• If you like antique engines, vintage tractors or old iron machinery, register and join us. When you register on Smokstak, please give complete answers and fill in the blanks. - IF YOU ARE ON WIRELESS OR SATELLITE, ENTER YOUR CITY AND STATE! NO ZIPCODES! All registrations are manually approved.

Running Onan genset on Woodgas

Pete Spaco

Registered
I have been feeding woodgas into my 65.NH on and off this summer, in an attempt to figure out how to reliably convert wood chips to electricity.

I'm getting closer, but I ain't all the way there yet.

Don't tell anybody, but I have been feeding the genset some pretty tarry carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas. But so far, the engine still runs fine.

If you have nothing else to do, you can see my log of this summer's related events at:

http://www.spaco.org/JXQ10A.htm

Pete Stanaitis
-------------
 

OTTO-Sawyer

Subscriber
Age
58
Last Subscription Date
07/15/2019
....Don't tell anybody, but I have been feeding the genset some pretty tarry carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas. But so far, the engine still runs fine.

Pete Stanaitis
-------------
We won't tell anybody if you don't.;)

Keep us posted with your results, and any other details you care to share on how you set it up.

I've seen pictures and stories of cars, trucks, and tractors running on wood gas decades ago, and a few people experimenting with wood gas in modern pickup trucks with varying results. Always good to read up on more first hand experience.

It may not be for everyone, especially if they buy their wood pre-cut and dried, or go out and spend thousands on new chain saws, wood splitters, and truck or trailer to haul wood with, but for someone that already has an unlimited supply of firewood with little or no investment it can pay for itself in a very short time.
 

Harvey Teal

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/22/2019
Pete, as you are probably discovering, the secret is in the gas filter. Once you get that worked out, life becomes easy. Best of luck with your project.
 

Pete Spaco

Registered
Yes, a final filter is important. I have been running the engine on gasoline for at least 10 minutes after every woodgas run to, hopefully, clean it up.
But the real goal is to get the gas temperature, just below the grate, up to at least 1000 degrees F. They tell me that this temperature will cause the tars to be burnt and/or "cracked" into non condensable gases.

The real improvement this year was to add an Arduino-based "datalogger" so I can tell how much progress I am making in this area.

Pete Stanaitis
-----------------
 
Top