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Alternative Fuels An energy source alternative to using fossil fuels. Materials or substances that can be used as a fuel, other than conventional fuels. Waste oils, vegetable oils or animal fats, which can be used alone, or blended with fossil fuels.

Alternative Fuels

Wood gas in an Onan 2 cylinder genset? Any JXQ-10A?


Is anyone feeding a 2 cylinder Onan genset with woodgas? I am in the process of setting one up. ...

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Old 12-07-2009, 09:38 AM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Wood gas in an Onan 2 cylinder genset? Any JXQ-10A?

Is anyone feeding a 2 cylinder Onan genset with woodgas?
I am in the process of setting one up.

I'd also want to know if anyone in this forum is using the Chinese gasifier, the JXQ-10A to make the gas.

http://www.spaco.org/Woodgas/Woodgas.htm

Pete Stanaitis
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:03 PM
MacCutty MacCutty is offline
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Default Re: Wood gas in an Onan 2 cylinder genset? Any JXQ-10A?

Hi Pete,
I built several wood gasifiers and fed the gas into a 4 cyl Kohler, 12 hp Wisconsin and 6 hp B&S. There is a guy named "Ben" at http://victorygasworks.ning.com/ that has the best diy system I have ever seen. He has great videos that pretty much go over every aspect of building, testing and operating. I believe Ben and I have run into the same results. After years of work he is still working on minimizing "tar". He states his system is good for "emergency use only".

Everyone experimenting with biogass all filter, scrub, wash, etc. the gas to try to minimize tar. Burning temperature is critical.

But in the end, if you smell anything foul in the engine oil, then you are getting wood tar (varnish) and acid in the engine. The engine won't last long. As long as the engine is warm and you keep running it, it's OK, but once it stops, it will freeze up every moving part (valves, rings, seals, etc.). Very stinky end to a good engine. If you are going to persue this I recommend flathead engines. After each run you can remove a few bolts, pull the head, review the tar deposit, clean the valves, head and top of the piston, then start over. If you use an overhead valve engine the process is far more complicated.

You should also be careful, wood gas is not only poisonous (carbon monoxide) but carcenogenic. It is not the same as smoke from a fireplace. Smoke from a fireplace is fully pyrolized and oxidized at high temperature. Wood gasifier smoke is not oxidized, if it was it would be worthless as a fuel in an engine. Very biologically dangerous. Also beware of any disolved wood smoke in a water filter, this stuff is equally toxic and carcenogenic.

This was a very exciting project, a thrill the first time the engine was running on just wood gas, but, in the end not so productive. I never could eliminate enough tar to not damage the engine. After seeing first hand the damage wood gas does to engines, I now know why these things are not being sold at Home Depot or Costco.

Best of luck to you,
Steve
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:25 PM
rory woolf rory woolf is offline
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Default Re: Wood gas in an Onan 2 cylinder genset? Any JXQ-10A?

There is a man who goes to the Great Dorset Steam Fair who has anice original wood/gas stationary engine.It may have a generator on it but I'm not sure.I think he is from the continet.Good luck with your project.
Rory.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:24 PM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: Wood gas in an Onan 2 cylinder genset? Any JXQ-10A?

Thanks for the replies.
I have been watching Ben (Peterson?), too. It is interesting that none of the "modern" gasifiers use water in the filtering mechanism, nor do they use wet oil filters like all of my farm tractors do.
I am glad you talked about your experience with "too much tar". I WAS vacilating over whether or not to add an additional shedded wood fiber filter after my cyclone separator, but now I will add it for sure.
You guys have probably been watching Jim Mason and the GEK. He just offered a free differential manometer to Gasifier List folks last week and I took him up on it. I already have one diff. manometer across the 2nd and 3rd chamber of my JXQ-10A, but I do need something to help me keep from adding too much restriction in the system.
My whole project will still be interesting since this gasifier doesn't have nozzles at all. I have no idea how much gas I will be able to reliably get through it.
Also, one of the two Onan NH gensets that I have revived for the project still has some rusty nuts on the head studs. It is running like a top right now, but if I will have to take it apart once a week, I'd better get started with the pb blaster, etc..

As you all may know, I recently put up a webpage on removing seized bolts, etc. at:
http://www.spaco.org/MachineShop/StuckFasteners.html

To MacCutty: Did you ever use vibration to shake down the incoming stock? I was thinking of mounting a $10 Chinese air chisel gun to the side of the reactor and programming it to go bbbbrrrrrttt for a few seconds every ten minutes or so.

It still appears that those guys in Europe in the 1930's had a fair degree of luck. As you can see from the "1939 report" that I put on my website, they even had some pretty good numbers to report on engine wear. What are we missing?

Pete Stanaitis
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:24 PM
MacCutty MacCutty is offline
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Default Re: Wood gas in an Onan 2 cylinder genset? Any JXQ-10A?

Hi Pete,
I tried to limit the variables on my gasifier. I only burned clean, dry, dust-free pellets (all the same size and shape). I figured if they would work then I would venture to wood chips. I had no appreciable bridging with the pellets. This was also beneficial as I used 2 inch pipe for the down draft feeder and a 4 inch tee as the reactor. I could light the reactor through the side of the tee then screw in the plug. I insulated the whole mess in asbestos (yes, I said asbestos) and wrapped that in tin foil to keep the fibers in check.

By lengthening and shortening the down draft pipe I could regulate the amount of air that went through the pellets and accurately regulate the temperature of the burn.
For filters I used an oil bath air filter from a tractor (with various solvents), I had a cyclone and a water bath trap. The water bath trap was actually a pvc pipe with a bubbler submerged in a shop vac. The shop vac acted as the "blower" to start the wood burning. Once the reactor was going at full temperature, you start the generator and turn off the shop vac. The gas would still be pulled through the water trap by the vacuum of the engine. Make sure you use a shop vac that has a separate fan for the motor and for the vacuum (you would not want to pull that explosive tar mixture through an electric motor).

As to your question, "what are we missing?" I don't think we are missing anything. ALL engines in WW2 that ran on wood gas were flathead engines. No body ever said they did not remove the head and change the oil after each trip to the store. If I were faced with the prospect of walking or driving a stinky smoke cloud (that needed a head/valve cleaning after each trip)...I may drive, but would not call it convenient or practical. I have not seen ANY application of modern chemistry/engineering that would make this process any more productive than it was in WW2. In fact the application of modern overhead valve in lieu of flathead is a step in the wrong direction for wood gas cleanup. Well...at least that is my two cents worth, best of luck to you.
Steve
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