown 3 cylinder diesel. With a 6 cylinder Volvo ignition distributor grafted on using every other pin:
1st firing up, powering and running
Seed planting; tractor operated by his WIFE
Running a potatoes planter . . . going slow and steady. At 3:31 minutes in shows the three ignition wires distributor to engine cylinder head. Diesel injectors pulled. Adapter sleeves made up for the spark plugs.
Try his site for useable video links and explaining’s:
I just loaded up and watched these videos. Now my Windows 10 system is blocking them out. Too sad.
Push through and search up “Swedish woodgas tractor videos” to find. these real meat proofs.
My idea about how to get started was similar to yours. I started with a 1960’s genset, and I eliminated the tar variable by using charcoal as fuel. It was actually easier than I expected. A broken water heater I found on craigslist gave me most of the material I needed to make the gasifier and tlud (Top Lit Up Draft} charcoal maker.
I also like this guys approach
Videos are here:
“Wood gas tractor”, “Carbon neutral farming, seeding”, “Carbon neutral farming, planting”