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Generators & Motors General Discussion Antique Generators, Light Plants and Old Electric Motors: Questions and answers about restoring and showing old power generation systems.

Generators & Motors General Discussion

Wood Gasification


Hopefully this isn't too far of the intent of this site?? Does anyone have experience with wood...

this thread has 18 replies and has been viewed 6074 times

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  #1  
Old 12-11-2003, 08:17 PM
Tom Ritter
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Default Wood Gasification

Hopefully this isn't too far of the intent of this site?? Does anyone have experience with wood gasification?

I'm thinking of producing a wood gasification system to supply a gas motor tractor Farmall C or John Deere A that drives a PTO based generator.

I feel a need to develop a self-sufficient energy source and this seems to be the most realistic solution.

All comments/suggestions welcomed.

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2003, 10:45 PM
greg m.
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

I have some experience in alternative power solor and wind. a friend claimed to have had the small truck from mother earth news that ran on wood gasification he claimed the process totally destroyed the engine. caustic perhaps. Good luck! Greg M.
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  #3  
Old 12-11-2003, 10:52 PM
Don C. Wiley
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

Tom;

Try: "GOOGLE" and type in wood gasification, you will get more information than you can digest as well as units to buy. If that isn't what you want try this link.

I hope you enjoy a lot of hard work. Best of luck with your endeavor.




Gengassidan
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2003, 10:47 PM
John McPherson
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

Actually, the US government investigated wood gassification techniques in the 1970's, and powered a JD A.

Lindsay publishing has a number of books on gasification techniques- most from WWII era, but the technology is still applicable today.

Alternately here are afew sites that should be of interest to you: http://www.gengas.nu/byggbes/index.shtml http://ww2.green-trust.org:8383/woodgas.htm
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  #5  
Old 12-22-2003, 01:13 AM
Richard W.
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

The US gov. has a free book that they tell you how to do it. I have the book, but I can't find it right now. A guy was actually selling them on ebay for a while. You might try emailing them on the link below.


http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/
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  #6  
Old 12-22-2003, 05:10 PM
John McPherson
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

If the book you refer to had photo's of a John Deere with a pair of garbage cans stacked end to end, on one side of the front end- That information is online at one of the links I mentioned.

It is possible that there is another different book available from the GSA, but I am highly doubtful as any references to "alternative fuels" these days has come to mean hydrogen, solar, and wind only.- Kyoto protocols, which Bill Clinton did sign an Executive Order accepting them for government purposes, kind of put an end to suggestions of "lowly citizens" burning wood, or other renewable resources....

Lindsay Publications is probably one of the better sources for gassifier information.
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2003, 07:31 PM
Joseph Turrisi
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

According to FEMA that publication is no longer avaiable from the wise all knowing goverment.
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  #8  
Old 12-23-2003, 08:45 PM
Harvey Teal
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

Gentlemen, the info from the Gengas page really is legitimate. I have used wood gasification for years to run engines, generators, and motor vehicles. It requires some work and exhibits certain dangers, but it has worked since the turn of the century. I'm not saying that it is CONVENIENT. If you wait a few more years, somebody will invent a convenient alternative to gasoline. But hold on to your wallets!!!! In the interim, wood gas can serve as a reliable source for alternative power. I had intended to demonstrate a gengas setup at the 2003 shows, but well, you know.....I ran out of time.....
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  #9  
Old 01-04-2004, 09:32 PM
John McPherson
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

No one is saying that the wood gassifier method will not work, and from all indications in the thread, there is no disputation of the method, just who control's the sources of information.

I only said that the government no longer views any form of organic fuel combustion to be acceptable in the eyes of the Kyoto protocols.

The reality is that you can even run power generation off of your septic vent pipe too, you just need to remove the water and accumulate the methane in a manner that you can utilize later for running the engine for an extended period of time.
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2004, 06:39 PM
Richard W.
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

""The reality is that you can even run power generation off of your septic vent pipe too, you just need to remove the water and accumulate the methane in a manner that you can utilize later for running the engine for an extended period of time. ""

------------

Do you have anymore info on this?

Richard W.
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  #11  
Old 01-07-2004, 02:46 PM
John McPherson
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

Lindsay Publications is the most likely place to have any amount of what is considered readily available "print" information. There is not a lot in print right now because this is really not an active area of alternative energy research because of the limitations of adaptable technology. Not to mention in many areas the regulatory bodies that be take a dim view of inhibiting or modifying septic systems as it is too readily viewed as an "improper" modification and therefore not acceptable to UBC's.

Few people who have tested the technology have really taken the time to write a concise practical approach or method of application, and most of what I have seen has left a lot to be desired. If you used approximately the same collection method as the old Acetylene generators using the septic tank as the gas source rather than Calcium Carbide, you can realistically expect enough gas to be collected to operate a 3.5 horsepower engine at a modest speed. The real problem is the amount of water vapor present in the collected gas is quite high. You also need to have a low "cut-in" speed generator so you do not stall the engine, and realize that it is only adequate for charging batteries andnot powering a house. At least what I have seen so far.

I know of at least one US city that is operating modest power generation facilities utilizing the gasses captured from a trash landfill, and the equipment has had some problems. The listed email address I have here has not been working, and that ISP is being taken to task for it. However I will see if I can get a few specifics on the amount of power generated from the lanifll operation.

Over the years I have encountered many theoretical, and or poorly written "practical applications" in use. Most of those were from British or Australian sources but nothing was written well enough to be considered guidelines beyond what common sense should indicate. I hope to be able to get a number of other matters out of the way this year so that I can try to get a few things constructed and tested and hopefully published.
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  #12  
Old 01-08-2004, 12:42 AM
Franz
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

Waste Management Corp has been generating electricity for over 20 years using landfill gass, and that is basicly the same methane generated in sewage in a septic tank. http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/news/archive/biz_6813588.shtml

In India, gas accumulators are connected to digesters that consume all forms of dung, and the methane is used to operate small gas cooking burners. The biggest problem with methane generated from dung is the amount of water vapor in the gas, and when that problem is solved, production hog farms and cattle feed lots will be operating the technology.
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  #13  
Old 01-08-2004, 01:11 AM
Richard W.
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

The City of Portland has a generator on one of it's sewage treatment plants in N. Portland. There is quite a bit of methane produced at a treatment plant.

The land fill in Oregon city had a generator for years on a small land fill. I don't know if they moved it or not. There is a new home depot sitting there now. I know they had to put in a bunch of vent pipes before laying the foundation and parking lot. I am really curious about the septic tank methane collection system. When more info is available let us know.

Richard W.
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  #14  
Old 01-08-2004, 01:08 PM
Franz
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

It's nice to know there are smart people some place in government. Rochester, NY burns over 2000 gallons of fuel oil a day to dry sludge, and flares off millions of cubic feet of methane at the same plant. When it was suggested the methane could be burned to dry the sludge, the political hacks running the system refused to even consider such a concept. 20 miles away, in the same time frame, Waste Management Corp drilled into an old landfill to power a pair of Cat generators. Naw, it couldn't have anything to do with the RIGHT people making money off the deal.
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  #15  
Old 01-08-2004, 09:00 PM
John McPherson
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

It might have something to do with certain "special interests" who shall remain nameless too....

It is New York after all.
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  #16  
Old 01-08-2004, 09:06 PM
John McPherson
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

Not only is that aproach in use in India, but also some areas in Africa. However, no one in those areas in either geographic area have taken the time to write a decent treatise on the that subject so it amounts to only indirect references and vague outlines.

The drying part is fairly easy to accomplish if you have an efficient manner of compressing the accumulated gas for storage purposes, but actually drying enough of it at any given time without a compressor of a sort is another matter.
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  #17  
Old 01-28-2004, 12:42 PM
Jim Taylor
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

As far as drying the accumulated vapor how abut having a chiller unit in the airstream? The old theory of "As moisture forms on the side of an Iced Tea glass", of course it would take energy to run the referageration system to cool and condense the moisture. I was involved in a serious study of producing methane gas to be used as an alternative fuel source "way back" in the early 80's when everyone was concerned about the fuel shortages. There were reports and pictures of using everything from steel tanks (to withstand the pressure) to covering a pit containing a slurry mix of manure and warm water with a plastic sheet, such as seen covering a ensilage pit in farming country. People were trying to solve the problems of the time lag between batches of "product" since it takes about 14 days for a new batch of manure to start producing a useful ammount of methane, which will then continue to produce until about the 24-25th day. Needed to keep the slurry warm also since the anerobic bacteria (works in the absence of oxygen) produces the max ammount of methane at up to 105 deg F. Above 105 deg the helpful bacteria will be killed by the high temp. The anerobic bacteria will start producing at about 96 deg if I remember correctly.. This is getting to long winded so I will cut to the punch line (no joke). Consider the human body. Shovel in some hydrocarbons, mix with some liquid to form a slurry, exclude the oxygen, keep at a nice warm 98.6 deg, and in a short time methane gas will errupt from the "product vent hole". Now you have a continuous gas producer. The basic problem -is it it worthwhile? You would need to have access to a large producer of manure, such as a dairy, almost a endless supply of almost free labor, either a costly compressor and storage system or a huge bag (like a diragable-blimp) to store the gas. This system, like most of the FREE FUELS ideas are great in theory but are very expensive to put into operation.
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  #18  
Old 01-28-2004, 10:33 PM
Franz
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

Manure, including human, is already in production making electricity at many sites around the country. With the advent of "Green Power" for witch customers pay an extra charge every month has enabled a lot of these plants to come on line, especially when combined with the proven small generators from Capstone Turnine. http://www.jgpress.com/BCArticles/2002/030236.html
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  #19  
Old 03-03-2004, 02:08 PM
John McPherson
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Default Re: Wood Gasification

While many countries subsidize the larger operations, the ideal plan would not require such subsidies. Subsidies often are used as an incentive to get "low yield" into development and use. That should not be a prerequisite.

My own interest in biomass gassification/methanol/ethanol production is strictly economic- but economic independance. With the pending threats of outrageous fuel prices this summer, and for the foreseeable future, I am looking for the "homegrown" solution, as I would guess a number of fellow readers are too.

The suggestion of a chiller is not practical because the amount of energy required to operate it when added to the energy required to get the material to the stage where it is being gassified, you have effectively lost ground by putting in more energy cost than you are recovering.

That was the limiting factor in alcohol production from any other material than corn. The corn that goes to an ethanol plant also has oil and other compounds prior to or simultaneously to the ethanol production, and the mash that is left over is fed to cows. so it is relatively economically profitable, even without subsidies from states and federal government agencies. What drives the price per gallon of ethanol above that of gasoline is more a factor of the amount of fuel to plant and harvest as well as transport of the corn. ADM and others have made money on this because of the other related productions that happen with the same corn- in their terms- "Value Added Production". But this is not practical for individuals.

Methanol is not as kind to synthetic materials as ethanol is, but if more people knew how to produce it and run the engines that are capable of running on methanol, or harvesting methane off of septic systems, it would help a lot of people in areas where such an application becomes less expensive than running on gasoline.

Thus, the simpler the device the better,
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