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Hit & Miss Gas Engine Discussion

Running an engine on wood gas


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  #1  
Old 02-26-2008, 12:11:45 PM
Grape Grape is offline
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Default Running an engine on wood gas

Good Morning, I've got an idea in my head to try to build a small wood gas system to run an old engine with at shows. With gas prices going up this may just be a fun project and get some comments at shows.
I have been doing some research on line and found quite a bit of information. Has anyone heard of or seen something like this recently? I know this system was used a lot during WWII.
I'd have to build the burner and a cleaner/cooler for the gas to remove the impurities so it dosen't foul out the engine I want to run.
Any Ideas or information would be appreciated
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  #2  
Old 02-26-2008, 01:05:07 PM
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KeithW KeithW is offline
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Default Re: Running an engine on wood gas

Been thinking along those lines and doing a little research also. It's a bit cumbersom but it does work. One of my thoughts was to use heat from the exhaust of the engine to help heat the wood. Once the volatles are baked out of the wood you have charcoal. If you then inject some steam you end up with water gas ( CO, and various light hydrocarbons) . You should be able to run on the wood gas then add steam and finish up on water gas. All that would be left is some ashes. In theory you should be able to use about any biomass from scrap paper and lawn clippings to hardwoods.

keithw
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:02:24 PM
Gary in da UP
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Default Re: Running an engine on wood gas

Guy's I have been looking at GEN-GAS my self for some time and want to power a generator at home , One thing to look out for there is extreme danger of carbon monoxide, just a heads up! gh.
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:17:52 PM
gene w gene w is offline
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Default Re: Running an engine on wood gas

mother earth news years ago ran a sawmill and a car on woodgas its on the net! i just googled. also look up gas generaters in china some big ones and around asia there are small ones that are used to fuel cookstoves
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:32:44 PM
Patrick McNallen Patrick McNallen is offline
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Default Re: Running an engine on wood gas

www.utterpower.com has a long article written by an Australian who has actually run a car on the road on producer gas from wood, etc.
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:23:25 PM
KidDynamo KidDynamo is offline
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Default Re: Running an engine on wood gas

I have not found the exact F.E.M.A. page that had the super simple and understandable explanation of how to run a vehicle on "wood gas". It was written to provide an easy way to get a good overview of the topic yet you could almost start designing and building from just the info contained therein. Scaling the design to meet the needs of a stationary engine display would likely be uncomplicated.

Try a few of these links to get the gears turning. Some of you guys could start a trend. The "wood burning" pickup I saw a few years back was a good looking rig and a lot less work went into building it than some of the stuff constructed by guys in their engine "shacks".

http://www.green-trust.org/woodgas.htm

http://www.gengas.nu/byggbes/executive_summary.shtml

Towards the bottom on this one ??: http://rgr.freeshell.org/woodgas/index.html
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:05:35 PM
Clark Bigger Clark Bigger is offline
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Default Re: Running an engine on wood gas

farm show magazine has a lot of articles about that and other types of simlar stuff www.farmshow.com
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:31:59 PM
Inter Bloke Inter Bloke is offline
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Default Re: Running an engine on wood gas

I have a gas producer here that an old bloke in the district built out of an LP gas cylinder about 6 or 7 years ago. He used to display it at a few local shows running a small "Robin" engine on charcoal. He actually took most of the carby off so you could clearly see it had to be on gas. All it comprised of was an LP gas cylinder with the top cut out and a sealable lid welded on so the charcoal could be put in and the gas wouldn't leak out, and the grate and air induction system down the bottom of the cylinder. To clean the gas he used a smaller sheet metal welded cylinder with some foam rubber stretched over a metal frame to take out the cinders. If you want to use wood you should also use a scrubber to take out the gum from the wood, that is like a water air cleaner of an old fordson tractor or some such, where the gas is forced to go through a liquid cleaning process to remove the gum that can stick everything up. He grew bored with it after showing it for a couple of years and pulled the filter off for another project, but as I had given him the cylinder in the first place he gave me the main hopper assembly back. I intend to set it up sometime with a small 32 volt lighting plant on it to display as when he was starting and running it at shows, it atracted a lot of attention. He did have an advantage though as well as being a prolific district inventor and engineer, as a young man he worked gas producers during and after WW2 and as such understands them really well, I don't understand them that well but they don't seem real complicated. I havn't got any photos of it when it was running but someone else may have some, if you would like I can try and track one down, I can take a few of the hopper assembly and post them if you like, its just the hopper but it may give you some ideas.
Graham
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:23:02 PM
MacCutty MacCutty is offline
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Default Re: Running an engine on wood gas

Hi, sorry about the late reply...I don't keep up with the stack as much as I would like.
I built a slightly different wood gas producer than detailed on the gengas page. It was very rewarding the first time my engines were running on wood instead of petroleum (about one year ago). My biomass plant (referred to as a meth lab <methane> by my friends and family) runs on wood pellets. I find them to be consistent, dry, low dust, cheap and don't clog (bridge) in the feeder.
As pictured below, I have successfully run my Kohler 1M21 (about 4 HP), Wisconsin AENL (9.2 HP) and a new Tecumsea (6 HP) all on wood gas. They all run just fine with no knocking, adverse odors or over heating while operating. I have run them for several hours at a time...until it gets dark or I am told to come in.
My apparatus uses standard pipes and fittings, I'm sure you all recognize the tractor oil bath air cleaner as my final filter. The cyclone immediately before that is marketed for shop vacs, but is made out of good welded steel and can easily hold up to this environment. The only thing that is not visible in the pictures is the copper cooling coil in the 24" pipe. This cools the gas before it gets to the cyclone.
The process works well...EXCEPT...for the suspended tar vapors. I have been using F head engines (mostly) so I can take the head off after each run to assess the deposited tars. I get a coating of tar on the head, piston, spark plug and valves after each run. I use this visual observation to modify my filters and run parameters (air, temperature, feed rate, etc.) trying to minimize the tar. I have greatly reduced it over the last year...but am still working on eliminating it completely. Just a word of warning, the tars will condense in the valve guides and cause them to stick after the engine cools. The valves that stick open will prevent the engine from running...the valves that stick closed will cause a BENT pushrod the next time you try to start the engine. The spark plug and the smell of the oil is a good indicator of the quantity of deposits.
Good luck, I hope you have as much fun with this as I.
Steve
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  #10  
Old 05-28-2008, 02:33:49 PM
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ListerDiesel ListerDiesel is offline
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Default Re: Running an engine on wood gas

Have a look at the French producer plant and engine that was next door to our display at Nuenen (Holland) a couple of weeks ago:

http://www.stationary-engine.co.uk/N...8/Nuenen18.htm
or
http://www.oldengine.org/members/die...8/Nuenen18.htm

There are more close-up pic's towards the end, about pages 14 or 15 of the menus.

Peter
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:24:32 AM
Oostvogels Oostvogels is offline
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Default Re: Running an engine on wood gas

Hi,

On the Nuenen rally http://home.hetnet.nl/~antonvandercruijsen/2008-2.htmI made a little film of the French engine.
Sorry I don't produce the quality of Peter Forbes but you can see it running

We have an old Rochet un schneider tractor with a wood gaz generator and Adrie had it running on gaz a few times.
It really his a cole gaz generator.
During the war a lot were used. there are pictures of cars - busses - lorries.
We have found some books to.
If you decide to try and use it, don't stand under a window I left our bedroom window open and went outside to see how it worked and you could smell it for weeks....
Regards Jeanne
www.stationaryengines.tk
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:49:42 PM
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Gene O. Carpenter Gene O. Carpenter is offline
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Default Re: Running an engine on wood gas

Wasn't there a lengthy thread on this subject a couple years ago?
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:27:37 PM
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Default Re: Running an engine on wood gas

I think it was titled poop gas
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:34:14 PM
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Default Re: Running an engine on wood gas

In todays newspaper-Lincoln Journal Star,(www,journalstar.com/news)May 29 2008 ,there is a full page article on a guy in Martell Ne., who converted his mobil home and his every day pickup truck to wood gas. Kind of an Ugly looking truck,but who cares when he can drive it for practically nothing. Check it out.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:15:23 PM
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Default Re: Running an engine on wood gas

Maybe it was longer than 2 years but I do remember there was talk about building a converter and an accumulator and some other components and then it died out..I was hoping it would continue on enough that photos, drawings and plans ,would follow..Maybe this time with the "go juice" up to $4 per gal it will!
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:09:26 AM
Graeme Wardlaw
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Default Re: Running an engine on wood gas

A lot of the larger engines here in Australia were set up from new with gas producers attached, this was due to the shortage of liquid fule available and no town gas in the bush. The remains of these producers are still with some of the engines when they were found. Also a lot of road vehicle's were fitted here, also, during the war. I remember my mum telling me about the big smelly things they put on the back of cars to run em on wood when fuel wasnt available . They were relatively simple to build/operate apparently. We have had it to good to advance on the idea over the yrs. problem is now there is a bigger shortage of dry (seasoned) wood in most area's than petrol/diesel. Dont use green wood as this is what produces the most tar. it must be totaly seasoned hardwood. And of coarse some better than others. Here we have some timber that burns with almost no tar residue. :
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