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Old 03-04-2008, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 24,132,178 times
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While I do this at home, I have yet to see it anywhere else. Basically it's a way of burning wood, tires, paper in a closed container with limited air, and cooling the filtered gas produced to run an engine. I run my homemade generator after hurricanes with it, and it is a good way to get rid of old documents. I made the system from an old water heater, a junk car engine and an old generator head I rewound. Anyone else use this system?
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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I expect to set up something similar this summer or next fall, but I'm not happy with the noise potential from the engine part of the system, and I want to be sure that the CO generated never gets concentrated enough in the area to be a health issue.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 24,132,178 times
Reputation: 4917
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I expect to set up something similar this summer or next fall, but I'm not happy with the noise potential from the engine part of the system, and I want to be sure that the CO generated never gets concentrated enough in the area to be a health issue.
The engine noise is easy to control, mine has been quieter than an air conditioner. I am rebuilding it to use recovered waste heat to power an absorptive chiller- free air conditioning! The gasifier is outside so if CO leaks out, it's a non-issue. The engine/generator resides in my utility shed.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
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Check out the old design Lister Diesels. Wood gas generators have been around for several decades. IIRc the residue is charcoal after the fuel cas is cooked off.
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,479 posts, read 52,416,749 times
Reputation: 24652
Then there are the "outdoor hydronic heaters". These are, or at least used to be, one of the more inefficient ways to burn wood ever created. They are a small boiler heated by a large firebox stuffed with one day, or more, worth of wood. The wood is burned under “starved air” conditions that extend the burn time and keep the heat down. The heated water is pumped to the house heating system. The low temperatures keep the things more or less safe.

The result of the “starved air” burning is just about ever air-polluting chemical imaginable. These include smoke, aromatic chemicals, Carbon Monoxide and a lot of others. These devices are far more polluting than even an open fire.

I suggest that these devices are inadvertently acting as a wood gasifier and could be used as a fuel source for an internal combustion engine generator set. That would treat the pollution and recover more energy from the wood. Just a suggestion.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,760 posts, read 56,017,257 times
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When trying to make gas for IC engines from wood, the trick is to run the "dirty" gas through the bed of coals. That converts most of the smoke and complex waste into CO, hydrogen, methane, CO2, and water. All of those are kinder to an engine than creosote.

The inefficiencies of the outside furnaces, compared to the older starved air wood stoves used inside homes, are from poor insulation and long runs of piping getting to the home. The newer outside furnaces are better technology.

I'm curious what media tallrick is planning on using for absorbtive chilling. Anhydrous ammonia was the typical fluid, but that stuff is too dangerous for home use. Calcium chloride sort of works, but the process has to dump the heat from the CaCl absorbing the water in the air, then using a swamp cooler to reintroduce water into that cooler air, cooling it below the original temp.
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