Wood Burning El Camino

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Hughlysses, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

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    Just found this vid on the "That'll Buff Out Blog" (http://cars.failblog.org/)

    <object style="height: 390px; width: 640px">


    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/wZdPkrghUZM?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" height="390" width="640"></object>

    Apparently it's a wood gasifier supplying combustion gas for a blown 350 small block Chevy. Pretty impressive engineering.
    #1
  2. FXRocket

    FXRocket Phoneticide Squad

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    Yeah, the instructions to build one used to be in the FEMA manual...

    Here are some others
    I like this vintage unit..



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    #2
  3. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    That's some cool shit. I wonder if it could be set up to power my RV?
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  4. TopDeadCenter

    TopDeadCenter Been here awhile

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    Post war europe had wood burning tractoors along the same lines. rationed petrol and all. Neat idea. wonder if the gassifying unit could be made smaller. Looks as if you are running a mobile still.

    TDC
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  5. FXRocket

    FXRocket Phoneticide Squad

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    You can build a unit to run a common generator!
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  6. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    Didn't click the vids, but gasification systems are more common than ya think. One guy in Missouri claimed to be able to get 5000 miles/cord of wood in his truck. Pretty interesting/cool.

    ..and here's a BMW sidecar rig. :lol3

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, they did that on that crappy Discovery channel show about post-apocalyptic survival.
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  7. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    On the subject of gasification, it's actually possible to do it to more than just wood. One guy in the midwest (forgot where exactly, Iowa?) gasifies old tires. He's able to extract a gas and a liquid. Both of which are a combustible fuel.

    Many of these operations are much like distilling moon-shine and the equipment is similarly simple; a burner and some pipes. For me, it's just another project to get around to.
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  8. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    googled gasification of tires. There's plenty of stuff , I watched a couple of u-tubes .
    They turn old tires into carbon black and a oil that can run diesel engines.
    Why isn't this more widespread?
    I didn't see how eficent the process was, but in one film they claimed the process to be non-polluting.
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  9. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    Hmm....

    Well I think overall if you are burning rubber and ending up with carbon and fuel... and no byproducts... That's one thing.

    But we all know rubber has lots of sulphur in it. That's part of vulcanizing rubber. So in one of those products, there is sulphur, and I would imagine in the combustion of it you get all those wonderful dioxides and such.
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  10. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    Think of the petrol lobbyists.. now, where are the gasification lobbyists?

    There's an entire infrastructure established on every city block for the former, none for the latter.

    I don't know what else to say without getting this tossed to CSM.. :lol3
    #10
  11. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

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    Anyone else remember seeing a movie from the ~1960's with a school bus fueled by a coal gasifier? IIRC, it was set on an island in the Pacific during WWII. A bunch of orphans were trying to evade the invading Japanese and this bus was their means of transport. One kid sat on the roof of the bus near the back and fed coal to the gasifier to keep the bus running. I also remember the bus didn't run too well (very erratic engine speed, lots of misses and backfires) but that may have been Hollywood over-dramatization.
    #11
  12. Orange Toaster

    Orange Toaster Been here awhile

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    All of Europe used this technology for cars and trucks, etc. during WW2 and for a while after. Fuel was primarily for the warfare. Doctors and other important civil services could get fuel as well, but for the commoners it was gas.

    /OT
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  13. The Cyclops

    The Cyclops Long timer

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    Thats really cool. I am going to have to do a little more reading on the subject, wondering what the makeup is of the gas and why it couldn't be compressed and kept in a smaller tank on a car. If the oil companies have me killed, somebody expose the truth....:D
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  14. Icewalker

    Icewalker Conundrum

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  15. Lesharoturbo

    Lesharoturbo Nerdly Adventurer

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    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!.
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  16. Icewalker

    Icewalker Conundrum

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    Neat idea on the waste gas. Do you have anymore info on it?
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  17. Lesharoturbo

    Lesharoturbo Nerdly Adventurer

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    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.
    #17
  18. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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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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  19. Les Peterson

    Les Peterson Been here awhile

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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. :D
    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.
    #19