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Author Topic: charcoal gasification  (Read 1996 times)

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Offline r.man

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charcoal gasification
« on: July 25, 2016, 03:54:13 pm »
I have made some charcoal fuel, now I have to build a gasifier to run a small motor. Sounds fairly simple and I have most of the materials on hand. Our small ag fair is in two weeks and I would like to have something to display alongside the tractors and antique equipment. I am hoping to have my charcoal production rig, already built and proven, a grinder/sizer that is started and a working gasifier producing gas for a motor. Mostly a bunch of fiddly stuff to put one together.
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which. Dec 2014

Offline 69bronco

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2016, 05:57:52 pm »
 popcorn_smiley Pictures please!
Lt 25, New Holland 555e backhoe, Ford 2120 and a sore back

Offline r.man

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2016, 07:58:47 pm »
I knew someone would ask, very often that someone is me. I will get my wife to help me as I go along in the next few days and then post some pictures of the build and the charcoal " stove? ". I have never done pictures on line and like a lot of other people I am a bit intimidated by it.
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which. Dec 2014

Offline r.man

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2016, 10:57:52 pm »
Still no pictures but the main gasifier is built. I think I will leave it unpainted for a while since the pieces are easily recognizable to anyone who works around water pumps and tanks. To say that these things are simple is an understatement, they can be fancy and complicated if that is what makes you happy but a very basic one from scrap material is just an airtight steel tank with a threaded fitting somewhere near the bottom, one near the top and a larger sealable opening to add granular charcoal. Need to make a basic filter and put together two tees and valves for the air adjust and flare blower and I will have a usable gasifier.
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which. Dec 2014

Offline r.man

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2016, 11:48:48 am »
So I flared the basic gasifier last night. Other than backfiring through the nozzle, because of a hole I forgot to plug, and burning up the little flare blower because I shut it down in the wrong order everything went well. I do need to size my charcoal but that part of the operation is only partly built as well. Still no pictures but the whole build process will be  fairly self evident with a couple of decent stills from different angles.
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which. Dec 2014

Offline r.man

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2016, 10:01:58 pm »
Still no pictures but a bit more to tell. I did not make our small town fair but I am waiting to hear back from a larger fair that is 45 minutes away to see if display space is available on labour day. The grinder is made and works but needs a sizing screen and legs. My mentor dropped by to see the grinder today and thinks my charcoal could be used ground but unscreened but I would like to have a screen for future use. We will try it on his raw charcoal soon since he has a stockpile of unprocessed material. His sizing method is very hands on and time consuming so he should get good use out of this machine.
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which. Dec 2014

Offline Bill

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2017, 10:15:42 pm »
Hoping to see some fotos . Saw a documentary that only talked about folks about 80 give or take years ago using wood gases to run their tractors and / or trucks - think it was in our southwest ? ? ?

Would be good to hear how it works out !

Offline r.man

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2017, 11:40:06 am »
Tail end of the winter now but I have been doing a small bit of charcoal stuff by harvesting charcoal chunks from my OWB. I put a steel barrel near the OWB and when the charcoal bed is a bit thick I harvest some into a steel five gallon pail and then into the barrel. I now have about 40 gallons of unprocessed raw charcoal to run through the grinder and test in my charcoal system in the warmer weather. Small steps but gradually progressing to having the infrastructure to do this if I want to for fun and hopefully never actually need to implement this full blown. This is neat tech but there is no way any person would bother doing this if there is access to something else because everything else is much easier and more convenient. This is civilization fell, zombie apocalypse, trapped in a remote place kind of tech.
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which. Dec 2014

Offline Paul_H

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2017, 07:12:52 pm »
There is a guy in Thailand that is building charcoal gasifiers to run on bamboo. Not everywhere in the world has access to fuel,especially affordable fuel. He's teaching students how to build some elaborate systems to run small engines as well as clean cookstoves with a propane style burner.
It's a long thread but it's detailed.

http://forum.driveonwood.com/t/gilmore-style/899

Charcoal gasifiers are fast and simple to build and can be running an engine within 2 minutes of lighting.
eg  tregar  meste  på  Tulla, for  ho  var  krulla  i  ulla.

Offline Paul_H

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2017, 10:02:48 pm »
https://www.hemmings.com/blog/index.php/2017/01/22/from-gasoline-to-gasification-or-why-we-dont-power-cars-with-wood-today/?refer=news

This is a really good article on the history of woodgas and how it was mothballed then dusted off a couple times.

Quote
At its peak, the wood gas industry attracted big names like Renault, Latil, Panhard, and Berliet. However, it soon became evident that the system’s cons outweighed its pros. Gasified trucks burned a phenomenal amount of wood, and the whole setup was incredibly heavy so it reduced the all-important payload. At the time, the transport industry was shifting towards trucks that could drive further with heavier loads, so demand for a system that reduced both range and payload was low at best. Besides, what were the odds of another gas shortage sending shockwaves across the continent?

Any guesses as to what caused the fuel shortage that saw over one million gasifiers being used all around the world?  :)
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Offline barbender

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2017, 01:10:45 am »
WWll? ???
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Paul_H

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2017, 09:48:13 am »
 8) you betcha!
There would have been mass starvation without fuel for tractors and transportation.
eg  tregar  meste  på  Tulla, for  ho  var  krulla  i  ulla.

Offline barbender

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2017, 09:58:23 am »
I've heard WWII vets telling of woodgas fueled trucks and tractors in the Philippines during the war.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Paul_H

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2017, 10:12:11 am »


This video shows the many different vehicles in Europe equipped with gasifiers during WWII including Tanks,Busses and Milk Trucks.
eg  tregar  meste  på  Tulla, for  ho  var  krulla  i  ulla.

Offline r.man

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2017, 09:53:07 pm »
One type that I didn't see was a gas bag style. Many towns had a burnable gas, " town gas " available so it was possible to put a large inflatable bag on the top of vehicles and only have to pipe it to the intake. Vehicles of all sizes had this type but you had to stay within range of a gasworks. I believe town gas was similar to charcoal gas for use but could be more corrosive in the longer term.
http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2011/11/gas-bag-vehicles.html
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which. Dec 2014

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2017, 05:16:51 am »
During the early 1970's Mother earth News did an experiment using a Pontiac Tempest 6 cylinder to run a generator using wood gas .It worked but because of filtration issues of the gas  it destroyed the engine .Then again with a junk yard engine it might have been worn out before they ever experimented with it .

The magazine started out with some very interesting subjects but later just had articles to cause interest of which they sold detailed plans for .Also it became more advertising than it was articles .I lost interest in it .

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2017, 05:35:49 am »
Rambling on .In the days of the industrial revolution,late 1890's there were no large generators and power grids we have today .The answer on say the huge steel mills was to use "producer gas" the normal waste gasses made from the production of steel .They had huge engines built on the "Corliss" style and generated their own power .

If I'm not mistaken Allis-Chalmers was one of the companies  that made these systems  .One example took 9 railroad flat cars just to ship the engine.Huge .--historical trivia 101--

Offline Paul_H

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2017, 10:28:09 am »
During the early 1970's Mother earth News did an experiment using a Pontiac Tempest 6 cylinder to run a generator using wood gas .It worked but because of filtration issues of the gas  it destroyed the engine

The MEN gasifier is what I have on my 82 F100. If the gasifier isn't sized properly to the engine there will be tars that no filtration will stop.Mine has had no tar issues so far.  There are some better designs out there now that will crack the tars and make better gas such as Wayne Keith's design and also Ben Petersen's design. Both recycle the heat and raise internal temps to make better,cleaner gas.

I'm building one of Ben's right now and it will fuel a mid fifties Massey Harris. It has double and triple walls with insulation used in between.

http://www.woodgasifierplans.com/

There is a PDF file on that site that shows some pics of the design and build.


Back to charcoal,there are no tars to gum up engines and the time from lighting to engine running is a minute or two compared to 10-20 mins for a older style wood gas generator(gasifier)
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Offline Brucer

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2017, 09:33:48 pm »
... The magazine [Mother Earth News] started out with some very interesting subjects but later just had articles to cause interest of which they sold detailed plans for .Also it became more advertising than it was articles .I lost interest in it .

That was exactly my experience. My only regret is that several years ago I tossed out my collection, including the issues with really useful projects :(.
Bruce    LT40HDG28 bandsaw with two 6' extensions.
"Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers."

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2017, 10:11:11 pm »
It was really a shame that magazine went that way .However looking back I'm not so certain if they really researched the articles ,example being the Tempest engine and filtration issues .It really even at the time was not  "leading edge" stuff .More or less just junk yard dawg stuff which is really what I liked about it because I could relate to it .They say it takes one to know one,guilty as charged . ;)

Offline Puffergas

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Re: charcoal gasification
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2017, 05:18:26 pm »
Back in the day and just out of high school I built and used one of the MEN gasifiers. They were ok. I use charcoal today.
Jeff
Somewhere 20 miles south of Lake Erie.

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