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Old 10-04-2012, 06:40 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Lesharoturbo View Post
Wood gas was a primary source of gas for the old "gas light" days with gas plants in every neighborhood in some areas. This was before the discovery of natural gas and propane. I actually visited a brownfield site in NJ that was an old wood gas generation site.

The gas can be cleaned and compressed from what I understand. There is not a lot of information on this branch of the wood gas community though.

Another neat idea is waste gas from a partially closed compost pile. I was involved in a project that turned a landfill into a gas generation site (and a solar farm). The gas was piped to a Coca-Cola facility where they burned it for electricity and hot water. The site was guaranteed to produce enough gas to feed 2 3MW generators for 20 years!.
Neat idea on the waste gas. Do you have anymore info on it?
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:53 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Icewalker View Post
Neat idea on the waste gas. Do you have anymore info on it?
There is a little information on the web, but most composters are trying NOT to produce methane. Methane is produced by anaerobic decomp, so the compost would have to be sealed to some degree and not disturbed by turning. I have been researching this, but have not found any definitive answers.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:20 AM   #18
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From what I read (somewhere - I forget) one of the problems with wood gasification used in ICEs is that the gas is rather acidic and this has an effect of the internal parts of the engine, especially the combustion chamber with regards to longetivity.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:08 AM   #19
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One of the biggest problems with this style of gasifacaiton is this method. To make this work a system will consume 40-60% of the feed material to make the syngas. This syngas is what is powering the mechanical process we see in these vidios. FYI the energy density for most "good" syngas systems is only about 320 BTU per cubic foot of syngas. Compare that to the BTU's of methane at 1013.2 and you get the picture. This pictured system is not a good syngas system, they are producing at least 40% CO2. Carbon dioxied in the combustion chamber is an energy robber, as in it takes heat away from combustion and when heating up displaces snygas and air. A person could help this some by using NOS or even liquid O2 if brave enough.
Someone mentioned that sulphur was a problem here. That is true to some extent but, the bigger problem is chloride compounds. All cellulosic material will have some chlorides in it along with the sulphur. This chloride is what produces the HCL or hydrogenchloride gas i.e. acid. Without a scrubber system installed then yes this causes major problems for the internal combustion engine, the piping, the compressor and whatever it touches.
I would love to see this technology more mobile but the engineering hurdles are huge. For instance, a 1megawatt sytem with all the EPA regulated items covered would require 7 semi trucks to move around. Not an option for the normal person.
Another way to gasify something would be to use the wood to fire a POX chamber. POX is partial oxidation where the oxygen and nitrogen is limited and controlled to optimize the production of syngas and minimize the production of CO2 and NOS compounds. If the POX reactor is kept hot enough (between 1100-1400 C) then the sulphur plates out on the walls and pipes as elemental sulphur and causes little harm. The HCL can be scrubbed with a simple sodium hydroxide liquid scrubber and kept at atmospheric pressure.
Maybe someday I will build me a syngas fired generator. A free fuel source would be required though as the cap cost to build something like this would be huge. A good blend of fuel would be to use wood, plastic (not PVC though) and shredded tires. Then I would install a waste heat recovery system to heat my home and shop and hot water. The syngas could also be used for cooking and firing the primary hot water heater and backup gas furnace for heating the house.
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