I decided to launch this blog to accommodate my new website “miniwoodgas.com” in the hopes of motivating others who have built working gasifiers to share their data with others who may be wanting to try this for themselves. Thanks, Flash001USA

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1,451 thoughts on “

  1. Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

    Steve,
    Most certainly, the Pea Stone Filters offer a substantial improvement of gas quality. The only fault I can find is the extreme cold weather causes the moisture to freeze during the down time which limits the gas volume until they thaw out. I suspect that most of the freezing problems originate in the stainless steel scrubbers which I use on top and at the bottom of the stone in order to keep the stone in the filter tube. Some further experimentation would be in order to isolate the problem.
    I made a duplicate set and have them charged with fresh , dry, stone which can replace the frozen ones in just a few minutes. As you have seen , the amount of water removed from the gas AND the soot/particulate keeps the final filters in service much longer. But the key to their usability is the ability to change them out quickly. They don’t take up any more room than the 2 tube radiator which they replaced. Our set is plumbed in a parallel sequence after the expansion tanks. You installed your set in a series. It doesn’t seem to matter which method is used.
    I suspect that after the carbon soot reaches a level of sustainability within the stone, the condensed water in the gas percolates down through to the drains like a carbon filter. I have noticed the same clear water scenario once everything is stabilized.
    And to think all that water and soot used to shoot directly into the final filters.These things can make a believer out of you.
    I am eager to see how well they perform in the warmer weather. You seem to have tested them with good results even with all the rainy weather you have had during your summer…which you never got. I’m happy to have shared our cold weather experiences with you as you approach the winter at the other end of the world. There might be things that you can prepare for.
    Best , Bill W.

    • Mark Christian says:

      Hi Bill, thanks for the videos of the pea gravel filter. I’ve been a little out of the loop for the last several months and haven’t been watching any videos about gasifiers.

      Your video got me thinking again, always a costly process for my sleep. πŸ™‚

      This time my crazy wacked imagination thought of sponges instead of gravel. If you could rig a way to compress them from below through a strainer routinely during the run the problem of saturation could be reduced or eliminated. Plus, no having to mess with multiple sets of gravel.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Mark C,
        I would imagine one could try just about anything for filter material. I tried the Pea Stone idea because I had seen it used in a large 13MMW Bio energy industrial power generation plant where I used to deliver tractor trailer loads of whole tree chips. It worked for them and that’s what triggered the idea for me. Since the time I put these together, Steve in NZ has them in use also, with good results.
        I’m not quite sure if the sponges would allow the gas to pass freely or block up quickly right at the point of entering the filters, as I see with the 2 stainless steel scrubbers at the entry point. I may even eliminate them to see how it goes . The problem seems to be that the scrubbers freeze from moisture in the filters, blocking the gas flow. Once they thaw out the filters work very well. He says he has 70 hrs on these filters right now and they still perform well.
        My system’s purpose is to supply emergency back up power in the event of a grid down situation. If the filters are frozen there isn’t time or corrective resources in place to quickly remedy the problem. That’s why I have a spare set all ready to put in place if there is a problem. I already had the tubes, and a full cubic yard of washed peastone in stock. Change out time is under 10 minutes.
        It’s just a guess, mind you, but with the quality of the gas that comes from these at the primary flare I would be willing to say that one more stone filter in series followed by a paper filter would be all that would be needed.
        This is a great forum for exchanging ideas, experimenting and sharing our combined experiences. Keep thinking and sharing. .
        BTW, my next project, now in the works, is a vacuum controlled air regulator valve which MAY be able to regulate the Air/Gas ratio for changes in the engine demands and gasifcation changes in the hopper and hearth.
        Stay tuned.
        Best,
        Bill W — NH Hbbyloggr

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Howdee Bill W.
      For sure, those new peastoners really do help to dry up the gas stream.
      After a 5 to 6 hour run, I get at least a cup of delicious water from them.
      That’s water that wood have been getting into the other filters, so I am mighty delighted to see it being taken out beforehand πŸ™‚ .
      I have well over 70 hours of run time in these stoners, and they seem to be holding up very well indeed, even though I have not done any maintenance work on them.
      That stated, I do want to try out my idea of filling the stoners with hot, soapy, water, letting them sit for a bit, agitating them, like a washing machine, on their edison screw bases – and then draining the juice out of them.
      If this idea works as I am hoping, this will mean that I will never have to take them off to clean them out. We’ll see aboot that πŸ˜‰ .
      You are surely right about the stainless steel pads at the ends of your filters freezing up in your icy winter, and causing the problems you are seeing.
      How to fix it?
      Perhaps a pair of raised grates.
      For mine, I made up a pair of raised grates from Polycarbonate.
      They are raised, about 1 inch from the bottom of the tube, by 4 stout bolts.
      These work like the SS pads, but they don’t hold any water, so I am hoping they won’t freeze up when our winter comes around.
      Yup, be it a series or parallel installation, I don’t think it makes much of a difference, as the overall residence time of the gas in these filters wood work out to be pretty much the same.
      I did mine in series, because it was easier, and it fitted in with the way I built the rest of this addiction assistance apparatus πŸ™‚ .
      Considering how well mine have been doing in this warmer weather, I wood be inclined to suggest that yours will do just fine when the sun finally makes an appearance on your side of the planet :).

      Best wishes,
      Steve.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Steve, I will probably modify the second set of filters to add a raised grate as you have done. Then I will have both methods for comparison. All good things can get better, we just have to try out new ideas..
        Still, there is a strong probability that the moisture laden stone will freeze with our low temperatures we encounter. That is the reason for he spare set , ready at a moments notice. I’m looking forward to warmer weather but I have to say, after running the gasifier all through the winter for the first time , I am impressed with its ability to produce good power in less than favorable conditions. It did what it was supposed to do along with learning the quirks and problems associated with sub-freezing temperatures. I’m happy to say that it has earned its place beside the conventional power generation systems at the Hbbyloggr compound.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Bill W.
        It will be very interesting to see if the raised grates are enough to save your stoner filters from the tyranny of the freezing cold.
        Things here are inclined to freeze solid during the winter, but it doesn’t seem to be quite so severe as it is in your neck of the woods.
        That stated, it can be a wee might more difficult to start the gasser up in mid winter, as nothing really wants to cooperate when it is so jolly cold in the Wattage Cottage.
        Indeed, even the engine is way harder to turn over, almost as if the oil has turned into glue, and is doing its best to lock the piston in the cylinder.
        Considering the success of your stoners in our respective wood gassers, I think I will try them in my upcoming charcoal gasser project also.
        It just seems like the right thing to do, until the world’s supply of pea stone runs out, that is πŸ˜‰ .

        Best wishes,
        Steve.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Steve,
        From the looks of the weather for the next few days, today may be the easiest to fire up the gasifier and get the batteries all charged for another bout of winter weather headed our way later in the week. Another startup to test response time to a grid down event is always welcome .
        Glad to hear of the success you have been having with the P-Stoners. Have they increased the run time for your other final filters down stream ? When the weather gets better I plan on a major conversion of my filters , mainly to aid change out capability of individual filters. They all do their part in cleaning the gas but I may find that fewer filters will be needed due to the cleaning qualities the stone filters provide. As always, the only way to find out is to try it.
        What is your plan for the charcoal gasifier? another genset in the works?
        Best,
        Bill W

  2. Bill B says:

    Flash, my gosh what happened to you, had no idea. Been wondering what ever happened to your next gasifier build. I hope this works out well for you.

    • Hey Bill to keep the explanation short I had a 29 year old kid slam me from behind at 50+ mph while I was riding my bike. I flew in the air (without wings) and landed hard breaking my left leg along with some ribs and shattering my right arm starting at the elbow and above. I had to have trauma surgery on my arm and the rest is history so I’m down for the count for a while.

      • Mark Christian says:

        Flash, I’m very sorry to hear that you were in an accident! When did this happen? I hope you’re doing okay, let us know if we can help in any way.

      • Mark this happened about 3 weeks ago. I’m sure you probably read in other messages what actually happened… Nope not fun and It’ll be a while before I snap back from this.

  3. CNCmacfun says:

    Thinking About Using Wood Gasser Waste To Feed a Charcoal Gasifier.
    Howdee, my fellow woodgas bugbite victims πŸ™‚ .
    Just wondering, has anyone considered building a charcoal gasifier that would be fueled with the waste from their wood gasser?
    The idea is gaining strength here, as I have accumulated rather a lot of charcoal from my 1350 hours of woodgas runtime to date, but I really don’t have any way of knowing whether or not this idea will work.
    It seems that it will be just fine, but I am simply not gonna find out – unless I build it.
    Gary Gilmore’s simplified charcoal gasifier seems like a good one to build, so I am thinking I will start there.
    If folks have any ideas about this, I wood be most grateful to read them here.

    Best wishes, my fellow WoodenWattenWorkers πŸ™‚ ,
    Steve.

    • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

      Steve, Another interesting adventure headed your way? My, you will squeeze that poor tree down to its last combustible molecule .
      I reuse the larger pieces of charcoal as starter fuel and the rest of the fines get spread in the garden. Ad some Lime to sweeten the mix and watch the veggies get converted into deliciousness.
      For a little back ground, in observing the recycling of the 13MW BioMass left overs, which was also the spark for our P-Stone filters, the power plant gave the larger farms large truck loads of the ” ash ” for use in their fields. It was beneficial for the soil. Now if it could only keep the rain away for your fields so that you could get your harvest in, that would be great.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Bill,
        For sure, I want to skweeez all of the watts out of my treezel tanks, and this idea of reusing the waste charcoal as fuel seems to be too intriguing to pass up.
        Seems to me that I can build something super simple, from an old gas cylinder, then develop it further if the idea works well enough to warrant more effort.
        A few hours of grinding, drilling and welding ought to produce a fine wee test system – so my addiction can grow even stronger here on the farm πŸ™‚ .
        Talking of spreading the charcoal out over the ground, I used to do this, until some of my little Camels started turning black.
        Yup, they found the charcoal patch, and had a lovely time – rolling around in it.
        Ahhh, black and white Camels. Watt more could you want during shearing season ;).
        I wonder if the ash from the charcoal gasser will be as good for the soil as the charcoal is?
        Hmmmm, only one way to find out, methinks.
        This year’s hay crop is ruined, thanks to Al Gore and his invention of global climate change.
        I think I will sue him for that πŸ˜‰ .
        At the very least, I will tell my starving animals who is to blame for their hungry, rumbling, bellies.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Bill,
        I forgot to mention how well your Pea Stone filters are doing on my gasser.
        To date, I have clocked up 70 hours on them, without any maintenance πŸ™‚ .
        So far, they are not showing any signs of needing to be cleaned out – so I am gonna let them run until I get beaten up by a squadron of woodgas bugs, as punishment for prolonged cruelty to my filters πŸ˜‰ .
        These Pea Stone filters extract huge quantities of water from the gas stream, especially in this cold ‘summer’ weather.
        Watt’s interesting is that the water comes out almost clear.
        I thought it wood have been black, or at least quite dark, but no, it’s suitable for handing out as drinks – for people I don’t like, such as the tax collector πŸ˜‰ .

    • Joe Papa says:

      Steve , I think the charcoal gasifier is nice . The only thing is you lose out on some of the juicy goodness that is contained within the dried wood. Now gilmore uses his keystone stove to make the charcoal, so if you do that at least the heat from turning the wood into char coal will heat your house. So it doesn’t all go to waste. I enjoyed watching his videos.I’m not sure how much energy will be left in the wood after passing through these gasifiers, but if you find there’s more to be had , you’ll have to let us know. Keep us posted with your project. Joe

      • Hey Joe, Mike here. How’s it going man? Yeah I would agree that gilmore has a good little system for running on biochar. I’ve watched his videos and a charcoal gasifier is probably easier to filter but you do pay the piper with the extra step of making the charcoal.

      • Joe Papa says:

        Mike, I’m doing much better these days. I’m glad to see you’ve been pretty active here in the comments and such. I’m real sorry to hear about your bike incident . I know how you feel on that one. I came out of last year a different person. I’m sure you know that we’re all pulling for you and keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. As for the gilmore gasifier, I like that he can heat his house with the keystone stove. At least he’s getting some free heat from the wood. You see a lot of these guys making their char outside, and that seems like a waste . It would be nice to put tar out of your mind no matter how much you change the conditions.
        I have switched gears here a little. I picked up some tools down at the local harbor freight, and I’m putting together a custom machine to make specific size cubes out of logs or limbs . It won’t be the most efficient way of doing it , but I really want to use fuel similar to Steve’s pallet nuggets ( all of a similar size). Anyway I hope you’re finding ways to keep yourself busy. I know youtube was my favorite past time last year. That and drawing what I wanted to build. I got the pyrocoil out of my chair time. I wouldn’t say it was a good trade, but it sure gave me the time to think about every detail of it before I did a thing and it kept my brain alive. Take care man , and if you give me an address, I’d like to send you some kind of care package. Later. Joe

      • Joe Papa says:

        Mike, they took me off of the blood thinners in January. I thought I would instantly feel better, but it sort of went the other way. I had more bad days than good. Since then the bad days have been starting to dwindle a little more. I still have my days where even if the weather is nice , I take the day off. As for the clots , they did a series of tests after taking me off of the thinners. They found no sign of any clotting. Not in the lungs or the legs. The doctors all agree that it was a provoked event. They think when I broke the ankle , the blood condition that I have ( factor five lieden) caused the clots . There are two genes that govern clotting. One of mine is not functioning. It puts me at a 5-10 fold chance of clotting over the average person who doesn’t have this condition. If the other gene was bad I would have had a 50-100 fold increase in the chance of clotting but I lucked out there. I never knew I had this condition until this point in my life. I got it from one of my parents and they don’t even know who has it. Long story short , as long as I don’t break anything I will eventually get all of my lung function back and I will get back to normal. I’m just grateful to feel as good as I do most of the time. As for work, I went back to work almost three months after breaking the ankle. WAY TO SOON for how I felt at the time , but you know I like living in my house so we do what we have to do to keep our jobs. I’m glad they were able to take me as I was and not push too hard. Take care. Joe

      • Joe although my accident wasn’t as life threatening as your situation trust me when I tell you that I do understand the feeling bad thing. After the Trauma surgery and all of the drugs I too feel like I was rode hard and put up wet. For now I’m dealing with waking up cold and some night sweating so I can tell that my body went through something past a few stitches. I have really wanted to get back on my gasifier stuff and now I’m probably 6 to 8 months out before my arm will be strong enough to do anything. At this point I have lost feeling in some of my right hand that I may or may not regain and I was told that I may not get the full movement out of my elbow because the bone wasn’t just broken but shattered and to make things worse I’m right handed so it’s a task just brushing my teeth at least for now.

      • Joe Papa says:

        Damn Mike , I heard you got hit by a car , but I didn’t think the driver was going that fast. I’m sure your going to feel that for a while. I always hated the pain meds too. I only try to take stuff like that when I go to bed because I like to know that what I’m doing is bothering me.

        We just got slammed with about two feet of snow here and it’s still snowing. I worked night shift last night ( removing snow ) and came home to run the snow blower for about 4 hours. It doesn’t even look like I touched it. Worst part is I will be going back in tonight and will probably have to do more snow removal. Oh well spring is almost here , so it won’t stick around long. Take care , Joe

      • Joe it could have been much worse for sure. We got snow Sunday night but it has already melted. It sounds like both you and Bill have your hands full with nasty weather.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Mike, Oh yeah, we are in the height of the blizzard now.. Visibility is about 125 feet wind blowing snow through every crack and is coming down hard at 1440 hours here at the compound. I was going to head out for the first round with the plow but I think I’ll wait . It is just plain angry and nasty right now.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Joe,
        Yeah, the idea of getting heat from the wood that I am processing into charcoal is perty appealing, especially now as the winter is approaching once more.
        My gasifier keeps me nice and warm most evenings, as I often work in the shed while it is online.
        Even though it’s a fairly small work space, the fumes don’t seem to have done too much damage, yet.
        Oh sure, there is a third arm growing out of my back, and I have to get all my shirts altered as a result, but that’s not such a bad price to pay for almost free energy πŸ™‚ .
        I suspect that there is not much energy to be had from the charcoal, but it does represent a very convenient form of fuel for a mini power station.
        Since the charcoal is likely to be wasted otherwise, and I have rather a lot of it, the possibility of getting a second lot of power from it is enough to justify some effort on my part.
        Wood it work?
        I disnay know, but I am sure gonna be finding out in the not too distant future.
        For sure, I will keep y’all posted on the success or otherwise of this smoky little venture on the “charc Side of the Force” πŸ™‚ .

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Flash
        I sure do hope so, as I will be spending nearly 17 whole dollars on this build πŸ˜‰ .
        If it works, my plan is to build a mini DC charging station with a rope start 5HP engine, driving a 100 Amp car alternator.
        It will be a teeny weeny version of the Gas-O-Matix9000, and will probably be parked right next to its big brother πŸ™‚ .

        By the way, I am pleased to see that you are starting to come right now.
        You have a fair bit of healing to do, for sure, but I know you will be just fine in time.
        I get the feeling that you would rather be going through this in winter than in summer, as it totally sucks to be stuck inside when everyone else is having fun in the sun.
        Here’s hoping the warmer months will see you out and about once more πŸ™‚ .

        Keep up the good fight bro. You are always in my thoughts.

  4. Unique3 says:

    I watched Josefppaz video yesterday about his water scrubber. Has anyone else tried running a water scrubber yet? If so with other filter media as well or only water. Thoughts on it vs regular filters?

    I like the idea of the water scrubber and being able to change it out easier then filter media but I’m concerned with our winter temperatures about keeping it from freezing. I would need to drain it after every run.

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Joseph’s water scrubber is absolutely brilliant πŸ™‚ .
      It makes such an amazing difference to the quality of the gas too.
      Some years ago, I did a very simple version of it. This was a simple water bubbler.
      The dirty gas was bubbled through the water, and was substantially cleaned, as it left tar behind in the water pool.
      The only down side with this was that I couldn’t flare test it, because the flare blower couldn’t pull the gas through the water pool.
      Joseph’s system is better, as it doesn’t impose that vacuum demand on the system.
      That stated, I get the feeling that simpler systems are perhaps easier to live with, as there is less to maintain, and no chance of a winter freeze up.
      My simple little system has clocked up nearly 1300 hours of run time, without wrecking the engines, so I am quite happy with it.
      Stainless steel scrubbers, and camel hair are all mine relies on for this.
      Still though, we wood all be fascinated to see a water scrubber system being put to use on a gasifier installation.

    • Brian says:

      I’m sorry, I absolutely don’t understand how to post a comment without replying to someone. Can anyone help me out.

      • John Mahler says:

        No I don’t know how anymore. I changed browsers to fire fox and also haven’t posted anything here in ages. I like the idea of using up slash and wood where one has it to run a home gen. set or even drive there on wood gas. It works but it is not really powerful in my experience with it 60 years ago when I restored a gasifier system on an old 1937 Plymouth pick up truck. It mostly kept me out of trouble and then I used the vehicle for errands around those country farms and sold my services as a log spliter and chord stacker.

      • Joe Papa says:

        Brian, just click on “1,417 COMMENTS” at the top left side of the page then scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and start typing in the leave a reply box. That should open a new string of comments. Joe

      • Pete Rosenkrans says:

        who was asking about water filtration? I have been using various water filters with good success. Joe’s method works great. mine is different now, due to design ideas. crazy thing- I was using gasoline over the winter, and it really was a great final way to clean the woodgas before going to the engine.

  5. Joe Papa says:

    Ok guys, I did a little bit of testing today. I had mixed results. First off, I finished mounting the exhaust , bolted all the gaskets in place and piped together fittings to hook up a propane tank to the ninja. Now I couldn’t seem to get the air fuel mixture right no matter how much I messed with them. I’m thinking that the two regulators in line are not allowing enough fuel to flow. I will be trying it a different way when I get a chance ( probably toward the end of the week). Well I did get the engine running on starter fluid , and the exhaust is awesome. It did smoke a bit, but the smoke was coming out the output side of the pyrocoil. I was just really disappointed that I just couldn’t keep it running on propane. It would start and die right out. Have any of you ever tried to run an engine on propane? I know Mike did a video on it , but he put it in a bag and drew it from there. I’m just trying not to blow myself up. What are your thoughts? Joe

    • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

      Joe, If you are trying to run the ninja from a 20 lb BBQ grill tank it may not be able to vaporize in the tank fast enough to keep the engine going, especially in these cold temperatures.
      That happened to me when I was first installing the JollyG 30KW. In the summer it would run 5 minutes off a 20 lb’r before the tank froze to death. Then it was a 100 lb tank, then the snowman and finally I got it to run off a 3oo gal torpedo.
      Just a thought. Propane is great but really temperature sensitive.
      Just a thought,
      Bill

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Howdee Joe,

      Yeah, it can be difficult to start and run an engine on bottled gas.
      I have done it a few times, but it is very finicky, even at the best of times.
      Not long after the engine starts up, the bottle begins to freeze, and the pressure drops, which necessitates some manipulation of the mixing valves.
      I wood like to recommend a different approach to this.
      Basically, it’s a vapour carburetor.
      My gasser has one, for initial starting of the engine, before migrating to woodgas.
      It’s nothing more than a coffee can, with two pipes passing through the lid.
      One pipe runs down to the bottom of the can, and the other runs no more than 1/2 inch into the can.
      A shallow pool of dinosaur squeezings, sometimes referred to as gasoline, is poured into the can, and yer ready to roll.
      The engine sucks on the short pipe, so as to cause the long pipe to bubble air into the fuel pool.
      When mixed with air, as you are doing with the bottled gas, it will run the engine.
      In time, the fuel gets cold, and near the end, you need to wind down the air control valve in order to keep the engine running.
      This is not very efficient either, as it never uses up all of the fuel, but it sure does reliably start and run the engine.
      Give it a go. You’ll love it πŸ™‚ .

      • Bill B says:

        The reason it does not keep running is because by bubbling air through the gasoline it goes stale in about fifteen minutes by using up all the octane first, or whatever it is they added, and leaves you with useless fuel. Try sandwiching a piece of flannel, or even a piece of cotton shirt, between a piece of folded in half window screen, roll it into a cylinder shape and stand it in the gasoline, which wicks the fumes up to the top, where the engine draws it in. Heating the chamber works even better. This system gives extreme milage. Back in the day, farm tractors had the exhaust ports on the same side of the heads as the intake manifold ports, and both manifolds were connected, and this heated the incoming air, and the carb, attached to the exhaust manifold, had a special area where the exhaust circulated through it and heated the gasoline very hot, causing it to vaporize but didn’t actually come in contact with the gasoline. The result was extreme milage. Those old tractors just kept running and running. In the early 1900’s some carbs on cars were actually built with several pieces of cloth for a vapor effect. Vapor carbs were banned from racing in the 50’s because some worked better than others so pit stops were uneven. Manufacturers could very easily build autos today to get hundreds of miles per gallon, plus every charge explodes completely which means no pollution, and no carbon monoxide, which totally eliminates all pollution controls, which wrecks the holy hell out of their precious profits. There are over 900 patents for vapor carbs. You know the rest of the story.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Bill B,
        Yup, that’s the truth of it.
        In pretty short order, this simple carby sucks all of the goodness out of the dinosaur squeezings,
        As a result, the juice just doesn’t taste quite the same when it gets into my mouth during syphoning accidents πŸ˜‰ .
        I wood like to try out your enhanced carby idea, as it has got to be better than watt I am currently using.
        Indeed, this one is so bad that I am using up to one entire gallon of dinosaur squeezings per year on this generator πŸ˜‰ .
        Perhaps though, I may look into adding a standard carby to the system, as this wood be a lot neater, and safer than my current arrangement with the coffee can.

    • Pete Rosenkrans says:

      I’ve ran alot of engines on propane, thinking your regulator is the problem. I run my woody generator on propane before and after a woodgas run, about 10 min.

      • Joe Papa says:

        Pete, I am interested in buying a propane kit for this engine I’m running. I agree that the regulator is most likely the problem. I’m not sure if I need some kind of vaporizer to make sure the propane is in the form of a gas at the rate the engine pulls it in. If anyone knows a place that would be willing to set me up with a conversion kit to run a 500 cc liquid cooled 1997 kawasaki ninja engine, feel free to let me know who they are. I would like to have it in place regardless if I use it on propane or not. I’m really hoping to do a run soon ( on wood ) . It will be fun.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Joe, I found this link for propane conversions:
        http://www.nashfuel.com/conversionkits.asp
        I can check the numbers on the 30kw Onan which is on propane.
        The vapor production is determined by tank size, Therms required and temperature.
        You need surface area above the liquid propane in the tank to allow it to ” boil “.
        Bill

      • Pete Rosenkrans says:

        I went to my local propane supplier. after wooing him with the Gasifier, he helped me with regulator, etc.
        he’s old School, and knows his stuff.

  6. Unique3 says:

    I started writing this as a reply to an Email from Mark but I figured I should share with the whole group and give a little more background on myself.

    When I first started watching videos I was a little intimidated and considered buying a manufactured system, until I came across the Flashifier. When he listed the tools he used I realized that it’s not as bad as I thought, only one I don’t have yet is a welder and it’s something I’ve been meaning to learn. I still have to watch everyone else’s videos and I will do that.

    I took possession of my off grid property in September, so far we put in the driveway and put a camper onsite. This winter I’ve built a generator shed with a small inverter and 12v battery bank to reduce the number of hours I need to run the generator. I took my duel fuel (I run propane) Champion generator and automated it using a cheap PLC. So I can auto start my generator remotely when I need to run a large load or based on battery voltage for charging. My plan isn’t to use the gasifier with this setup but to get another generator and keep this one as the backup system or for when I need a lot of power for a short period and don’t want to start up the gasifier.

    My plan is to put up a garage with bunk house above it in the next 2 years and then start work on the house, hopefully have it done in about 6-8 years. I can only work weekends on it and my goal is to do > 90% of it myself. I’m chained to my city house for at least 10 years until my youngest is 18 at which point I hope to move to the cottage and work remotely (In the IT industry)
    Once the house is done and we are there more than just weekends I am going to put in a larger battery bank a large inverter and a solar array.

    I’ll check out the lopping shear videos. I was considering just getting a harbor freight wood chipper once my gasifier is up and running, would that provide good sized fuel?

    For your DC generator what voltage are you running? I was considering a setup with a small motor and alternators but I figured since I already have the 100amp 12v charger I would just use a generator and that. When I put in my big 48v inverter it will also have a charger built in so again I don’t see the motivation for going DC charging. Are there pros of DC charging I’m missing?

    Erik

    • Joe Papa says:

      Erik, I ran a 5000 watt generator on wood gas, and keeping in mind that all gasifiers are a little different, mine only produced about 1500 watts of power before the voltage dropped down to a level I didn’t like. Now you can use less filter media, and be able to produce more gas flow , but I just didn’t like the voltage swings of a regular generator. Others have had better outputs from the generators. I was also running on pellets , so that may play a part . I came across grid tied inverters and I will be using a larger engine. I like the sound of them because they don’t care how many watts of power you are producing, they just take it in at a wide range ( 10 – 38 vdc ) and turn it into a power that is matched to the grid giving you the option of using the energy you produce before you pay for it from the electric company. Now in your case you will be totally off grid in which that may not be so attractive for you. I also like the fact that it will be a constant load instead of swing loads from various appliances/chargers. Different loads will draw harder on the gasifier and can require some constant fine tuning. Now if you watch cncmachiningisfun’s videos, he is using an oxygen sensor to run a servo motor that controls the air intake of the engine to dial in the air/fuel ratio constantly. I will be shooting for this as well, but mine will be a little different. Hats of to Steve though because his set up is working very well. So it all comes down to what you want out of your system. Keep us posted on your progress. By the way , we love pictures and videos , so if you have a youtube username let us know what it is so we can subscribe to you. Also I have heard that the wood chippers can produce a decent fuel, but you may have to screen out the small stuff. You don’t want fuel that is too small because it makes it harder for the engine to pull the gas through it. That may be another reason others have produced more than I have. Keep us posted. Joe ( AKA mazdalorean on youtube)

      • Unique3 says:

        The cleanness of the power coming out of the generator was one of my concerns. At the moment I was just planning on feeding my battery charger so the loading should be pretty steady, dropping slowly as the batteries take less power. But yeah if I was starting and stopping loads I could see the issue. My plan was to have it fully manual to start and start adding PLC controls to trigger the shaker and control the air/fuel ratio once its up and running so I can leave it unattended during the charge.

        The inverter I was looking at Outback Radian GS8048 has a generator input mode that can handle undersized or poor quality generator power to charge the battery, you can limit its draw to what your generator can support and it doesn’t care about wave forms. In generator mode it basically acts as a separate charger and never uses the transfer switch so the house power is always pure from the inverter.

        That being said a small motor hooked up by pulley to a wind generator motor like Mark suggested could be cheaper and more efficient. My only concern is setting it up twice as I am 12v right now but converting to 48v down the road, with a generator that doesn’t matter but a DC setup I would need to change. Plus the chargers have built in battery charge cycles to not overcharge where as I would need to manage that manually with a motor and DC setup. Still leaning towards a normal generator at this time.

        I haven’t setup a you tube account but I will be for videos. I was going to create a blog of my build process but I haven’t gotten to it yet. It is mainly going to keep family and friends updated and to have a record of the journey for when I am done. My automatic generator shed was going to be the first post. I was originally going to do the blog as a write up but video is probably easier and more useful for people

        I was thinking about screening the wood chipper output and keep just the larger stuff, should be pretty easy to setup a vibrating screen on the outlet of the wood chipper, screen it right in the forest and only bag the good stuff to take home. But I’m getting way ahead of myself.

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Howdee Eric,

      Welcome to the Woodgas Bugbite Venom Victim Club πŸ™‚ .
      Like you, we all started out as absolute beginners.
      We have made our fair share of tar and mistakes, but we have learned the essential lessons for success.
      It is fair to say that we have all got to the point where we can trust our gassers to run cleanly, and we have also learned to detect dirty gas, before it can get a chance to eat our engines.
      Like you, I own an off grid property.
      In the past, during the winter, I used about 1 gallon of petrol, or diesel, a day, to keep the batteries topped up.
      Now, thanks to the magic of gasification, I am down to 1 gallon of petrol a year πŸ™‚ .

      In pretty short order, you will accumulate the courage and skills to take on this worthy task, so you too can enjoy the priceless sense of personal freedom that this technology offers its users.
      Just watch out for Woodgas Bugs, as their venom rich neck-nips are the reason we have become addicted πŸ˜‰ .

      Best wishes,
      Steve.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Eric,
        Thanks kindly πŸ™‚ .
        This gasifier is surely a fine work of art.
        Indeed, it wood be a shame to set fire to it, and make it all dirty πŸ˜‰ .
        This beast has a lot of potential, and I am hoping to fully harness it in the not too distant future.

  7. Unique3 says:

    I just wanted to say how great this website is. Flash001 you have done an amazing job on your videos and I am going to be using your gasifier as a model for building mine.

    I just recently learned of wood-gas when doing research planning my off-grid house and I’m amazing this isn’t a more commonly used system. I’m trying to learn everything I can before I start building this coming fall.

    Where I am building I am surrounded by thousands of acres of goverment land and I’m allowed to collect firewood from dead trees for about $12 a cord.
    I ran some numbers based on conversions I found online for wood to gas and the efficiency of small generators and it seems that I can produce electricity for about 2 cents a kw/h (without the labor and gasifier costs) That cost is for firewood size pieces of course. Since for the gasifier I can use the branches that would normally be left behind my costs will actually only be my labor and I will be out collecting firewood anyways. This is a perfect pairing with my wood heating.

    • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

      Welcome Unique3. You will find this to be one of the most enjoyable projects you’ve ever done. There are a few of these systems up and running quite well. Have questions? We would be glad to help.
      Bill W. aka: NH Hbbyloggr

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Pete, In all fairness we should post BEFORE and AFTER pictures of ourselves to show Omagodfry what he’s in for. It’s not too late for him.
        As I write this you should know I am off grid, again. The grid went down at 4:20 AM. The batteryBank/Inverter is handling the wood boiler circulators and a small 3750 W standby generator is feeding the UPS backup for the WiFi and computers. Sadly the Jolly Green Giant Onan is down with a bad distributor pickup sensor.
        At first light I’ll wander down to the shop and fire up the gasifier to recharge the batterybank.
        Hope all is well with you out there in Happytown, NB
        Bill

      • Unique3 says:

        That’s what I am hoping. I love tinkering and this is a project that should be both very useful and help me develop some new skills, I haven’t done any metal working before now.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Unique3, Follow Flash’s videos closely . You will need some tools and certainly learn to weld or have a shop do that for you. It’s a lot of work but once you’ve been bitten there’s no hope for you. Glad to have you aboard.
        Bill

      • If I was able to pull this off anyone can do it. I took a “self taught” crash course in working with metal and learned welding with an El-Cheapo Habor Freight $99 dollar special welder and I didn’t even blow myself up doing it.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Pete, Trying to survive, man. Grid down this morning . P-stone filters must be froze up and the JollyG is down. I’m going to get the JG back on line before changing out the P-Stone. Easy to do seeing that they are spin -on filters.
        Git er done now that we just got above the freezing mark.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Mike, The weather started as snow and then turned to rain and a lot of wind. Grid was down 4 hours.The BatteryBank did its job . Jolly Green is down but I might have that repaired by the end of the day.Yesterday was 47*F and today is supposed to be 50*. Snow is shrinking but there is a lot of ice.
        Very thankful for the Battery/Inverter and the gasifier set up.

    • Joe Papa says:

      I’d like to extend a warm welcome to the wood gas world. There are a bunch of us that have already been through the building of our own wood gasifiers and if you hit any snags , feel free to ask us questions. I’m sure everyone else feels the same way. I don’t think you’ll have too much trouble getting through the build as Flash’s videos pretty much cover everything. There are auto cad drawings floating around detailing all parts of the build. If you haven’t seen them yet , let us know. Joe

    • Mark Adams says:

      Welcome. If you send me a e-mail at mada94FXR@gmail.com I can get those drawings to you. They are in PDF format that you should be able to download and print. We will be happy to help. Just make sure you jave unique3 in the subject box so I know it’s you. Mark

  8. Bill B. says:

    Hi Guys, just recalled something from the past, and it may be a help in the flare-fan dept. Many of you have spoken of the problem of gumming-up the flare motor/fan with tar. There is a tool for spraying a fine mist of paint, called a mouth atomizer, very small, hand held. It consists of two small pipes, hinged at the end, folded together for storage, and open for painting, forming a 90 degree angle. The vertical pipe dips into a small can of paint, and when you blow air through the horizontal pipe, the air flows over the top end of the vertical pipe, causing a vacuum, which draws the paint up the vertical pipe and out onto the object being painted. So I thought why not have your blower/fan blow air thru a horizontal pipe, and the smoke/gas goes up the vertical pipe, and out for flaring, and nothing ever even gets close to the blower/fan.

    • Joe says:

      Hey Bill, there are a lot of people using this type of set up. They call them ejectors. They are great in the way that the motor/compressor doesn’t pull any tar through them, but the down side is they use a lot more energy to get the system warmed up. So it ends up being sort of a trade off. Also they will only work well if the fuel you are using has some space between them. Pellets are small so it’s hard to get enough gas through the small spaces, but if you use larger fuel like large chips to small chunks , you would be ok. How are you making out with building a gasifier? I can’t remember if you started building . Be sure to keep us posted on your progress. Joe

      • Joe Papa says:

        Bill B., I have finally been able to get back to work on my gasifier . I had a lot of things going on that kept me from doing anything constructive. Here is a link to my latest video https://youtu.be/JJVsBqrLVTE . I have gotten a lot done since this video has been posted, but I want to get to a certain point before I do another video. Lots of things are finally coming together at this point. I have been building for over three years now, and the gasifier is pretty much able to be run any time, but right now I’m focusing on getting my donor engine connected with it’s components to generate dc power , which will then be inverted to 120 vac through a series of grid tied inverters. These grid tied inverters are really cool. Check them out on youtube if you get a chance. Well keep us posted if you start building, and keep in touch. Joe

      • Bill B. says:

        Hey Joe, very cool, your gasser looks like quite the machine, and I really like all the controls you are working on, and the welding looks really sweet, nice job, keep it up.

      • Joe says:

        Thanks Bill, I don’t know if you guys were following along , but Mark ( mada94fxr ) has made some real progress . Here is a link to one of his videos, but you should look up the rest of them to see where he’s at. https://youtu.be/xkBkFG7Mtn4 He also has one where he is running his log splitter on wood gas. Be sure to stop and check out his progress. Joe

      • Mark Christian says:

        Hi Joe,

        Glad to hear you’re back at it. Hope you’re doing well.

        I purchased a cabin this summer, so I took the summer off and worked on projects up there. I’m hoping to get started back into it this fall/winter again.

        Have a good one guys.

        Mark

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Howdee Joe,

      Ya gotta be careful when playing with these generators, as there is a good chance that you could be “electro-catted” πŸ˜‰ .
      Sorry, couldn’t resist. Found that joke in the “litter” ;).

      Ok, I will show myself out now πŸ™‚ .

  9. Joe Papa says:

    I’ve been doing some thinking on the plc logic. I started out reviewing what types of instructions were at my disposal, and made a note of the ones that I thought could be most useful based on their description. I also reviewed the data from my last run and picked out the “normal ” operating conditions for this gasifier. This is what I have so far. The ash grate shaker is not permitted to be shaken until certain conditions exist. The first condition is the thermocouple in the hearth has to read above a set number . After this minimum temperature has been achieved it looks for the second condition. This is the vacuum level needs to be above a certain level. So this sets up the normal conditions I want to see. After these two conditions are met, the ash grate shaker turns on for 4 seconds ( this is adjustable to an exact length of time ) . Now I might add another timer that won’t allow the shaker to be able to run again for a long enough period for the system to show the results of the shaking. So I can also set it up to blow a horn in place of shaking the grate in the beginning, so I can review that the conditions are in fact what I’m looking for , and manually shake it with the switch until I trust it is a reliable set of instructions. Let me know if any of this sounds like a bad way to do it , or if you can think of a more effective plan. Thanks . Joe Papa

    • Joe you’re going about this the right way. It’s all about experimenting and finding what works for your build. I could build the perfect controller and have the perfect shake and vibrate times set up for my build but it may not match a build by someone else or at least the time duration’s would probably need to be tweaked to their machines needs. I said that my controller has two modes but I forgot to mention that it will also have a manual mode where I can either press a button for shaking the grate “off the fly” or press a button and vibrate the wood hopper “off the fly” and I can do this running in either Mode 1 or Mode 2.

      • Joe Papa says:

        Flash, I’m really looking forward to seeing your control set up. I just can’t wait till the moment when I can look at the numbers on the laptop, and say ” wait for it” and the shaker just comes on and goes off. But I want it to be more than a timed situation. If the engine load changes, it may require different timing for everything. This is going to get real exciting in the not so distant future. Up until now , I haven’t sat down and really put thought into the control of it, so although I have the program written , at some point, I would like to run it by the plc tech to see if it will fly, or what needs to be changed to make it do what I expect it to do. Don’t forget, I’m like a student trying to put a sentence together in a new language . Maybe this gasifier will at least understand what I’m trying to say. Joe

      • There’s no doubt that shifting the timing with woodgas will give the engine more torque. I know that I read that somewhere too. The drive on woodgas guys do mods to their systems to shift the timing when switching over to woodgas. I can’t remember if they are advancing or retarding the timing.

      • Joe Papa says:

        John, I don’t doubt that the arduino stuff can get the job done. The biggest reason I went with the industrial plc is I wanted to gain experience with them for my job as a maintenance mechanic working on industrial machines. I figured it would motivate me to learn something I might not have the drive to pick up otherwise. It has given me plenty of exposure to how it all works , and I wouldn’t have gotten that just repairing equipment. Joe Papa

      • No criticism meant. I used PLC quite a lot programming HVAC and other equipment in boiler rooms and equipment rooms when I worked as a Plant Engineer in a hospital for 38 years. I just retired four years ago. Good move on your part. I am learning Arduino out of curiosity. It is like but different from PLC. What I like about it is “tailoring ability” I used to purchase 36 in-out boxes all the time and only use about a third of it. It seemed such a waste. I could have had one of these sketches for a single purpose circuit in Arduino, and then bread boarded it for the application. I am in no way disparaging or finding fault with anything about PLC. I used it a lot and it is good stuff. Just presenting another pathway for some, not everyone.
        John Mahler

      • Joe Papa says:

        John, no criticism taken. I really hate being forced to buy the operating software from the company that makes the parts. I have never liked to be ” under the thumb” of any company. I’m hoping to learn enough about all of this to be helpful to anyone who wants the technology on their gasifiers, but I would like to figure out a way to do it with other products. I’m not sure if you have seen it, but all power labs sells the GCU ( gasification control unit ) which is arduino based and has a lot of great features. https://youtu.be/5o8WS5IQF8c Here is the link to the video . Joe

      • Very cool! Being retired for four years has taken it’s toll in my not paying attention. I learned of Arduino about six months ago. I am glad this is the same. This definitely will take some of the unreliability out of gasification. When I was in my teens about 60 years ago, I spent a summer back on the farm in Iowa rebuilding one of the commercial gasifiers of the day (1937 Plymouth pick up with commercial unit) and I was not impressed. The driving was cheap to free. I delivered or chopped firewood up for folks in the community and made enough to have kept out of trouble that summer. Once the gasifier got good and hot, it had about 1/2 the power of gasoline. The owner said it had never performed as well as after I tuned it up and decrudded it. LOL I have much of the material stored up to build one of these, but haven’t got to it because of foot surgery last year in September. I am still recovering and I’ve had a lot of wind knocked out of my sails for doing shop stuff.
        John Mahler

      • Joe Papa says:

        John , that was a great story about actually working on a vehicle and it’s gasifier that many years ago. I just think it’s great that you were able to have that experience with gasifiers during a time that it was commonplace . Thanks for sharing it with us. As for the foot surgery, I do hope you feel better soon. I have had some issues myself . Long story real short. I broke my ankle May 8th. Then from sitting around letting it heal, I developed a blood clot in my left leg and a saddle pulmonary embolism ( large clots in both lungs) . I am mostly confined to this chair , and have problems with getting out of breath, getting fatigued , migraines , and cramps in the calf. Not to mention the ankle still hurts ( and continues to stay swollen ) . The docs drag their feet with scheduling stuff , and I may lose my job after August 15th if they say I’m not able to go back. It sucks because I really like my job and I walk to work . I haven’t missed a single day in the two and a half years leading up to this. It is what it is. I’m not going to put myself in a situation where I go back to work , knowing I’m going to damage my heart or kill myself , just to keep my job. Anyway do you have anyone who can help you along with your build? I hope you can find someone to give you a hand. Good luck and keep us posted. Joe Papa

      • I was forced to retire in 2012 due to extremely bad vascular insufficiency in both legs from 40 years of walking on concrete. My feet have no feeling due to neuropathy. I have edema and have to wear thigh length compression hose. Even so, following the first operation on my left ankle, I developed a blood clot. I took Coumadin and avoided more complications, but had side effects from Coumadin. I no longer bruise, my tissues bleed internally, and my skin got thin and looks like it is tissue paper thick. Then the bones in the left hand foot started crumbling due to osteoporosis and I had to have the ankle fused with 5 deck SS screws. It has taken from September 2015 to present for the bones to fully fuse. I still have pain. I had the foot injected last Tuesday. It will probably require a prosthetic joint replacement. I also have had both total knees done in 2008 and 2010 due to crippling arthritis. I know what you must be going through.
        The reason I mentioned the 1937 PU and 1942 WWII gasifier was because it was something for a bored city kid to do on the farm where I spent my summers. I was pleased with myself for getting it running, and the praise of the owner, and a summer job cutting wood. I will say, anyone who thinks wood gas is like gasoline better give this a second long think. Gen sets are another story and probably the best use of the technology.
        I am in recuperation from the foot surgery and have done next to nothing with the gasifier project. I have collected stuff, I have the FEMA (formerly Mother Earth Whole Earth Catalog magazine) plan set. I have been trying to get one of these built since the 70″s and the Carter oil crisis gas lines. Out of expediency I drove diesels and propane converted vehicles for many years for a variety of reasons. It has been two years since I got anything done in the shop because of my health issues. I have no children and no friends or neighbors are interested in my nutty ideas. LOL
        I am interested in all kinds of alternate energy schemes. Wind turbines, tide motors, hydro electric, Tesla turbine, magnetics, Bedini motors, Newman over unity motors. I know the ones that work from the junk science. So far, Tesla Turbine, Stirling engines, peltier effect thermal generators and solar cells, all work. But that devil James Watt and his Conservation of Energy Laws sure threw a monkey wrench into the works for the scam artists in the free energy movement. LOL I got interested in all this stuff when I had no shop access and had to sit by the P.C. trussed up with my feet above my heart. It beats being sir crazy. I don’t know if Flash has a way to attach photos and drawings, but if he does and I can be trained how to do it, I will share some of my ideas. My best to you and I will be praying for your improving health.
        John Mahler

      • Joe Papa says:

        John , there are a few of us that have spent a little time putting plans together for the flashifier. Now a few of these guys have pretty much carbon copies of Flash’s gasifier. Even mine has the heart of the Flashifier. In other words the main hearth dimensions, ignition port, reduction zone, shaker parts are IDENTICAL to Flash’s. My email address is mazdalorean@gmail.com . If you send me your email address, I can forward the the files that I have to you. Mark has done a spectacular job turning my hand drawn images of Flash’s build into real professional drawings. I know Flash was working on putting them up on the miniwoodgas website, but last time I checked I didn’t see them . By the way I will add you to my prayer list as well . Thanks. Joe

      • Very cool link to All Power Labs. After watching this, you probably could use an old PC to do the same thing but never the less they nailed the name of their control board. Kitchen sink pretty much describes their build. I noticed they had the flow rate sensors on the board and that’s cool but it would have been nice to have made them where they interfaced through a data cable so you could place them close to whatever you were monitoring. Never the less, quite impressive! Thanks for posting that link!

      • Joe Papa says:

        Flash , after I posted the link , I realized that this video is 6 years old. I haven’t seen much action coming from the all power labs crew these days. I hope things are going well for them. I would also love to see what they have to offer now as far as the GCU goes. I would have to say they’ve made major improvements . The biggest thing I don’t like about that unit is the display. I would like to see a large touchscreen panelview on it. I would also like to see a video where they scroll through the parameters/options on the screen . I think I’m going to go back to that video and post a comment on this. Later. Joe

      • Joe I’m all of the time receiving emails from them on seminars or even gasifier sales so I have a feeling these guys are staying busy probably outside the country more than inside the country.

      • Joe Papa says:

        Flash, thanks for the info. I just submitted my email address to their website a few days ago. It probably takes time , but maybe I’ll start to see that stuff here too. Joe

      • Joe Papa says:

        Update. Here is a link to a video in which they actually go through EVERY setting on the GEK TOTTI gasifier control unit. https://youtu.be/PZ5EfydldrQ I know this won’t interest everyone, but it answered a LOT of things I was curious about.

      • Hey Flash I am some what frustrated finding a good Blower Motor fan that runs on 12 Volt DC. I bought a super vacuum but realized the brushes were in the path of the combustible gases and would be a ignition point. $80 bucks, bad choice. I also purchased a Sea Flow Fan It has 139 CFM But Whimpy vacuum capibility. Only about 2 Iinches of water column. The Super Vacuum about 4 inches of water column. i also spent $108 Bucks on a Dayton 3FRG5 DC Blower, 12 VDC, 57 CFM VERY Low 0.75 INCHES OF WATER COLUMN. I have tried a air mattress blower it works OK But has a column of about 2.5 inches. DOES ANY BODY HAVE THE ULTIMATE BLOWER VACUUM DEVICE for use on the gasifier?

      • Joe Papa says:

        Thomas , I think a lot of us struggled to find the perfect blower for our builds. I have used vacuum cleaners in the past and agree that although they have great suction, if there is any air mixed in with the gas they will blow up. My video was proof of that. The problem is most regular squirrel cage blowers have a wide squirrel cage in them and that allows the air to slip causing low amounts of suction available. If you ever looked at a vacuum cleaner motor, they have a slim squirrel cage design which has tighter tolerances and gets better suction. One thing is for sure. What ever blower you choose, make sure you start your gasser with plenty of bio char to warm it up. The less tars that pass through your blower the longer it will last. I am going to make a filter just for my ” unfiltered flare” just to help protect the blower during the start up. Good luck and be sure to keep us posted on your progress. We love videos. Joe

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Thomas,
        I have to say I’ve been the route with blowers all the way from 3 little squirrel cage rigs to three different regenerative blowers But I have to say the el-cheap-o 4″ 12 VDC Bilge pump blower from Amazon.com is one tough bird I recall it was something like $ 30.00. There is no reason why this thing used as my Primary blower for the flair should even be alive. It is constantly filled with wet moisture soot, sometimes tar , has to be cleaned with brake cleaner just to unstick the propeller. I’ve soaked it and run it inside a 5 gal pail of Oxy clean and hot water and it is still running. I sometimes have to stick a screw driver in it to work the propeller free from tar, spray it with brake cleaner to loosen it up and it’s still going. Some of the plastic housing on the inside de-laminated due to the sharp tool I used to try to scrape it clean. Now I don’t bother scraping it. It still pulls an inch or two of water which is plenty of draw for the process of gasification to begin and maintain itself.
        I’ve come to respect this tough little bugger and had considered getting another one. But why should I ? Did I mention that it is now going on 3 yrs old and is racking up the hours way more than I would have given it credit to…especially after the first time it seized up from sitting for a couple of months. I wiggled the prop back and forth, sprayed some WD on it and off it went. Now a days I know just to touch the wire to the battery. If it runs, then fine. If it doesn’t , disconnect it , spray it down, turn the prop back and forth with a stick and put it to work.
        No bones about it. It gets an A rating from the King of Cheap and Scrap.
        Hope this helps.
        Bill NH Hbbyloggr

    • Mark Christian says:

      Thanks Joe. Simple design, although I think I would want to make it out of steel and put capture the genie exhaust’s heat before the air intake. It would be nice to be able to use the copper, but the melting point of solder is just too low.

      BTW, I hope you are feeling better. Take care!

      Mark

      • Joe this video is actually pretty cool to know we can do this on a micro scale with old barrels. I’ve seen a few videos like this and yeah it’s amazing and at the same time you have to ask yourself why we don’t do this here on a state by state or even a town by town basis. Think of all of the kudzu infested areas along with places that could use a good clearing.

        We could not only produce power but we could create jobs with this and have a clean technology that would allow us to clean up areas and even accept scrap brush from people that take it to a landfill. What a waste. It makes me wonder if we live in an idiocracy or a parallel planet of the apes universe.

      • Joe Papa says:

        Flash, it’s funny because sometimes we feel like were just mad scientists chasing some impossible dream, but when you see that people have invested this much into it , you start to realize we’re not so mad after all. Actually we’re the only ones that can see the potential . I’m happy to be part of this clan of mad scientists , and can’t wait to organize enough input to write the logic I need to automate this system. I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on which parameters are the most important for determining when to shake the grate, when to operate a hopper vibrator, when to know when the hopper starts to run out of fuel, etc. For example when the pressure is this, shake the grate, or when the hearth temp is this ,shake the grate , or just an opinion of what YOU logically watch for to know it’s time for these actions to take place. I will probably start doing this soon, since chair time is all I can do these days . I am reaching out to anyone who will put this into words so I can take those words and translate it into plc instructions. I have reached out to all power labs and ovntepl ( another plant scale company ) , but I don’t think I will get them to give me the info about their gasifier control systems. So let me know what you think. The more descriptive the better. Thanks . Joe

  10. Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

    Celebrate the 4th of July and light up your gasifier. This bug is for you. Cheers !
    Here is today’s run results:
    Time Start: 9:18 AM
    Ignition port start with Char. Cleaned out grate /lightly shaken for startup.
    Add: 6 lbs( scaled) dry wood ButtCut Chipper Chunks ( 3 coffee cans rounded)
    Switch to Final Filters after Primary flare ignition
    Regen blower pulling 3.75 inches water column.
    Barrel Temp : 385*F
    Low fuel condition ( flare extinguished itself) 9:55 AM
    No issues, no flashback, clean run.
    Final Filter Flare tall enough to send WoodGas Bug into sub-orbital Ionosphere.
    Need more wood.
    Happy 4th everyone !
    Bill–NH Hbbyloggr

    • Joe Papa says:

      Bill, I was just sitting here thinking about how I spent last year’s 4th of July. If I was ready and able I would have did a run yesterday. Man I can’t wait . Thanks for keeping the adventure going. Enjoy the holiday. Later. Joe

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Joe, No one wants more to see you up and running than the guys here on miniwoodgas. Every day gets you closer to the mark. Keep doing those breathing exercises ! Meantime, we ‘ll keep the gas lit for ya !

      • Joe Papa says:

        Flash, I guess your always at the mercy of the docs who take care of you. I started taking two meds ( symbicort and magnesium oxide ) one an inhaler aiming to help my lungs and the other was supposed to be for the cramping in the leg. Long story short , I ended up with hiccups for 4 DAYS STRAIGHT. Yeah , who would have thought hiccups can be a side effect of anything. My throat is killing me and my lungs have been jack hammered . Needless to say I stopped both meds because I found random pages online that claimed hiccups were side effects for both meds. When I asked my doc when I can push myself , the response was ” you don’t”. I still get light headed/dizzy from time to time, still have pain in my eyes ( usually leads to migraines) when I look at things up close. I am looking forward to being done getting poked, prodded, MRI’d , scanned, x-rayed , and trying new meds with lists of side effects. I am really hoping I don’t lose my job over all of this, but I guess no matter what my health comes first. It just sucks because for the first time, I really like what I do for a living ( maintenance mechanic involving industrial automation ) . You never know what God has planned for you , and I’ll just roll with whatever punches get thrown my way. After all it’s his plan , not mine. Thanks for checking on me. Hope things are good on your end. Joe

  11. CaseyJo says:

    my fellow wood gassers-HELLO!! I tried to shoot a video last night, but only the first minute took. It is a filter for flare blower, but it’s filled with silica. just an experiment.
    I have been doing some upgrades(?) but my damn phone won’t shoot video-throwing it, probably did not help, stomping on it, hard to say, I’ll try and post some still shots, if nothing else-Casey says hi!!! and she thinks you’re looking pretty good too, Bill-be careful-monkey love is complicated. A great day to ya all-I have to get busy
    also, thanks for wishes on my brother! they actually so far have saved the leg, but his dancing days might be over.
    Pete

    • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

      Glad to hear your brother is getting better, Pete. Bike accidents are just plain nasty.
      We are all interested in what you’re up to with that ammo filter.

    • Joe Papa says:

      Pete, I’m glad to hear your brother is doing ok. Tell him to watch out for these pesky clots as he sits around waiting to heal. They suck. I thought that you were showing a filter box in the video you posted. Do you have some kind of screen on the outlet of the box to prevent any silica from exiting? Probably wouldn’t hurt. I’m looking forward to seeing what your up to there , so give the camera to the monkey . She’ll figure it out. Later. Joe

  12. Hey guy’s I was contacted by a friend or a possible family member of Joe Papa and he was in an accident on a trampoline that led to a serious medical emergency that sent him to the hospital. I included the message below. Let’s all send a prayer out to him for a speedy recovery.

    “I know you and others are friends of Joe Papa and his wood gasifier. He is known as mazdadelorean. Anyway he had an accident with his kids in a trampoline building where he tried to be 16 and probably cracked bone(s) in his ankle area. The left one I think.”

    “On Tuesday he was life flighted to an area medical center and was out of it. A big, according to his mother in law, blood clot and was in the ICU for 36 hours. He is stable now and will be coming home soon. I just thought you would like to know. If you wish to give him an email at mazdalorean@gmail.com or better yet a call at 570-462-1114. Joe is a number one guy and I am sure he would appreciate a heads up from you/and your guys.”

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Howdee Flash,

      It is scary when we realise how a seemingly minor injury can escalate into a potentially life threatening situation, such as a blood clot can cause.
      As a survivor of two strokes, I have learned just how delicate our grip on life can be.

      I am sure Mazda will make a full recovery, and will be kicking the woodgas bugs out of his workshop real soon.
      We woodgassers are a tough lot, so we ain’t going away too soon πŸ™‚ .

      Best wishes,
      Steve.

      • Yeah life is delicate for sure especially as you grow older. 12 years ago I was lucky when I wound up in the hospital with a mini stroke and even that affected me and took time to get over so I know Joe will need some time to get back to where he feels normal again.

    • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

      Wishing you a steady recovery, Joe. The good Lord chose not to take you this time. For He , too is looking forward to seeing your gasifier finished and running at peak performance. Best wishes, Bill NH Hbbyloggr

      • Joe Papa says:

        Thanks to everyone for reaching out to me and keeping me and my family in your prayers. It has really meant a lot to me , and reminds me how much our hobbies and interests can bring us all together as close friends. Thanks for everything. Joe Papa

      • Pete says:

        Joe-you are definitely in my prayers……am in Ariz.Β  with my brother, who was in serious motorcycle accident-might lose his leg.Β  You hurry up, and get well, I want to see more videos(lol)take care, dudePete

      • Joe Papa says:

        Pete, I’m sorry to hear about your brother. Seems like we’re all praying for each other these days. I’ll be sure to add him to our list. It’s good to hear from you , but we are gonna have to start bringing each other some good news from time to time. Take care, and thanks for reaching out. Joe

      • Hey Pete I hate to hear that about your brother. Bikes can be a tricky thing especially with drivers out there who don’t watch out for them. I hope he gets back on his feet soon.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Hey Pete,
        Sorry to hear about your brother’s bike accident. Hopefully he will recover well and they save the leg. Prayers headed your way, Brother.

      • Mark Christian says:

        Joe, sorry to just read about your accident. I hope you are on the mend and feeling better very soon. Best wishes! Mark

      • Mark Christian says:

        Pete, I hope your brother makes out okay too. I’ll keep him in my prayers too as well as Joe.

  13. Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

    Latest update. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m going back to the original length of the air inlet pipe; ie, even with the top edge of the cone below the one inch ring.

  14. Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

    I did it !!!. Today was the test of the Flash001USA gasifier and wood gas carburetor design on the big generator. The Onan 30KW 6 cylinder got it’s first taste of wood gas !
    Yeah guys, the engine started and ran just fine although without any load on the generator. It sucked the water column right out of the manometer, shot the barrel temp from the mild 250-300 *F normally from the blower to 500*F in an instant..and climbing . The barrel was getting pretty smokin’ hot and ole Hbbyloggr got nervous. It ran out of the few handfulls of fuel wood just as I was ready to shut it down. Whew ! What a rush.
    There is a new smell in the office as I type this: super hot wood chip and something coming from my underware.
    So, Flash, Steven, Pete , Joe and Dan, this Buds for you. Thanks for all the help, encouragement and friendship.
    Gotta say, my hands are still shaking !!!

    NH Hbbyloggr

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Thanks, Mark. I’ve been waiting for this moment for quite awhile. Encore performance???

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Howdee Bill,

      Jolly good show, by joves πŸ™‚ .
      The woodgas bug venom was flowing in your veins even faster than normal during that engine run session, just as the woodgas bug planned.
      You are truly addicted now, just like the rest of us, so don’t fight it, just light it πŸ™‚ .
      In no time, you will master all of the fine points of this, and it will become second nature to you as you start and run the whole setup.
      I can see you reaching for a pair of giant scissors in the near future, so you can cut the wires and become one of those nutty off gridders πŸ™‚ .

      Keep gassing those woods, my fellow woodgas addict.

      Best wishes,
      Steve.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Thank you, Steve. You’ve been a big help and super encouraging to get me to this point. It sure was pretty exciting.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Bill,

        Yer welcome.
        I had no choice but to help, as there was a woodgas bug holding a wooden gun to my head at the time.
        He told me: “help him, or I will put wood splinters in yer hair”.
        So, you see, it was help you, or have a bad hair day πŸ˜‰ .

        Keep converting those woods into those watts.

        Best wishes,
        Steve.

    • Joe Papa says:

      Bill , nice job. I sure wish I could get out of my chair, because I would love to get back to my normal routine. The bone and ligaments in my ankle seem to be starting to heal. I can almost stand without the stabbing pain. Anyway, keep the entertainment coming. I really enjoy seeing the progress. Later. Joe

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Counting on you to get some fresh video out there, Joe. I’ve started watching re-runs.

  15. Bill B says:

    Hi Flash. I just happened to see your new shop, congrats, nice feeling of accomplishment I bet. Just want to give a bit of feedback. It’s about the way the ceiling is constructed. Even though the ceiling insulation goes right up to the peak, when the heat is on in the winter, that small space will remain cold as your ceiling holding the lights is sealed. Some heat, a little, not air, will go through that ceiling and this will cause condensation as that heat meets the cold, and since there is no ventilation in that space, as far as I can see, this will cause you major problems, and excess heat in the summer that will radiate down. Check with builders and local lumber yards, and Lowes and Home depot and they will tell you the same thing. You could drill some three inch holes and install three inch circular, screened, vents. They fit nice and snug and you just push them in. This way the temp will always be the same up there as down. But, doing that is the same thing as not having that ceiling panel in the center, so if you took it down you could use the ceiling beams for easy access storage, and still have the hanging lights.

  16. Richard Ferguson says:

    Found the explanation that I needed ! It is in the Video “Imbert Gasifier Test 04-18-2013 ” . This should be included in your build explanation videos on your site
    As I had to hunt for it for several weeks before I found this! But now I have all of the info that I need to start building! Thanks for your hard work and experimentation Flash! Great Work.

    Richard

    • Joe Papa says:

      Welcome Richard. A lot of the info can be scattered when it comes to gathering it. Just to let you know , there are a lot of us that have been through the build process , and would be glad to help . If you have any questions, fire away. If we don’t know we may just be able to point you in the right direction and at least make it easier on you. Enjoy the build and by the way, we love videos , so feel free to share your progress. Joe

  17. Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

    Video is up on the NH Hbbyloggr Channel regarding the new Filter Clean Out Method. All I gotta say is, it works for me.

  18. Richard Ferguson says:

    Hey Flash, How did you construct the Condenser on your unit? I didn’t find that in your video’s unless I missed it?

    Thanks alot Richard

  19. Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

    Yessah, NH Hbbyloggr here with an important update. Don’t like cleaning your wood gas filters? Then try this out. This might not work with steel wool filter material but works super slick with Stainless Steel. I just pulled out the wob of moist/sooty SS and put it on a Red Neck BBQ grill with hot coals on the bottom. It’s a 55 gal drum split in half length wise. Put the whole mess right on the coals and flip them after about 1 or two minutes per side. All done. Clean and dry. They cool right off quickly. Good thing is they have a nice chicken smell when they are done. I did a quick video of it and will post it in a couple of days and leave the link here..or catch it on the NH Hbbyloggr Channel ( YouTube )
    Hey guys ! This really works good !!

    • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

      Joe,
      It’s pretty easy to eliminate the corner leaks if you carry the weld just past the two parent metals and start the next weld face before the carry over weld. In effect, make an ” X” at the corner with the two intersecting welds.

    • Mark Christian says:

      You know, I’ve mentioned several times I’m a terrible welder, and his welds looked pretty good to me (with a few exceptions). I’m so screwed!!!!

  20. CNCmacfun says:

    Super Simple Vapour Carburetor for Easy Engine Starting.

    Howdee fellow woodgas bugbite vicims πŸ™‚ .

    Here’s a simple, yet effective, gasoline vapour carburetor idea.
    This will let you start and run your engine on gasoline, even if the existing carburetor is no longer operational, as is the case with my system.

    It is made from a 6 inch length of 1.25 inch diameter steel tube. At the bottom end, a plug is inserted.
    The plug has a 1/4 inch hose barb screwed into it, to let the engine pull air through the pipe.
    A 1 inch deep wad of Stainless steel wool is then stuffed down the tube, to rest on top of the plug / barb assembly.
    On top of this, a 3 inch deep wad of cotton wool is stuffed down the tube.
    That’s it, the vapour carburetor is ready to roll.

    This is plumbed into the intake of the engine through a small valve.
    To start the engine, a tablespoon full of gasoline, or petrol if you prefer, is poured onto the cotton wool in the tube.
    The valve is opened.
    The gasifier’s air and gas valves are closed – so the only gas supply for the engine will be from your new carburetor.
    The starter rope is pulled a couple of times, to cause the engine to fire on the rich vapour.
    Once it fires, the air valve is opened slightly, maybe 1/5th of the way.
    The starter rope is pulled again – and the engine starts up.
    This process is similar to starting a chainsaw from cold, using the choke to give the engine something to start on.

    As the run continues, the air valve is steadily closed in order to keep the engine running smoothly – until it consumes all of the fuel.

    It will run the engine for about 15 to 30 seconds, which is enough to warm it up and blow out the spider webs.
    In cold weather, this can be very helpful when engine starting may be more difficult.

    After this, the valve is closed, and the engine is ready to run on the woodgas supply.

    I formulated and tried this idea during the weekend, as I was looking for a cheap and easy way to preheat my engine for an easy start on woodgas.
    It worked like a charm πŸ™‚ .

    Now for a little history on the development of this idea:
    I tried the gasoline vapour carburetors that are often seen on YouTube. They work, but safety is an issue with these, as they can spray liquid fuel out of the their air intake pipes when things go wrong.
    These are often made from a jam jar with two pipes leading in through the lid.
    One pipe goes about 1/2 inch into the jar, while the other pipe goes to the bottom where it dips into a shallow pool of gasoline.
    When the engine pulls air through the short pipe, the resulting vacuum causes the long pipe to blow bubbles in the gasoline pool – to generate the required vapour in the jar.
    This works well, but the gasoline eventually becomes very cold, and dirty, so the device stops working.

    My system also gets cold when working, but it does not have the potential problem of showering you with liquid fuel.
    It is also a lot smaller, and I think it is appreciably safer too πŸ™‚ .

    Normally, my engine starts from cold on woodgas on the first or second pull of the starter rope.
    Sometimes, it does not like to cooperate, especially if the gasifier is breathing poorly due to not being cleaned out in a long time.
    This little vapour carburetor makes life a lot easier on those rare occasions.

    Anyway folks, I thought you might like to try this idea – as an easy way to get yer motor running on gaseous Triesel fuel πŸ™‚ .

    Best wishes,
    Steve.

    • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

      Great idea and one that I will give a try. The 13 Hp Honda which I was planning on using for the battery bank charger has a problem with the old carburetor…as in ” it’s porked”. The engine does run when gas is poured down the carb, so this might be the perfect time to dedicate the engine to wood gas only, add a larger diameter intake hose to increase the volume supply and install your CNC Cheater Carb to lure the wood gas towards its final destiny. AARGH !

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Bill,

        Yup, you’ll love this super simple vapour carby.
        I have been itching to try this idea for a fair old while now, so I was duly delighted when it worked on the very first try.
        With this beastie tied to yer grunter, those tree fumes don’t stand a chance of escaping their fate πŸ™‚ .

        Best woods,
        Steve.

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Howdee Joe,

      That is pretty Orsim πŸ™‚ .
      I reckon it would be good for drying the firewood too, as the downdraft would be plenty breezee πŸ™‚ .

      Keep gassing those woods.

      Cheers and beers,
      CNCmacfun.

      • Damn that thing is loud! I would be too scared to be under those blades. For some reason I picture lawn mower blades spinning above my head watching that video.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Flash,

        Yes, there is a good chance of accidentally slicing up the dreaded Woodgas Bug with those blades πŸ˜‰ .
        I used to fly a hover craft here. It was just as noisy as that little chopper, but probably not quite as dangersome πŸ™‚ .

        Oh, the fun of it all.

        Best wishes,
        CNCmacfun.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Flash,

        Yes, there’s no doubt about it, that machine will slice and dice you before you get a chance to say “Oh Bugger”.
        There’s also another hidden danger, and it was almost realized as he was flying across our field of view.
        He began to dip in flight. If he had hit the ground while moving along like that, he would have tipped over and driven the props into the ground. The thrashing and beating would have been monumental.
        Perhaps this machine could do with a suitable shield, like you see on those motorized para-gliders.

        Oh, talking of cool aircraft, would you believe it if I told you that there was a successful gasifier powered, fixed wing, aircraft?
        It was powered by a charcoal gasifier.
        Also, I saw a steam powered one too. This one was able to push itself backwards on the runway, as the pilot could reverse the engine.

        Orsim kewlness was achieved in those days πŸ™‚ .

      • Joe Papa says:

        Steve , I’ll have to look up that woodgas powered aircraft. That sounds awesome. If you know where to find info about it please let me know. Talk to you later. Joe

      • “Oh, talking of cool aircraft, would you believe it if I told you that there was a successful gasifier powered, fixed wing, aircraft?It was powered by a charcoal gasifier.” Yeah I was aware of that but not the steam powered plane. I could see why they would use a charcoal gasifier probably because it was much cleaner which required less filtering (weight) I would take a guess the charcoal setup would probably be a bit more stable and reliable too. Either setup is pretty cool.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Flash,

        Yeah, charcoal gasifiers are a lot simpler and lighter than our wood gasifiers are.
        That stated, I will always favour the wood gasifier over the charcoal version for home use.
        A friend of mine made a charcoal gasifier, and we were both surprised to discover that even these can make enough tar to jam up the engine’s sensitive parts.

        If I remember rightly, the steam powered aircraft used LPG to heat the water to feed the steam engine.
        It can surely be found somewhere on the interwebs πŸ™‚ .

        Best wishes,
        Steve.

    • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

      Pretty wild. He must be pretty confident in his flying ability with those big nasty powerlines behind him. My overhead videos now be taken with a twenty foot section of conduit with the camera attached to the top. I’ll run back and forth to add the action mode.

    • Mark Christian says:

      Joe, thanks for the video. As Flash said, it’s very loud, I had to reduce my speaker volume by 80% just to watch the video. I can’t imagine what it must be like right underneath the motor(s).

      I wouldn’t want to go up in this thing unless it has a very good 5 point harness and a roll cage. Probably too heavy then.

      A personal helicopter brought to you by the Ginsue corporation, makers of fine knives and personal aircraft. Don’t worry about being an experienced pilot, your first accident is guaranteed to be your last.

      Have a great day everyone.

      Mark

      • Joe papa says:

        Mark , one image that I can’t get out of my head is if the engine shuts off for any reason, the fall alone will mess you up. If you would have survived the fall , the overhead anvil is sure to do you in.

      • Hey Joe I can’t quit laughing now because apparently I opened a can of worms with my remark but what I told Steve stands. That contraption is a Ginsu knives death trap just waiting to make the evening news!

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Flash,

        All this discussion about the disaster potential of this little helicopter reminds me of a gruesome video I saw a few years ago.
        A family had just stepped out of a helicopter, and had departed to a safe distance – as the pilot revved up the rotors for takeoff.
        The man of the family, however, did not step away. Instead, he chose to show off for the camera.
        Ultimately, he raised his arms above his head.
        Just as the horrific sound of destruction began, the look on the man’s face revealed his sudden awareness of his major error.
        The horrifying sound of destruction was accompanied by a blood curdling scream from the woman of the family, just as the camera – and the nearby scene was flooded with a mist of pink and white.

        It is a scene, and a sound, that I will never forget!
        Care and respect for your flying Ginsu knives is a must.

        Best wishes,
        Steve.

      • Wow! have you ever seen the movie Idocracy? That movie opened my eyes and as God is my witness it changed my life in the way I look at things (and some people)
        now.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Flash,

        Indeed, that movie could easily have been perceived as a documentary, as it had an uncannily accurate outlook on the declining intellectual performance of humanity in general.

        Though it was a funny movie, it was also shockingly accurate!

  21. Mark Christian says:

    Hi guys, this nice warm weather has allowed me to get out in the garage and putz some more on the old Mark 3.

    I think the saddest part though is as I’m making progress on the Mark 3, with nearly finishing with the hearth and pre-heat section, my mind has already started working on the Mark 4.

    Oh how much quicker it would go if I just had a CNC rig to cut 5″ or 6″ holes in 1/8″ SS. That size hole is tough enough in flat steel, but in SS it’s a nightmare. I’ve lost track of how much time I’ve spent drilling slowly with the hole saw, waiting for the drill to cool down, drill some more, wait some more….

    Note for those that are starting their builds, when cutting large diameter holes in steel or stainless steel, go slow and use a tap oil, or your expensive hole saw bits will end up as paper weights.

    Have a great day.

    • Bill Weigle says:

      Mark,
      I think I only drilled one hole in the stainless steel and gave up. The plasma cutter took over the duty after that. It will cut that five inch hole in about 4 seconds. You might be ahead of the game taking it to a shop and having them buzz it out for you.
      If you are close to NH , come on over. I’ll help you for free…well, not exactly for free. You’ll have to stand and listen to the story about how I got into this wood gas stuff and all the finer points of gasification .

      NH Hbbyloggr

      • Mark Christian says:

        Hi Bill,

        I thought about using a plasma cutter on it, but I wanted to use the blank in the reduction zone, either as a sizing ring or a base plate for the sizing rings to sit on. But perfection is expensive in time if nothing else, best to keep it simple. It’s easier to grind down a circle than to drill out the blank.

        I live in a Minneapolis burb, so New Hampshire is a haul from here. Otherwise I would love to stop by and see your setup and shop, and with copious amounts of lubrication listen to all the gasification stories you could bestow upon such a foolish soul as me. πŸ™‚

        I do have a couple of questions for you guys that are using Flash’s suggested mixture of sand and plaster of paris. Since your hearth is embedded in the mix and that sits in the wheel rim, have any of you guys noticed bulging or anything of the rim when you’ve looked at your rigs during a clean out? Just wondering how the mix handles the expansion of getting hot.

        Probably it’s a mute point, as welding gets the metal and mix hotter than the gasifier ever would and I’ve never had a problem with it while welding. Actually it’s nicer as it’s very tough to burn through with the mix behind the steel absorbing the heat.

        The other question is related to firing the beastie up. When you pour you bio-char into the cone, and then light it. It seems to me you would get a nice coal bed going on top, but the bio-char on the tray or in the reduction zone, wouldn’t be nearly as hot yet. What are you guys thoughts?

        That might be something to consider for the Mark 4. Instead of having the ignition port at the same level as the injection ports, maybe move it down into the reduction zone area. Light up the bio-char lower in the reduction zone, when the char is glowing, open the air intake and let the fire rise up the reduction zone into the hearth.

        Oh well, time to get a bite to eat, and then spend another sleepless night thinking about the beastie. πŸ™‚

        Have a great day guys.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Mark, You bring up an interesting point regarding initial start up of the biochar.
        I’ve had better luck cleaning out the leftover char before each startup and filling the cone with hot coals from our wood furnace. I am just trying something new : Close the primary air intake. Leave the hopper lid opened to get a lot of air pulling through the coals as they settle down to the inverted bell and grate. I’ll sprinkle enough wood chunks or pellets to maintain and just enough to keep adding height to the coal bed. When the coal bed is higher than the air intake pipe nozzle I’ll add several inches of wood chunks and then open the air intake. I make sure I can hear the tell tale roar of air rushing through the intake. It spells trouble for me if I don’t hear that rocket stove roar as the charbed has probably plugged up and the wood hopper is now filling with wood gas and not being pulled though the ember bed. Then POOOFFF !

        Perhaps an other option would be to light the cold charbed and just wait it out, sprinkling a bit of wood to keep the level above the nozzle until you are reasonably sure the hot coals have settled down to the grate.
        Bottom line give the system time to come up to temperature .

        Regarding the sand cast in the hearth. No problems and no burnouts. Just make sure you give it plenty of time to cure and dry before adding any heat. Then season it slowly at the first run. Because of time restraints I think mine sat curing for a week or two before I could get back to it. Even so, with that built keep working on the other items on the build check list . One thing I made for the hearth and wood hopper was a three legged ring stand which came in pretty handy holding the inners at the proper height while working inside the barrel and outside for inverted bell and reduction plate adjustments/ I’ll send yo a pic if you need to see it.

        Good luck
        NH Hbbyloggr

      • Mark Christian says:

        CNC, the pre-mature problem is getting rather personal don’t you think? πŸ™‚ Sorry, I just couldn’t pass that one up.

    • Joe Papa says:

      Mark, I bought a harbor freight ” Heavy Duty 1/2 ” Drill” just because I knew I had to drill some holes like that, and I burned it up instantly . It didn’t have the torque at low speeds with that large of a bit on it. So keep that in mind also. Your better off with a drill with two speeds that has some torque at the low end. Also there is a wax I would use as lube for the hole saw. It’s called cut ease stick lubricant ,and it comes in a cardboard tube. No matter what you use, you have to keep that hole saw cool. Keep us posted on your progress, and yeah , we love videos too . Talk to you later. Joe

      • Joe Papa says:

        Mark, sorry I didn’t see the rest of your questions . I probably only have about 20 hours on the gasifier, but I have no issues with the hearth metal that I can see. As far as the welding with the mix behind it goes, I wouldn’t recommend welding it after the mix is there only because it may affect the weld quality. I did all of my welding , and then filled it up with the plaster/sand mix. It probably sat for at least a year before I was able to fire it up for the first time so curing time wasn’t an issue. The hearth was completed early on and there were so many other items to get finished up. As Bill said , if you would like pictures I just took my air intake off to make a more streamlined one ( it wasn’t burned out) , but it did have some places that bridging could be caused . It’s back together now and smoooth. Anyway while the air intake pipe was out I tried to take some hearth pics, so if you want to see , just let me know where to send the pics. Joe

      • Mark Christian says:

        Thanks Bill & Joe for your comments. Joe, I feel your pain regarding the drill. I’ve gone through two of them now. The first was a cheap 1/2″ Makita hammer drill that was on it’s last legs anyway after using it to mix mud for a few tiling projects. No big deal, I knew I would end up replacing that someday anyway.

        The other was a 1/2″ Ridgid hammer drill (dual speeds) with decent torque in the low range. That came with a two year replacement warranty, so back to the store it went. There’s pretty good drills, but not really meant for drilling these large holes in flat steel.

        One thing to note, for those that might not be overly familiar with power tools, use a drill that has a 2nd handle when drilling with a hole saw. When the teeth catch in the cut, and they will, you can easily break your wrist/arm if you think you’re “man enough” to drill it one handed.

        I know you love videos, but about the last thing the world needs is me bending over trying to explain something on the rig drawling out with my best Fargo “yeah, sure, you betcha” voice. πŸ™‚ I am taking a ton of pictures though, just to remind myself how incredibly bad my welding is.

      • “One thing to note, for those that might not be overly familiar with power tools, use a drill that has a 2nd handle when drilling with a hole saw. When the teeth catch in the cut, and they will, you can easily break your wrist/arm if you think you’re β€œman enough” to drill it one handed.” Mark please excuse my French but you got that shit right! Not only can you break an arm but the drill AND the metal you were cutting or drilling into can spin around and hit you in the lower parts of your legs and if there are any sharp edges it will rip you apart… That comes from personal experience… I was lucky.

      • Mark Christian says:

        Bill, you’re so right that a drill press would be much better for drill holes with a hole saw, but to get one with a long enough armature, you’re paying big bucks. I’ve got quite a bit invested in my failures so far, just couldn’t justify spending the money on such a nice toy. πŸ™‚ The sad part is, it would still take a lot of time, even with the drill press.

        Nope, I think using a plasma cutter or CNC will have to be the way to go for the plate cuts.

        Yes, I will that that CNC machine, that slip roller that does 11 gauge steel, a really nice MIG welding set, and a large drill press. And while I’m dreaming, how about a good size shop to put all this in instead of the 3rd stall of my garage.

        I have wheels on most everything in the 3rd stall, so that I have to spend less time and effort moving it around, but just to get work space, I have to pull at least one car out, and move the lawn mower, snow blower, routing table, table saw, compound miter saw….. I work up a sweat before I actually get to work up a sweat. πŸ™‚ And then I have to move it all back again at the end of the day.

        It’s always fun to bang on the steel though early Saturday and Sunday mornings knowing that my neighbors were out drinking the night before. Hear that bell roar. Just wait till I get the generator hooked up and run tests on the beastie. Hahahaha!

        As always, have a good one!

      • ” I work up a sweat before I actually get to work up a sweat.:-) And then I have to move it all back again at the end of the day.”… And this is why I decided to build a dedicated shop. I thought it was normal to move and shuffle things around at least 5 times just to set up for a job… Any job, not just woodgas stuff.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Mark, LOL It’s not easy being me. I have the big shop, all the toys, machines and toothy items ..they are all on rollers/wheels because there still isn’t enough room for all the projects. I’m tearing down the Honda’s carburetor , working on a 4 square inch shelf at the lip of the tool box. I feel for ya buddy. Besides, don’t feel under privileged. Flash built his rig with a hammer, vise-grips and bolts of lightning running down a string . You can do it !

      • Mark Christian says:

        Flash, I just saw your comment about the drill and the spinning metal. Ouch! I’m glad you’re not hurt. So far I’ve been pretty lucky in this projects will just some minor burns to my arms from the spitting of the flux welding as well as loosing the finger nail on my pinkie when I was trying to bend a piece of light sheet metal and it somehow slipped in the clamps and managed to catch my finger. Still trying to figure how that happened, but oh well.

        My father was a carpenter, and he taught me that you always have to respect your tools and look at them like they are trying to kill you, because the minute that you’re not paying attention is the time they will act up.

        Oh how right he was! And they can bite you badly even when you are being careful.

      • “My father was a carpenter, and he taught me that you always have to respect your tools and look at them like they are trying to kill you” Yeah I’ll have to have that put on a Tee-Shirt… I was lucky with my little snafu. I had just purchased a heavy duty hand drill complete with the attachable handle and I was cutting steel when it hung on me. It spun the flat plate like a lawn mower blade for a few seconds but I was able to throttle down and control where it went but it was close. After that it sank in that you really have to be careful with a drill especially a big power drill because it has enough torque to snap a wrist.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Hmmm, I think the lesson here, when operating dangerous equipment, is to always cut towards your friends πŸ˜‰ .
        So far, I have been lucky. No accidents in the past 25 years, but all of my friends fear me, for some reason πŸ˜‰ .

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Mark,

        Awww heck, that was meant to be yer afternoon laugh.
        You dun used it up too soon πŸ˜‰ .

  22. Bill says:

    FOR POWER CYCLONE

    Hey Guys, I found the perfect motor if anyone is considering building a power cyclone. It’s a 12volt, 1/8th hp, 3000rpm, brushless continuous run motor for $95.

    You can find it at walkerindustrial.com. Type the model number into their search box, 970-600

    I still think that cooling the gas as fast as possible out of the gasifier is the way to go, since the distance between the gasifier and engine is not a long distance. Out of the gasifier the gas would go down a square tube with baffles on the outside, and water trickling down the baffles, then to a conventional cyclone for removal of the big stuff, then into the bottom of a tall, cone shaped expansion tank made of copper. About six inches from the top of the expansion tank is a disk that blocks all movement, except for half circles all around the edge of the disk. This way, as the gas is drawn up and out, it has to ride up the wall of the expansion tank, which is copper and will help to cool. The gas is drawn out a pipe in the center of the top. From there it goes into the power cyclone. Since the gas is hot, and meets with immediate cooling, there should be a good amount of condensation, and any condensation that makes it to the power cyclone will help to wash impurities to the outside wall of the power cyclone, which will slide down to a tray the length of the power cyclone, where a drain bottle is located. All components will have its own drain bottle.

    Since the motor rpm is 3000, with a 4-1 ratio the cyclone will do 12000rpm, so take into account friction, water, and impurities, so lets say it does 10,000, I think that would be fine.

    From the power cyclone to the engine all piping is heavily insulated so there is no chance of any more condensation.

    A flare pipe is located right after the power cyclone and I think there would be a most beautiful pure blue flame. My whole point is that this is before any filter, and maybe filters will not even be needed, which is my hope, and if so, down time and maintenance work would be cut drastically.

    As far as a power cyclone actually working, there is the matter of how long it should be. Only trying it will tell. Ain’t it fun? Maybe one three foot length would work fine, or perhaps three of those would be needed.

    Think of it this way, there is just so much impurities to go around, so there has to be a correct size that would totally eliminate everything but the gas.

    Now think of this. Lets say, a Flash size filter system is filled and totally ready for a cleaning. I bet if all those impurities were to be gathered up and dried out, it would amount to a tiny bit of a dust pile. I can’t imagine it coming to be more than a cup size, if even that. So I think the power cyclone will be able to do a very superb job. Now of course, at this point we are not talking about or even thinking about tar being included in the equation because at this point we have fine running machines.

    Anyone able to comment on the pile from your experience of cleaning your system?

    I still believe it all starts in that fire cone and anything that can be done to make it efficient should be done, such as eliminating an air tube above the cone, and have air holes all around near the top of the cone so all the air rides down the inside wall of the cone, so all the fuel there is completely burnt and should allow for good downward movement of the char. I think this will allow for very even burning, and of course the fuel in the center of the cone would burn well also. Then, around the outside of the cone is the plaster of paris and sand mixture for the heat sink effect for even heat, and around that is a layer of shielding cloth that plumbers use in order to keep the heat right where it is most needed. It’s good for 2500 degrees. I know because I draped it over my palm and put the torch right to my hand and felt no heat. I only did that for maybe two seconds as I didn’t know if it would suddenly burn through, but I felt absolutely no heat at all, but in our application there will not ever be any flame directly on it anyway. So it ought to work very well.

    Hey that cone shaping method is a hoot, gotta love it. So cool!

    Regards all,
    Bill B.

  23. Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

    It was what I had feared the moment I got the call. Mrs. Lamont β€œ wondered if her 5th grade son could buy a few pieces of wood to do an experiment β€œ. My head started to throb, beads of sweat showed on my forehead and my hands began to shake as I hung up the phone, which missed the hook and crashed to the floor. Damn, what she must think of me now. But it was too late. I had agreed to meet her and her son at our wood yard the next day to donate some wood and privileged info on wood/gas/properties and of course a peek at the holy grail, the blue drum gasifier surrounded by piles of scrap twisted bent metal.

    I lost sense of time the next day and as I was deep under the hood of the welder, fumes rising into the air around me and showers of sparks in the waning light mingled with a few expletives as a hot spark found its way into my trousers. I thought for a second that I had heard a small quiet voice…” Mr Weigle ? Are you there? β€œ
    Startled. I turned suddenly holding the welding torch in one hand, helmet still down covering my anguished grimaced face and my free hand slapping the hot spark in my pants pocket. The introduction was at best β€œ strained”. A few coughs, short explanation and nervous smile put the conversation at ease and I asked the young lad what his experiment was all about. β€œ how long does each piece of wood burn ” was the experiment. Nice ! Are you a pyro?
    Argh, wrong question. Mrs L is now on her phone and suddenly the Dad appears , looking like β€˜Hoss Cartwright’ from Bonanza.
    Hey, wanna look at the gasifier I’m working on? The young lad looked at his Dad , who was beginning to search for an escape path for his family. I know what he was doing, because I’ve seen it before when the topic of gasification comes up.
    Not wanting to force the conversation I opened the wood hopper and told him to stick his head in. Damned nabbit, another misconstrued awkward moment.

    There was no turning back. I handed over the wood bundle which I had labeled β€œ wood β€œ and said here. It’s free ! And off they went. They seemed excited about that because it took me about 20 minutes to rake over the tire ruts across our lawn.
    So, maybe, just maybe, another wood gas addict has been born !

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Howdee Bill W,

      LOL, that has got to be one of the most colourful descriptions of an attempted woodgas bugbite venom transfer session ever πŸ™‚ .
      The best way to prevent escape attempts, is to wait for a really rainy day, so your victims will be trapped in the woodgas shed with you πŸ™‚ .
      When I did this, my victims had no choice but to be fascinated by my gasifier, as it was also keeping them warm on that freezing day.
      Not only that but we cooked a feed with the electricity it was producing. When they ate of the woodgas enhanced food, they were hooked for life, and the woodgas bug duly smiled upon me for my naughtiness that day πŸ™‚ .

      Keep gassing those triffids,
      Steve.

  24. Bill says:

    Hey Bill W, I wouldn’t tend to call it a snafu as much as a mistake. You did this. You added fresh chips. It makes total sense that at all times dry fuel must be used, and char for starting. Those with gasifiers need to constantly acquire new fuel so that it has time to dry, because time is the best drying method. Fuel needs to dry right to the center. There are no two ways about it. Dry is dry, not dry is not dry.

    Then there is the problem of possible condensation, and that is where a power cyclone comes in. From the cyclone to the engine all lines must be insulated to prevent any more condensation from building up.

    But, we all do what we do and that’s how we learn. Thanks for sharing as all info is good, and keep on keeping on. It’s the little steps that count the most on the big trip.

    Best Regards,
    Bill B.

    • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

      Bill B- Trial and error is a real world experience. Every time I fire this thing up I learn something new. One of the interesting behind the scenes video shots we see from the seasoned veterans yards are the gasifier grave yards. What works and what doesn’t is the testament of the builder. Your points are well taken about dry wood though.
      Thanks for the feed back.

      • Mark Christian says:

        Bill W, who needs to be seasoned veteran to have a gasifier grave yard. My misguided attempts at a new design are beginning to take up a major amount of space in my garage. πŸ™‚

        My wife who at first encouraged me to start this project is now asking when it’s going to be finished. Oh joy!

        Have a good one.

        Mark

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Mark, You have now earned a merit badge and we now know for sure that you are in it for the long haul. A man willing to sacrifice himself seeking the holy grail of wood energy is to be commended in spite of the critics. Have faith. You will get there !

        NH Hbbyloggr

  25. Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

    Well, here is a new snafu I ran into this morning. For the past couple of days messing with the gasifier I refined my startup procedure to a point where I got a little over confident, I guess. The mild Spring temperatures and pleasant weather allowed me time to work on different ways of drying the fuel wood supply which the chipper had produced. I decided to try some of it with a test run in the gasifier, mixed with some of the dry chips. All went well and I shut it down after the flare ran itself out, left a little bit of char in the hearth, inverted bell and shaker.
    This morning I went down to do a video of the rapid start procedure which has worked so well for the past few days. Let me first mention that Mother Nature threw a curve ball at us yesterday with a 4″ snow storm and early this morning it was a brisk 13*F outside. The shop temp was probably around 20*F
    So I fired up the gasifier with hot coals, kept the air intake closed but the hopper lid opened to get the entire hearth glowing nice and hot then turned on the blower before the filters. Added a hand full of wood pellets and a sprinkling of wood chips and I tried to light off the flare. It tried to ignite it but was not producing enough wood gas and the usual volume was pretty slim . I could tell by the lack of air going through the intake that something was plugging the system and decided to shut it down. After letting it burn itself out I checked the hearth which appeared to be normal. Then pulled of the blower off, only to find that the stainless steel pad inside the pipe before the blower ( used to trap fines, particulate and flash-backs before it got to the blower.) was frozen with ice from the moisture the day before. That pretty well blocked the wood gas from any flow. Huh, who would have thought ? Probably the little bit of extra moisture in the chips and the higher humidity level the day before left moisture trapped within the system.

    Lesson: A thorough system check for air volume with the blower on, before any wood or biochar is introduced insures a good startup and eliminates a lot of wasted time.

    • Joe Papa says:

      Bill , there can’t be ice in there, it’s April. I guess mother nature forgot it’s supposed to be warm. That sucks. Well at least your getting your start up procedure checklist in tune. I still have a few revisions for mine. I’ll get it figured out . I just picked up some of the pine shavings as per flash. That stuff is really cheap. I paid like 6 bucks for a huge block of it. I also got my filters cleaned out and the polyester fiber filter reloaded. I still have to deal with the pot scrubbers. I also started tearing down the air intake to get some measurements for the new one. It will be smooth with no place for fuel to lay on an edge. It is a shame I’m changing it because it held up great.You can really tell it was hot in there but that’s a good thing. I can’t wait to see you fire yours up again. Keep us posted. Joe

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        I see on the news feed this morning that scientists have discovered a way to rapidly reverse the photosynthesis process.
        They must have finally found your web site.

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Howdee Bill,

      That was definitely an unexpected little gremlin to deal with.
      Those little snow gremlins get into everything!
      Still, it’s good to know that it was the only problem, and that everything else is working smoothly.
      In time, you will develop the perfect pre-flight checklist for your beastie.
      One thing I would like to suggest, is that you include your engine’s mechanical status in your checklist.
      This may be as simple as checking the oil, and gently turning the engine over – to make sure the valves are free to move.
      This could be done while waiting for the gasser to heat up, thereby making more efficient use of time.
      I do this every time I start up my genny, working on the assumption that the engine is full of tar.
      Even after 1050 hours of uneventful engine run time, I do these basic checks – just in case there is a tar gremlin in there somewhere πŸ™‚ .
      So far, no tar.

      Keep converting those electricitrees into electricities, my fellow woodgas addict πŸ™‚ .

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Good suggestions from all. We all know what happens when you assume something is ready to go. Bound to trip you up some where along the line.

      • When you assume something it normally equates to this: Assume = Ass U Me. One of the guys I work with assumed that his girlfriend was keeping up with her nice car that is until the engine seized because she ran it dry of radiator fluid and didn’t question why the temperature light was staying on. Sad but a true story. It just happened.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        One observation I have noticed running this critter during the Winter is the increased amount of water in the expansion tank. My theory is: as the system’s piping and tanks warms up moisture is picked up and absorbed into the less dense wood gas making its way through the system. The wood gas is also traveling in a semi vacuum due the induced draft , which lowers the pressure allowing the moisture to migrate.
        I can see where an additional cyclone placed between the expansion tank and the engine would definitely be necessary. Even with a good clean out yesterday I had a hard time keeping the engine running
        I didn’t have a problem during the summer , probably because the air was drier. Last winter I didn’t run it at all so there was zero cold weather experience. I guess it’s time to make new cyclone and install the cold weather package.
        Has anyone else looked into the mirror lately and seen what you have become due to this wood gas shit? I might go back to being an alcoholic again. At least I could sleep it off.

      • Steve you have more “real world” run-time than all of combined. If you aren’t seeing engine issues by now I have a funny feeling that you won’t be in the future at least with tar issues anyhow. It appears that you have your system pretty much down. I plan on using my setup once I complete the shop project and I hope I have the same outcome you do.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Flash,

        Thanks kindly.
        Yes, the consistent performance of this system has given me great confidence in the future of this technology.
        Tar is never an issue on this particular beast. Just soot and moisture, so it looks like this is running very sweetly indeed.
        I plan to remove the existing engine, and replace it with a shiny new 6KW generator assembly. It should be pretty much a bolt on, drop in replacement.
        Yup, that’s right, I am gonna trust this with a new genset πŸ™‚ .
        That way, I can pull the existing engine apart for the camera, to show the everyone what an old engine with at least 1000 hours of woodgas run-time looks like inside.
        It’s really messy on the outside, as it is coated with engine oil and charcoal dust.
        My theory is that it is spotlessly clean under all that muck πŸ˜‰ .

        Your discoveries and findings to date surely demonstrate that you are the proud owner of an equally successful, and long lived system.
        Sure, there will be little niggles here and there, but I think you will find that you have got your gasser dialed in pretty darn well.
        The only thing I can think of that you might want to add is a couple of cyclone separators to extract water from the fuel gas.
        Mine produces lots of water during the winter time, and this used to go straight into the engine, causing it to cough and sputter occasionally.
        Now, it stays high and dry, while running smoothly all the time πŸ™‚ .

        When you have your system permanently settled under cover, like inside a purpose built shed, I think you will be surprised at how reliably it can serve you when you take the plunge and go off grid 100%
        For many, this is just a mere dream. For us, it is an easily attainable reality πŸ™‚ .

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Steve, One of the wood drying methods in the works will incorporate the hot water supply installed in the shop which is piped in from the out door wood furnace. As this unit runs all year round it’s a good source of 185*F heat. The risk of the chips catching fire is reduced, too.
        The plan is to use a 300 gal fuel tank standing on end with a few base board hot water heating elements placed vertically along the inside walls. The top of the 300 gal tank will have a hinged top and a small chimney for moisture to escape. It will also be wrapped with insulation on the outside of the tank. The fuel wood chips will be inside a perforated 55 gal drum without the top which will then be lowered into the big tank and BBQ’d. When the steam stops coming out the chimney the process will be completed and another batch will take it’s place. I would think that 3-4 days would be the time necessary to dry the wood to about 5% MC.
        It’s a pretty cheap way for me to do it because all the systems are already in place and even when I’m sleeping the wood is drying without risk of fire. Even the circulator for the chip BBQ could run off the battery bank/inverter keeping it within the guide lines of ” The off grid rule and regulations” handbook.
        Another bottleneck riddle solved, perhaps.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Bill W,

        I like your fuel drying idea.
        You’ll be able to store and dry huge quantities of gasifier fuel, without needing to consume any more heating fuel than before.
        It’s surely a win-win plan πŸ™‚ .
        Wood chunks can make quite a nice aroma as they are drying out, so perhaps you can add this to the list of wins for your new drying scheme.
        Getting down to 5% MC would be mighty fine target to hit, and I think you are well and truly on the right path to achieving it.
        Ahhhh, so many cool ideas, so little time πŸ˜‰ .

      • Mark Christian says:

        Wood alcohol from wood

        Bill W. it may sound ridiculous but if your temps are around 170 to 200 F, the vapors that you get off the wood would be methal alcohol. If you have a way to trap and condense it, you could distill it to 120 proof with a few distillations.

        You wouldn’t want to drink it, but you could mix it with some gas or make alcohol lamps. Just something else to try.

        Thanks for the update.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Mark, I’m not sure where to begin on the wood alcohol thing. I can barely squeeze though the shop now ! I dragged a big sheet of steel inside this afternoon to start making the cyclone . Gonna use Doug Smith’s method to measure out the plate and form it with the 3-roll bender I picked up last year, I’ll probably need a couple of shots of that wood alchy to get me through, though.

        Bill W

  26. Joe Papa says:

    You always hear the phrase ” bitten by the wood gas bug” . I think if we have an artist in the group we should have them draw a picture of what a wood gas bug looks like. I think Flash should decide on the picture that fits it best and call it the mascot. I’m thinking it would be blue in color. Oh and big fangs.

      • Joe Papa says:

        I said the same thing thinking about the funnel I made out of 1/8″ thick steel. By the way, I did post my new video. Here is the link. https://youtu.be/7g5GIdvYkd8 My future videos will be with a better camera , so try to bear with the poor quality. Oh and my video guy insisted on putting an explosion in the video as his payment for the many editing hours he put into it. It should wake you up when you least expect it.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdy Joe,

        That was absolutely fantastic.
        Seeing your giant beast come to life and feed a generator with its gassy goodness made me smile so hard that it broke my grinny box.
        Gonna getta ‘nother one from Grinnies-R-us perty soon πŸ˜‰ .

        Your huge beast will soon be earning its keep, especially when the predicted zombie invasion causes a nation wide power outage.
        It happens here all the time, so I need to find a way to gasify these little boogers πŸ˜‰ .

        I am sure you have inspired some fence sitters to get out there, get their hands dirty, and create new gassers for themselves, so they too can enjoy that indescribable feeling of freedom and elation when they start making power at home.

        Keep up the good work, my fellow woodgas addict πŸ™‚ .

      • Joe Papa says:

        Steve , you always have such a way with words. Thanks to all of you who have helped me along the way. This is still just the beginning. There are so many ideas to play with, we just have to get them done. Thanks again. Joe

    • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

      Hey guys, CONFIRMED
      Joe’s YT post on how to form a cone with the thicker steel we use is a definite Yes. It took as long to make the jig as it did to bend the cone into a roughed out
      shape. I used three screws through plywood into each of two 4×4’s . as the bends got tighter in diameter , 3” small end x 8” large end x 20” long, I had to unscrew the blocks and move them closer together. I did that three times to get to the final shape. The jig was placed on a cement block and the lifting eye rebar served well as the anchor point for the 8 ft pipe. Just passing along a good tip that actually works , even in the barn yard. Thanks, Joe ! NH Hbbyloggr PS. The mighty cyclone has been fabricated, all but the inlet and outlet .

  27. Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

    March 24, 2016. A BIG shout out to Joe Papa, completeing the build on his gasifier.
    Good luck on the start up this weekend.
    Our thanks to Flash001USA for the inspiration and bringing us all together. Cheers !

    • Joe Papa says:

      Thanks for the shout out Bill. Just to let everyone know I did carry out my run on Saturday. I will be posting a video hopefully by the end of next week. Lots going on with family stuff. I clocked 6 hours on the generator, and about 8-9 hours on the gasifier total. I still have to shoot the clean out footage, and do the editing. Happy Easter everyone and I’ll talk to you soon. Joe

    • pete rose says:

      Sitting on the work bench, really don’t need it for the time being- I been running pretty clean gas with no issues. Might play with it when it warms up, or I get some time- working too many hours here since I went back.
      Pete

  28. Mark Christian says:

    And then frustration sets in!

    Hi guys,

    I hope everyone survived the holidays and are off to having a good new year.

    The weather warmed up the past few days and I finally got a chance to work on my new hearth design. I previously had purchased a 6″ dia SS 11ga tube, and drilled 5 holes into it for my imbert design, with a 6th hole for my ignition port.

    I welded 5 couplings to my holes, which came out pretty good, but when I welded the nipple for my ignition port, the tube warped, so now it’s slightly out of round and the nipple points a little downward.

    I tried using a propane torch to heat the SS tube back up and tapping it with a 4# hammer, but so far, I’m not even sure I’ve effected it yet. Any thoughts or suggestions on things to try (other than a bfh)?

    Have a great day.

    Mark

    • Joe Papa says:

      Sorry to hear about your frustrations Mark. That’s one of the biggest downfalls with stainless steel. It warps like crazy. Also if you have any kind of a gap , it tends to pull it closed when you weld it. I would say trying to heat it and might work if you thread a piece of STEEL ( not stainless) pipe into the nipple , and heat the nipple till it’s cherry red with an oxy acetylene torch. Just be sure not to keep the flame in one place too long because you will start to break down the structure of the metal. You really need to spread the heat around when bending stainless. Trust me , I bent all of my own suspension parts on my stainless quadracycle . If this sounds like too much of a pain, then you will have to cut the nipple loose without damaging the original tube grind it to a perfect fit and reweld it. Oh by the way another shitty part of stainless. I wouldn’t suggest putting stainless pipes into the stainless nipples do to gauling . Not sure if I spelled that right, but what it is , is the threads ( especially when the nipple is welded on) tend to get real small specks of metal dust in between them and when you tighten them together, you end up rolling those specks into snow balls of metal in between the threads. YOU WON’T EVER GET THEM APART. If you do decide to use stainless on stainless I would suggest the highest temperature rated, hardest to clean off of your hands, anti sieze you can find. I have dealt with a lot of stainless steel npt pipe that has been installed on steam systems, and no joke, you will crush pipe nipples in a vise, and still not be able to get them apart. I make a habit of running a pipe tap into the threads of any stainless coupling that I weld to anything, just to minimize warped threads from the heat. At least if you do that, you’ll cut the warped threads with the tap. I hope this doesn’t frustrate you more. I would rather read about what not to do than do it and pull my hair out, so I hope this helps. As always if you have any questions, fire away. Good luck. Joe Papa

      • Mark Christian says:

        Hi Joe,

        Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll probably just end up cutting it off and putting it on again. Bummer, but that’s half the fun. πŸ™‚

        Thanks you for all your help. Have a good one.

        Mark

      • Hi … let me say you are a through fellow…. I have watched many of your videos and really enjoyed watching them. The last video with your unit mounted on the platform where you walk around shows a real good looking gasification plant. I would just like to add that i have also watch many other people’s videos and find yours the most complete and a top quality product.

        I am becoming interested in building one myself as my wige and I live off grid and during cloudy days I must charge with a generator for 3 to 4 hrs.

        We have a website at http://www.broeckx.ca where there is a lot of information about us.

        Although it would be possible to glean much build information from the vodeos …. I am wonering if you have any specific pdf docs or other information …. drawings etc that you can email me?

        Once again thanks for all your efforts

        Regards bert

      • Joe Papa says:

        Thanks for the kind words Bert. I will check out that link when I get a chance. I do have lots of notes on the build with most of the dimensions, If your really interested in the info I have, I can email you . Send me an email to mazdalorean@gmail.com and I will add your email address to my contact list, and when I can gather stuff , I will send it your way. Also , keep in mind that the hearth dimensions are identical to flash’s, and he has an autocad drawing of the build .

        I have also been working on adapting a 3/4 hp single phase electric motor to a small squirrel cage blower for my unfiltered flare blower. It’s almost done except for the adapter flanges for mounting the hoses to it. I’ve also picked up all of the parts for my final filter. I decided to use a universal 8 – 12 cup stainless coffee filter mounted inside of 4″ pvc fittings. It will be removable for cleaning or replacement. I also really wanted a cyclone filter before my generator, and I found a plastic molded one on ebay ( High efficiency Cyclone powder dust collector filter top quality for vacuums IA1) . They’re cheap , built better than I can make one, already have inputs and outputs for 2″ hose, and bolt right onto whatever kind of container I want to mount it to. So that’s on it’s way to me as we speak. China is far away. I also picked up a wheel kit from harbor freight for my generator. I will have to custom mount it , as it is intended to go on a harbor freight generator, but it shouldn’t be too bad.Talk to you later. Joe

      • I worked in the aviation industry for a number of years. I welded lots of SS in all grades. Turbine engines are about 90% SS. Three secrets 1) SS brazes well. Avoid welding it at the temperatures reactors reach. 2) always mask threads or parts of stuff you are welding to avoid the galling problem. We used to use plastic tool handle dip on blade fir tree roots. Masking tape works great and is a cinch to remove. 3) if you must weld, use heli-arc method. That trade name was going out of style 30 years ago when I did it. I think they call it tung-arc or IGTA (inert gas tungsten arc) now a days. When you weld a nipple into something start with two tacks 180 degrees apart. They do two more 90 degrees from first tacks. Then do four more tacks between those four. When you have 8 tacks, you can safely weld continuous bead without warping anything. John Mahler

      • Joe Papa says:

        John, welcome aboard . I have never heard of the masking technique but I will be sure to try it next time . Thanks for the tip. It’s been pretty quiet here lately , but I’m hoping all the warm weather coming up motivates all of us to get stuff done. Talk to you later. Joe

  29. Joe Papa says:

    Hey everyone, I just wanted to let you guys know that I posted a progress video. As always I’d love to get feedback from you guys. the link is https://youtu.be/XluDFqMadeE
    Sorry it’s not a run video , but I’m really trying to stay patient as I complete all of the things I think should get done before I run. I hope things are going well for everyone. Talk to you soon. Joe

    • Mark Christian says:

      SUPER SWEET!!!!

      While I don’t think I’ll ever take my system to that level, paint me impressed. Way to go Joe. Thanks for the video.

      Have a great day.

      Mark

      • Joe Papa says:

        Thanks Mark, you won’t have to do what I do to make your system great. The beauty of all of this is , the Flashifier dimensions are the Flashifier dimensions. Once I’m able to dial in the main variables, I will be able to tell you if you run it at this level of vacuum , with this amount of flow, those details will give you identical results to whatever I can achieve. Then if there is something that you find attractive about a certain aspect of the system, there are a lot of very inexpensive alternatives to allen bradley plcs. All of the arduino stuff is made for easy use, and will do most of what mine will do. The only reason that I chose the slc 500 platform is that is what I have to troubleshoot at work. So it cost me way more than it would cost anyone else, but I’m doing it for the experience with them. It has already paid off in advancing my troubleshooting abilities. I suspect, as I dive deeper into the programming field , it will help me further. Also I will be looking at what the arduino stuff can do after I master the allen bradley stuff. I will have a good understanding of what to do with it just from my dealings with allen bradley. I will definitely help people with this stuff , if they want it in their systems. Talk to you later, and thanks for checking it out. Joe

  30. Joe Papa says:

    Merry Christmas everyone. May your stockings be filled with wood gas gifts, as we look forward to seeing what the new year brings. Thanks for a great year. Talk to you soon. Joe

  31. CaseyJo says:

    hey, everyone. so after I shot my three videos of gasifier, was going to plan on doing a clean out video…..so far, I don’t see a reason why to clean it. It is still running fine, I did have to replace liquid in filter, because I left the pump on, and it pumped all the fluid into the piping, then sprayed it EVERYWHERE when I turned blower on. It was nasty tea colored, stinky, and made a hell of a mess. but after refilling, and starting, I have had no issues with gas quality, or tar. I am thinking of adding some “drizzler” ideas to mine. I am, and will continue the hot air into intake-I am NOT pressurizing the system, and it is running much better(with hot air gun), I’m seeing less moisture in hopper, so I personally see it as a plus, with no issues thus far, and it will get me thru the winter, while I build some other ideas. one idea from drizzler, is his “packer rod”, or a variation, thereof. and a feeder system, for the hopper. I made a battery bank, charger, and inverter set-up, which will run when gasifier is running, then it will run my low useage time, instead of gasifier. I’ll shoot a video of that when it’s setup.
    starting Jan, my life, unfortunately, will take a turn back to “normal”–that is, I will be rejoining the workforce, after a 11/2 yr fight over my job, for the 2nd time. I should be elated, but lukewarm is all I get from it, with the battle not fully over with, yet, as I still have a dog in the fight.
    that’s my update-ya’ll have a good one!!

  32. Mark Christian says:

    Another Whacked Idea

    Hey Guys,

    So as I sit here trying not to think about my latest gasifier designs, I have a thought I would pose to the group to see what you thoughts are.

    Today I worked on one of the latest used 00# propane tanks I purchased. The old fashioned nozzle on the tank have a 3/4″ fitting for the value stems. My thought was to mount a 3/4″ close with a 3/4″ to 1/2″ reducer and cap it off with 1/2″ close to the top of the tank. If I greased up a piece of piece of 1/2″ ss rod, and filled the reducer with heat resistant silicone, it should make a fairly airtight seal. I think this would serve well as a tamper when bridging might be occurring and a measuring stick for how much wood remains in the hopper.

    Not quite as glamorous as Dan’s offset motor to shake the whole rig, but I think it should prove effective without having to lift the lid and risk a flash.

    Also, what are your thoughts about condensate drains? Certainly a build is a lot easier without them, but I think the benefit of additional drying out weigh the design/build issues.

    Oh well, time to try and get a little sleep, before I wake up with my next flaky idea.

    Have a good one!

    Mark

    • Bill - NH Hbbyloggr says:

      Hey Mark,
      One thing you will see from the builds with this group is that each one takes its own shape and personality. If you have an idea, run with it, share the ideas to maybe save some time or safety issues from other builders.
      Condensate drains are a “must-have”. I have one at the at the bottom of the two tank cyclone, each of the four filters and of course the sight glass. If I ever had a long run which filled the sight glass then I would probably have to shut down to drain everything. I never ran it long enough for that to happen so it’s all theory in my world. I don’t think I would open any drains while it was in full blown operating mode due to the risk of letting air ( O2 ) into the system. Good luck and have fun
      NH Hbbyloggr

      • Mark Christian says:

        Hi Bill,

        Thanks for your reply. I guess I wasn’t clear in stating my question. Sleep deprivation affects my typing too πŸ™‚ The condensate drain that I was thinking about was actually at the top of the hopper.

        My thought was to build a small catch basin at the top of the hopper and then drain the steam water from the system into a mason jar. I believe I saw something like this on Dan Cox’s videos.

        I agree with you completely they are a must have in the cooling part and filtration parts of the systems. I know Dan’s video show that he has shut off values inline with his system, so in theory he should be able to drain the mason jars while it’s operating during a long run.

        If I remember correctly I think you said you use a plasma cutter to make some of your cuts. If you’re doing circles and rings, how do you get accurate cuts? Are you free handing them, or are you using a template of sort to guide your cut?

        Right now, I’m mentally tangled in hearth design. Specifically trying figure out how to
        design an Imbert style hearth, while incorporating enough thermal mass for refractory purposes, but not too much to draw the heat from the system. All while doing it within the confines of a 100# propane tank. Certainly, working in a barrel is a lot easier for flexibility purposes. πŸ™‚

        Thanks again for the thoughts.

        Have a great day.

      • Bill - NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Mark,
        Now I see the top drain idea. That I’ll leave to others who might have one and swear by it.
        I have templates for the Plasma Cutter to cut smaller circles and rings. Usually use 1 inch pieces of pipe, bearing outside races, things of that sort. I weld a 1/2 inch flat side handle to the bottom of each template ring which can be clamped to the piece to be cut. For really machine type close tolerances I have a couple sets of Lennox hole saws.I used those saws to cut the pipes for the radiators . For the big plates I drill a small 3/8 hole for a pivot pin and have a clamp on adjustable arm to mount the torch, then swing it around the cut line.
        For the hearth design you might want to talk with Pete Casey. I think he’s onto something with his design, or Steve at CNC. He is the resident been there , done that guy who has to depend on his all the time .Hope this helps
        Bill

      • Bill Boehmer says:

        Hey Mark, if you close the valve to the drain bottle you can empty the jar and let the system run, but, big but here, when you put the jar back on there will be air in that jar, and if you open the valve the air will enter the system. Not sure if that would be enough for an explosion so can anyone add some advice?

  33. Joe Papa says:

    Hey guys , I had a thought that I’d like to share and get feedback on. You spend a lot of time thinking about the best way to warm up your gasifier without filling all of your downstream pipes with tar. even in my case , I spent a lot of time and effort with my venturi setup . I do believe the Drive On Wood guys use a pusher blower to force air into the intake during the starting of the gasifier. Now I know this would not be a good option for long time use this way, but do you think it would be a valuable concept to transform your down draft imbert gasifier into a temporary updraft , open top ( keeping the lid open ) gasifier just to ensure that you have a the hearth warmed up ? I know bio char is the best starter fuel, but would this make sure you have enough to get it warmed up? Please let me know what your thoughts are on the subject. Good or bad. Thanks. Joe

    • CaseyJo says:

      Joe–that’s funny thought, cause I was wondering that, too. I was thinking of making an adaptor to fit a heat gun to my intake, open the lid, and blow a low velocity of HOT air down into my hearth, with blower still running, to suck gas out. I have 5-10 min during startup that I am sure is making tar. this might cut it down to 1-3 min, and the colder it gets, the more I think this would help. I’m also gonna run a pipe to collect the heat(not exhaust) from muffler of generator to intake of gasifier-the exhaust pipe runs about 175 degrees, and would at least help to suck a warmer air into intake, to keep temps steady. the way mine is being run, there is always biochar in hearth/reduction, but hopper is full of fuel, more or less, so it starts up fast, but has potential to make tar for a few minutes, anyway…. so I give your thoughts a “thumbs up” After talking with Dan last night, I wonder what other people are burning an hour for fuel? mine, and Dans’ seem to have a lot different fuel consumption ratios. Let us know how yours is coming, I’m anxiously waiting for that day!!
      Pete

      • Joe Papa says:

        Pete, I have been hitting it hard lately . I just got all of my parts machined for mounting my thermocouple. Maybe I’ll send you a pic or two. it turned out really nice. I just need to get the tri clover clamp and gasket , and weld the parts together. I also just wired it up today. I have been playing around with the programming stuff. I can view the data on the negative air pressure sensors, but I have to figure out why I can’t see what my rtd’s are doing. I think I have my addresses mixed up in the program. The problem is there are 16 terminals on a 4 channel card and the program displays 8 locations. I’m not sure which is which. I’ll figure it out. I have been having a lot of fun wandering around in the programming software. I also just received the new carburetor for the generator. I haven’t put it on yet. I will probably take some measurements for my wood gas intake while I’m putting it together. I really want to do another run too. I keep saying “when I get this done , I’ll run” , but as soon as I do I find something else I want done before I run. Most of my plc wiring is done, except for the control wiring from the plc to the vfd for the program to control the motor speed. I have gotten so many things done since my last run, I hope I don’t miss talking about anything important. Anyway , back to the positive intake with a small amount of fuel in the hopper. If you leave your lid open and set all of the fuel on fire, none of the tar will end up in your system. It might settle on the hopper walls, but it sounds like a good way to warm up the hearth. I’m still waiting to hear more input from people. There may be some reason why it’s not a good idea. If you guys think of anything let me know. Thanks, Joe

      • Bill - NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Joe,
        I ran my mouth before I fully understood what you were proposing. I’ll tear that page out of the playbook.

    • Bill - NH Hbbyloggr says:

      As I recall somewhere in the instruction booklet it said that pushing air through the system makes a volatile mixture of wood gas and oxygen. The results are quite dramatic. Personally I’ll risk making a little tar at the startup rather than a healthy dash of shrapnel.

      • CaseyJo says:

        Bill, you don’t have to actually “push” that hot air in there. if the “push air is of less velocity, than outtake of blower, you still have a vacuum, but you are mixing hot air into the intake.

      • Joe Papa says:

        Bill, don’t you think the gas will follow the path of least resistance ( through the open lid rather than through your filters). I would never pressurize the intake with the lid closed. At that point you are forcing air through the system. Can anyone tell me if this is why they do this with the Drive on wood gasifiers ( to warm them up)?

      • Bill - NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Flash, I’ve had some mighty wild explosions with the shop’s sawdust furnace ,so I’m not a big fan of being the candidate for testing the Theory of Relativity when it comes to wood gas. Just saying….

    • Mark Christian says:

      Hey Joe,

      So, I was pondering your question and I thought of possible (if dangerous) method of heating the hearth/system up at start up.

      One approach would be to put a tee in your air intake, and one in your outlet line with a shutoff value prior to the cooling units(cyclone, radiator, expansion tanks). Connect the outlet line to shutoff value and then to the tee in your air intake.

      Instead of relying on the vacuum to draw air through the system, your heat gun can force the hot air into your system. You may want to put a piece of steel wool between the intake line and the tee to reduce any sparks that my occur.

      This way the system is drawing the tarry gas back into the hearth space and burning it as fuel. When its warmed up, you could close off the line between the outlet and intake, and open the line between the outlet and your cooling system and begin priming your system as normal.

      Actually, the heat gun might not be a good idea, but a simple blower of some sort. As the air/gas is forced into the hearth space, it’s going to burn. The blower will act like the billows on an old forge.

      If you would start your rig with only a small part of the hopper filled, and the lid open, you should be able to get your beastie quite hot and toasty. Then after you shut the line off and started pulling the gas through your cooling system, you should be able to fill the hopper and close the lid.

      Maybe I’m whacked, and it could be dangerous. But it’s just a thought.

      • Bill B says:

        Why not rev stack motor to full speed once initial fire in cone is lit, to get it hot fast, give it five minutes, then slow it down to light stack to see if it’s producing gas? Also, wouldn’t shutting down before running out of fuel, leaving char in the cone, be the best way to go?

      • Joe Papa says:

        Thanks for all the replies guys. It was just a thought . It’s nice to have the resource of this blog to discuss this kind of stuff. Thanks again . Joe

      • Joe Papa says:

        Bill B, thanks for the reply. I will always shut the system down with some amount of fuel in the system . I do like the idea of saving what’s left, and reusing it for the next start up. Bio char first then whatever fuel is partially burned. I will be running again very shortly, and I will give my venturi blower another go. I figure , even if I let it warm up for ten minutes with that, it will get the ball rolling so to speak. Thanks again for everyone’s input , and I’ll keep you guys posted as to when to expect the next video. Joe

    • Joe what you are suggesting is a positive pressure gasifier even if you are talking about warming it up a positive pressure system is much more prone to harsh flash backs (explosions) so just be careful if you try that method.

    • Bill - NH Hbbyloggr says:

      Joe,
      Only because I always have a ready supply of hot coals available from the outdoor furnace, I take a bucket full of them down to the gasifier to start it. Shovel those glowing red babies right in ,give it some air and in a few minutes of pre heating you are ready to add the wood and be on the way. I’ve had gas flare in a couple minutes doing it this way. Maybe make a charcoal pre burner pot which when all glowing hot could be dumped into the hearth for the warm up period, thus avoiding the risk of pushing air through the system.
      NH Hbbyloggr

  34. Joe Papa says:

    Hey guys, just want to say hi and give a quick update. The first filter is done and filled with the walmart stainless steel pot scrubbers. The second filter has all of it’s components finished , but I have not picked up any wood chips to load it with yet. The third filter is done and loaded with polyester fluff material. The blower is working awesome and running at less than half capacity. That should be nice to be able to bump it up with the additional drag of the filters. I will be looking up some kind of automotive air filter for my final filter, but I haven’t got there yet. I also have to mount the port for my post filter negative air pressure sensor and install and wire it. I will probably be buying some parts coming up shortly here including a 12 volt power supply , and whatever I need for monitoring flow rates of the gas being produced. Let me know what your thoughts are on doing a test run just using the blower, and powering everything with the generator on gas. There are a couple of good reasons for doing this. First , I’d like to take out the preheat portion of my air intake, and reroute it to the muffler of the engine ( being careful not to pull in exhaust fumes) just for the heat. I would love to see what kind of air intake temps are possible . The All Power Labs people really have nailed down the science of gasifiers, and I know that our type of gassers are most likely to produce the worst form of tars ( hardest to crack) due to the fast increase in temps in the hearth and how close the zones are together in our set up , but I’d like to see what this thing can do. Anyway , I would like to test the generator under load as well. Since it has been sitting, and I plan on running the piss out of it, I just want to see what it does under normal conditions. I have an eight foot long 240 volt baseboard electric heater, and a 120 volt electric heater that I can load it up with. Let me know if there are any other tests that might be good to do with this style test run. Hope all is well with everyone. Talk to you later. Joe

    • Mark Christian says:

      Hi Joe,

      Thanks for the update on your progress and congrats on moving ahead.

      In regards to your questions about tests, I think I would favor flood lights instead of the space heaters, although that may not be realistic if you have a large generator. That way you can get an accurate read of how many watts your generator is kicking out.

      I wish my progress was that far along. My design flaws and mistakes in fabrication have finally reached a point where it’s too frustrating to try and fix. So it’s back to the drawing board for me. Irritating as it is to start over, I’ve at least gotten some welding and metal fabrication experience, so it’s not a total loss.

      I like the idea of utilizing the generator’s exhaust to preheat the air. I was thinking the same thing from a suggestion made month’s ago by someone on this site. If your pre-heat chamber is insulated, why not keep it?

      Every other design I’ve seen, either pulls the gas directly out of the clean out zone, or out and around the outside of clean out zone. Loosing a lot of the heat before it can do much good.

      What I was thinking for the next version was to run 5 3/4″ tubes down along side the hearth and reduction zone, and surround those in gypsum/sand. At the level of the preheat chamber, the tubes take a right angle and enter the preheat chamber near the back side of nozzles for the hearth and then either takes a right angle up through the top our straight out the side of the preheat chamber.

      My thought is that prior to reaching the preheat chamber, the gas is exposed to the hot hearth temperatures again, hopefully doubling the length of the reduction zone and cracking more tar.

      When it enters the preheat chamber, it begins exchanging the heat with the input air which gets pulled back directly into the hearth. The longer the tubes extend into the preheat chamber, the more heat can be exchanged. After that it can be utilized for preheating the wood for better pyrolysis like most designs.

      I’m still trying to figure out how to fabricate it. But a good balance of ceramic fiber insulation, gypsum/sand for refractory and heat sink purposes, and the curved shape at the top of the clean out zone, should maximize and focus the heat.

      Any thoughts are appreciated.

      • Joe Papa says:

        Mark , I had thoughts about running piping inside the barrel but outside the hopper for preheating my intake air. I decided against it ( with some advice from Flash) due to the fact that if there are any tars floating around in the barrel, they may condense on the intake pipes , insulating them to a point where it diminishes the heat transfer. I know the All Power Labs gasifiers have this type of preheat setup, but they heavily rely on their control unit to keep the gas clean enough not to muck up the system. If any of us tried to run their system without constant monitoring , we would probably run it poorly from time to time , and get tar in places that can’t be cleaned out. This is why I felt it was important to keep more traditional radiators, and easy accessibility to clean it out , not caring how big it is.

        Sorry to hear about the issues with your fabrication. Sometimes it is best to start over , if you know something you have done can’t be trusted to do what you would like it to do safely. As always if you need info on anything fabrication, just ask. Maybe if there are a lot of people having trouble with any one thing, ( like rolling a cone) a video may be in order. Keep us posted , and if you hit a snag , just ask. Talk to you later. Joe

      • Mark Christian says:

        Hi Joe,

        Thank you your response and thoughts. I’m still pondering, but I’ll hit you up for ideas on how I can make this beast. If I can draw up some plans, maybe you can shot holes in them for me.

        Have a great day.

        Mark

        PS – If anyone else would like to see the plans if/when I get them drawn up, shot me an email. My e-mail address is my name + cpa at Hotmail dot com. Please don’t put me on any mailing lists, I get more than enough Viagra emails the way it is. πŸ™‚

    • CaseyJo says:

      you wonder about checking the generator, using gasoline? YES! I’ve ran mine on gasoline, propane, woodgas, to see the differences……..for mine, gasoline is top performer, followed by woodgas, and propane comes in last, tho they all will run the generator fine, I can tell the motor runs best, most steady, in that order of fuels.
      keep us posted!!!

  35. Bill B says:

    Hey Guys, what happens if the hopper is re-fueled while running, and what should never be done while running that could cause problems, big and small.

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Howdee Bill B,

      This may be different per operator and per gasifier, but here is what I do:
      During operation, when refueling or manual stoking is required, I open the lid and use a cigarette lighter to burn off the pyrolisis gas.
      This greatly reduces the size of any possible smoke plumes, and also gives me control over any unexpected flare ups that may occur.
      Naturally, you do not want to be looking down into the hopper as you do any of this, due to the potential for unwanted flame induced eyebrow and hair length reduction events.
      Once these steps have been carried out, it is safe to look down into the hopper – and carry out any required fuel bed manipulation.

      In my gasser, the engine continues running as normal when the hopper lid is opened.
      If the fuel level is low, the gas steadily becomes richer while the lid is open, so some minor adjustment of the air control valve is occasionally required.
      This does not occur when the fuel level is reasonably high, so I can get away with leaving the lid open for an extended period of time.
      In general, it is not a good idea to keep the lid open for longer than necessary, as this could promote tar production by interfering with the air flow above the restriction.
      That stated, I have never had any problems related to this action.

      In general, I think you will find that these gasifiers are pretty forgiving, so it all comes down to due care and common sense while operating these Wood to Watt conversion stations πŸ™‚ .

      Best wishes,
      Steve.

  36. Joe Papa says:

    Hey guys, it’s been a month since I ordered my new vfd for my massive three phase blower. As most of you know the first one showed up dead on arrival. My replacement one came in today, and like a kid on Christmas morning I ran right out to test it out. I didn’t get too much time to play with it, but right now the blower is pulling the system into 64 inches of water and drawing .8 amps on each of the two single phase input legs. This thing is an animal. The last month has been torture, but it all seems worth it now that I have a three phase power supply, and an industrial blower that is now tested. After repairing, and testing it electrically, I was anxious to see if it would really run. This is shaping up to be an epic weekend as I head out to get a freebie ( or very low cost ) generator that has been sitting for some time. Keep your fingers crossed that it’s close to the size I’m looking for, and it’s worth the time I’ll invest in refurbishing it. Hope all is well with everyone. By the way , I started watching Flash’s how to videos, and started drawing up some step by step plans including all of the upgrades that he has done to date. I have read a lot about people asking for this, so when I’m done I’ll have to share it. I personally like to watch the videos , but not everyone is like me. Talk to you all later. Joe

    • Hey Joe that would be a blessing for everybody wanting to experiment with this stuff! I really wish I had the time to do this but I am covered up with so many other things that I have going on right now that time still isn’t on my side.

      If you do this, either you can make it into a PDF or I’ll do it for you and I’ll place it on the website to share with others too. That goes for anyone else that wishes to share their ideas too. A few photos along with a few explanations is that is needed and I’ll make it into a PDF file for those out there wishing to contribute their builds and I’ll be more than glad to make sure that those of you who do decide to get involved with this get the credit for any write-ups you contribute.

      I would ask this of everyone wishing to contribute their ideas that instead of submitting an idea that is a untried theory please submit stuff that you have tried on your build(s) that you were pleased enough with that you felt the need to share them with others.

      • Joe Papa says:

        I’m just doing drawings ( hand drawn in a 3-D view) and putting all of the items that you will need to purchase along with all of the important things that you stress ,and a bunch of common sense stuff . I’m trying to do it in a way that instructs you to do the upgrades in the order of the build. They’re really good drawings, but not as nice as autocad or anything. I think it will work for the people that really need a step by step set of instructions. As for the credit, you get all of that. You did all of the legwork and experimenting. I just work on it when I’m too lazy to do real work. I’m also keeping all of the content from video 1 in its respective order, so if the picture isn’t clear enough , they can refer to that number video in your series for that how to feel.

        I just got back with my generator. It is a 10 HP tecumseh engine. A little smaller that I was shooting for , but I think that my reduction zone will be close enough. If I remember correctly , it’s 2 and 1/4 at the top and 2 and 1/2 at the bottom. I was shooting for a 12 or 13 HP engine, but the generator I was going to buy was 7000 running watts ( so maybe 5000 watts on wood gas). This generator is 5000 running watts ( on gas ) . I may do what others have done and couple a larger engine to it to get all of those 5000 watts. 5000 was what I wanted, so it might be worth looking into. Talk to you later. Joe

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Howdee Joe,

      That’s great news about the safe arrival of the new VFD. It looks like it is powerful enough to suck your entire gasser through the plumbing, so, if your gasser goes AWOL at any time, perhaps you will find it inside the blower πŸ˜‰ .

      I knew you would ultimately win this battle. It was just a matter of time before you would come out on top πŸ™‚ .

      Keep up the good work.

      Best wishes,
      Steve.

      • Joe papa says:

        Thanks Steve, but I have to say if it does pull my gasifier in , I’ll find it out the other side. This thing sucked the two inch rubber tee’s closed at about 132 inches of water. I would like test run in a deeper than normal vacuum level . I know if the flare starts to drop down it usually needs the grate shaken. I would like to tug a little harder instead to filter the gas a little more before leaving the grate. What are your thoughts? Joe

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Joe,

        Your vacuum levels are pretty darn impressive alright.
        Perhaps you are at risk of collapsing certain portions of your metalwork?
        What you say about increasing the vacuum level, instead of shaking the grate too often is interesting.
        I am certain that the charcoal in the grate assists in filtering and cooling the gas before it leaves the gasifier, but there is surely a trade off here.

        You will see this when you are running an engine on it, as the engine will have to work harder in order to pull the gas through all that charcoal.
        As a result, the engine can be a bit harder to start, and it may lack power at a given RPM. Also, it can take longer to fully purge the filter chain – prior to staring the engine.
        Any air leaks before the engine will become more obvious, and may increase the risk of explosions in the plumbing due to backfiring during startup.
        Been there, done that, blown a few bits of gasifier into the next paddock πŸ™‚ .
        Oops!
        If anything, I think you will find that there is a sweet spot where the gas is clean – and the vacuum level is acceptable.
        Perhaps you can base your grate shaking intervals on engine vacuum, thereby automating this aspect of the system.

        Mine constantly operates at quite a high vacuum level, as I have opted for a deep and dense charcoal bed – for the same reasons as you have.
        This results in a predominantly blue flare before the filter, at the cost of a reduced flow rate for a given level of vacuum.
        One of the advantages of this is that I don’t get any tar in the plumbing. Instead, all I get is soot and a light oily substance which can be burned out by a process that I refer to as ‘flame cleaning’.

        I don’t know if there is a ‘right’ way to operate a gasifier, but I have certainly done it the ‘wrong’ way a couple of times, before learning my lessons πŸ™‚ .

        Best wishes,
        Steve.

  37. Joe Papa says:

    Hey guys, I’m pulling my hair out . I attempted to order my variable frequency drive so I can run my new blower. Let’s just say I don’t speak Chinese. Also their technical support doesn’t speak English too well either. Long story short, The vfd showed up dead on arrival. After ( 12 ) emails now, I’m hoping the new one will be on it’s way soon. I can’t even be sure about that though because I’m not sure how long a few time is. I can see why there are a lot of people that only buy american made items. I would be one of them if I wasn’t poor. I found a capacitor that was separated from the main circuit board. I wouldn’t mind just soldering it back on , but I bought it new , and it should work out of the box. I guess I should be grateful that they are replying to me. We’ll see how it turns out. If it turns out badly I will be sure to pass along to the gasifier community , who not to buy parts from. So keep your fingers crossed that I get this straightened out , so I can get to the next step in this looooong journey. Talk to you guys later. Joe P

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Howdee Joe,

      That sure does suck alright.
      All that anticipation, followed by the big let down. Not Good!

      It is just a lucky thing that they are replying to your emails at all.
      Perhaps this means that they are good people and will, “in just a few time”, fix this most annoying problem.
      In time, you will be able to forget this, as you enjoy your gasifier’s addictive blue flame πŸ™‚ .

      Best wishes,
      Steve.

  38. Bill B says:

    VEHICLE

    In a gasified vehicle, how would this work? You get to the store and leave the vehicle for ten minutes. How is this handled and what is the re-start procedure?

    • Joe Papa says:

      Bill B, if you check out the drive on wood videos , they do that a lot. They claim it can sit for some time and be restarted without a whole relighting procedure . I think up to one hour, but not sure.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Bill B,

        The likelihood of an explosion is minimal as there is no air in the system, due to it entering a positive pressure state when temporarily shut down.
        Restarting, after a break of 10 minutes or so, is as simple as opening the appropriate valves and switching the blower on – to reheat the reactor.
        In a fairly short time, yer ready to roll πŸ™‚ .

        That stated, I would not recommend such a vehicle as a getaway car for bank robbers πŸ˜‰ .

        I use this method on my little gasser, and I find that it works nicely, even after an hour of inactivity.

        It may seem ironic, but I am willing to bet that a gasifer powered vehicle is less likely to catch fire in a car crash than a gasoline powered one is πŸ™‚ .

  39. Bill B says:

    TO STEVE

    Hey Steve thanks for the info, very cool. You would be the perfect guy to do a little experiment, and that’s where you use an old cooler, or a styrofoam food shipping container, have the gas hose go in near the bottom and go back and forth until it is half way up, then exit and go to the engine. Then fill the box with ice cubes to cool the gas. The object would be to take RPM readings before and after to see if there is a viable reason to do this, and also listen for how the engine sounds, and look for any signs of more power. This would be very easy to do and not all that expensive, but if you end up using less wood because of having more power, then it would be worth it, and I figure you are in the perfect position to do this, so I hope you like the idea and can see yourself doing this. Lets say this idea works, you could make a unit using a tiny air conditioner forcing its air through a box that houses the extra hose, instead of using ice cubes. What do you think?

    Bill B.

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Howdee Bill B,

      You are welcome πŸ™‚ .

      To some degree, I have done the experiment that you suggested.
      On my gasifier’s cooling system, I have 12 fairly powerful fans. They cool the gas from human body temperature to near freezing, as I operate this system mainly during the cold years, oops – months, of winter.
      Most of the time, the fans are switched off, so the engine receives very slightly warm gas. When the fans are on, and the gas becomes icy cold, I think I get more power, but it’s really hard to say for sure.
      If anything, I would need to monitor the position of the throttle for a given RPM and shaft load, while altering the gas temperature.
      Theoretically, the throttle would start to close down as the gas becomes colder.

      There is one thing that I am yet to try that will surely make an immediate difference to the economy of this gasogen.
      Since the engine timing is fixed, and is set for gasoline at 3000 RPM, there is room to move on the spark timing.
      What I would like to do is add a timing control arm to the ignition circuit, so I can advance or retard it whenever the need arises.
      Because woodgas burns slower, it seems sensible to advance the timing to accommodate it.
      If I do that, the engine should be able to extract more energy from each charge of tree fumes.
      This suggests that the throttle will progressively close down for the same RPM and shaft loading, until I reach the timing advance limit for this type of gas.

      Well, that’s the idea anyway, so I need to build up some electronics to let me give it a try πŸ™‚ .

      Best wishes,
      Steve.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Steve, Not knowing your engine, is there a way to change the timing gears, marks or belt to advance time the engine? I used to do that on the Detroit diesel…advance one tooth in the gear set. Started a little harder but gained horsepower when it was running.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Bill,

        This engine is pretty basic. It’s a single cylinder, 390CC, banger.
        The label on the side of it reads SPE390, so it may be possible to see a picture of it on the interwebs.
        The flywheel carries a magnet which triggers an electronic magneto that is bolted to the engine.
        As such, the timing is locked, as there are no means of shifting any of the related components.
        I figure that I can take the existing electronic ignition out, and replace it with one of my own design.
        This can be triggered by something as simple as a hall effect sensor on a sliding mount. As the flywheel turns, it will impart a magnetic pulse to the sensor, which will trigger a spark while the movable arm governs the spark timing.
        At a guess, I think I will want to advance the spark timing by about 20 degrees.

        Before I do this, I will need to set a reference point, so I can see what the existing spark timing is actually set to.

        So many projects, so few tick tocks!

        Best wishes,
        Steve.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        I still think you can change the timing with the internal gear train. It may require cutting a new key way in the cam shaft gear so that the advance is set the desired degree,

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Bill,

        Well, that’s the rub. The only gear train is the one that regulates the valve timing.
        Cutting a new key way for the flywheel is workable, and has been successfully tried by other woodgas addicts.
        The downside is that you can’t safely run the engine on any other fuel until the timing is returned to its original position.

        I need to think about this, but my plan is to try a variable timing system that will allow me to shift it in precise increments while the engine is running.

        Best wishes,
        Steve.

      • Bill B says:

        Would opening or closing the point setting change the timing any, or would that only change the amount, or power of the spark?

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Bill B,

        That would shift the timing a little, but it would also interfere with the performance of the ignition system.
        On mine, it is entirely electronical, so there are no points to play with.
        I think I will be able to make up a new electronical ignition system for this, so I can have a good play with the sparkle timing.
        By using a timing light, and a mark on the flywheel, I should be able to see where the sweet spot is for a given RPM setting.

        Best wishes,
        Steve.

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Electronically changing the timing by variable degrees is the way to go. And if there is anyone who can do it , my vote goes to you. Good luck . Next , will you slow down my internal clock? My life is going by too fast.

      • Bwahhh ha ha ha ha haaaa! I was just thinking the same thing other day. Once upon a time I had black hair and now when people describe me they always say “The guy with the silver ponytail”

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Oh man ! A pretty young lady held the door open at the bank FOR ME the other day. No silver here! PURE WHITE ! It only means that I don’t have to be politically correct anymore. I’m forgiven some how.

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee BILL W. NH HBBYLOGGR,

        Aww shucks, yer just saying that to be nice πŸ™‚ .
        Hmmm, if you want to live a LOT longer, just give up all the fun things you do.
        Ok, you might not actually live longer, but it will sure seem like it.
        Works for me πŸ˜‰ .

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        By golly you are right ! I tripled my life yesterday when the delivery truck’s alternator went south while the truck was headed north. Got that changed because I had a spare in stock sitting in the shop. Then the domestic water pressure switch drew its last breath drinking from the well of youth and good fortune. Plus I made quota with the wood deliveries. Three times the daily requirements of status-quo .

      • CNCmacfun says:

        Howdee Flash001USA,

        If ya want to lose that pony tail, just let a couple of my Donkeys have you for a while.
        They love chewing on hair, and have very neatly trimmed the tail of my old Pony Mare.
        Saves me having to trim it πŸ™‚ .

  40. Bill B says:

    CONGRATS
    Steve, congrats, 920 hours equals five and a half weeks. Now of course, I don’t think this was all done in one run, but rather a bit here and there. Could you tell me how often the oil was changed and how it looked, and where can I see any videos, thx.

    Bill B.

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Howdee Bill B,

      Thanks kindly.
      This is quite a lot of run time, and many a tree gave up its life in the name of science, perpetually cold beer – and 32″ TV goodness πŸ™‚ .
      My longest uninterrupted run on this was 11 hours, and my shortest run was a mere 90 minutes.
      It all comes down to battery condition and beer temperature measurements as to how long I run it.

      I change the slippery stuff every 100 hours. It comes out looking quite clear, but it can sometimes be darkened by soot if I am not as careful with the filters as I should be.
      It is interesting to note that the used oil doesn’t have any smell to it, so that must be good.
      At the moment, my video collection is woefully out of date, so I will need to fix that before I pull this beastie apart for a videological survey of its gizzards.

      The gas filters get cleaned every 40 to 60 hours. Cleaning them takes about 5 minutes, as it simply involves pulling out all the old camel hair and replacing it with a new lot. Stuffing the actual camel into the filter doesn’t work, as they climb out and spit on me. Eeeww!
      I have enough camel hair to last at least 3 zombie invasions, so no worries there πŸ˜‰ .

      My YooChewb channel name is: CNCmachiningisfun. My videos are getting a bit old and dusty, so I might need to get in there and clean them up with the compressed air gun.

      Best wishes,
      Steve.

  41. CNCmacfun says:

    920 HOURS, AND STILL GOING STRONG.

    Howdee, fellow woodgas addicts.
    My system has clocked up 920 hours of trouble free gassy goodness to date.
    920 hours, that’s nearly a whole million,,,,,, or something πŸ˜‰ .
    That’s tree-mend-us.

    As I write this, my gasser is busily turning woods into watts, so I don’t have to use candles to see which buttons I am pressing on this typewriter.
    To say that I am pleased with the performance of this beastie is surely an understatement, as it has produced great quantities of super cheap electricity over the freezing months of winter. This has allowed me to enjoy a level of comfort that I would never have thought was possible here πŸ™‚ .

    As summer approaches, and the solar panels take over, this gasser will be used less and less.
    Pretty soon, it will be taking a well earned holiday.
    That’s when I plan to sneak up on it and pull it to bits, to make a yoochoob video of the engine’s internals.
    OK, this engine was old and banged up when I got it.
    You could say that it has been ‘pre – disastered’, as it was quite dead when it was given to me.
    It is likely to clock up 200 more hours on woodgas by the time I make the video, but I am fairly confident that it will be pretty clean inside.

    Hmmm, famous last words!

    The only thing that has gone wrong with this engine is that there is an oil leak somewhere in the crank case gasket. There is oil all over the engine and the gasifier trolley. The combination of oil, charcoal dust, and sawdust has coated the whole thing as if someone has tarred and feathered it.
    Oh well, no worries, it’s perfectly clean under all that dirt and grime πŸ˜‰ .

    I am hopelessly addicted to woodgas…..help meeeeee!
    Nah, please don’t, as I am soooo enjoying this intoxicating freedom πŸ™‚ .

    Cheers fellas.
    Long may your your treez be gassy, and long may your waste wood be wonderously wattsome πŸ™‚ .

    • Steve I’ve always said that out of all of us you are the one ahead of this game because you are using this as a real world off-grid setup. Good for you and I hope you continue to get many more years of usage from your system.

    • Joe Papa says:

      Steve, you are an inspiration to us all. I think it’s awesome how you jump from one power source to another according to the season. I guess solar is easier, but not great all year. I am looking forward to seeing the inside of that engine and your findings. I’m still making progress and at some point , when I get some key things done, I’ll post a video of my progress. Right now I am impatiently waiting for my vfd to show up in the mail so I will be able to fire up my new blower ( keep your fingers crossed that this motor is as good as it tests electrically) . I guess I’ll find out once it is wired up. Also my filter assembly is coming together nicely ( Flash style) They say the excitement is in the journey, but sometimes I wish I was sitting back reaping the benefits like you get to do. Thanks for the update , and keep us posted. We need a good injection of wood gas from time to time. Talk to you later. Joe Papa

    • CNCmacfun says:

      Howdee folks,

      Thanks kindly for the positive words.
      A few years ago, I had no idea that woodgas even existed.
      Now, I am hopelessly addicted to it.
      I just wish I had become addicted to this at least 25 years ago.

      In more recent years, I wrongly believed that woodgas would shorten the life of an engine.
      This was because I had read some bad luck stories, and also made some really stupid mistakes on my journey towards successful tree-to-watt conversion.

      Now, armed with the success of this system, I think I am right in suggesting that woodgas can be kinder to an engine than gasoline is.
      I have no idea how long a gasoline powered engine should live for, but I am certain that a woodgas powered one will live at least as long, if not longer πŸ™‚ .

      Here’s hoping that this will build confidence in folks who are uncertain about the reliability of a woodgas powered generator.
      Having relied very heavily on this for at least 2 winters now, I can attest to the excellence of woodgas as an engine fuel πŸ™‚ .

      Best wishes,
      Steve (Hopelessly addicted to the gassy goodness of burning woodness).

  42. Rich says:

    Hi everyone, I have noticed that a few of you have modified your Imbert systems to remove or bypass the inverted cone at the bottom of the hearth… The method of choice seems to be a 2″ straight tube of stainless that stops just above the shaker grate.
    Is there a advantage to this mod? Did it fix a particular problem that you were having?

    • Joe Papa says:

      Rich, this is Flash’s concept and he used it to eliminate the issue of the char falling out of the inverted bell causing inconsistent runs. The idea is to make it a slight inverted bell to avoid bridging issues. They do taper out slightly toward the bottom for that ” ice cube tray ” like design. If you watch some of Flash’s earlier videos, he talks about the issues he was having and what made him change over to this concept. The rest of us just took the lessons he learned and copied his idea. I’m sure he’ll respond in better detail than I did , but this should be close . Joe

    • Rich says:

      Thanks Joe Papa, I also have another question… At what hearth temp does it create a burnable gas? I am just fireing it up for the first time and my hearth temp is at 350* and it is smoking like crazy without holding a flame… What am I doing wrong, Help??

      • Mark Christian says:

        Hi Rich,

        Can you describe your build, please. That might help those that have working systems to debug this better. I’m still working on my build, but several questions come to mind. I’m sorry if I missed a description of your build in the comments, but a refresher for me or others may help.

        Your temp is very low if it’s 350F, so I would ask first what are you using as fuel? If it’s wood chips, are they dry?

        Did you start by igniting bio-char, or did you just light up your fuel? FYI bio-char once burning will get hotter than just wood chips, so I’ve heard it’s best to start with it.

        What are you using to create the vacuum to draw the smoke through your reduction zone? Generating wood gas is a matter of time and temperature. Too much vacuum and the CO2 smoke doesn’t get reduced into hydrogen and CO because it’s pulled through the reduction zone to quick. Too little vacuum, and the fuel just smolders in the hearth, not producing enough gas to light.

        If you’re hearth temp is only 350F, then it sounds like you’re smoldering (barely). Either wet fuel or too little vacuum may be your problem. Also, how much air are you letting into your system too.

        The guys here are great at helping out and providing advice. I’m sure they can provide some insight.

        Good luck

        Mark

      • Rich says:

        Thx Mark, I have a standard Inbert system using a bilge air pump suggested by someone here… The issue isn’t getting hotter temps because this pump will do that (I shut it down because of the smoke at 350*) my problem is that I have close neighbors πŸ˜‰ and I didn’t want the FD to show up at me door.
        My issue starts with not having biochar to start with so I anticipated more smoke until it gets going, and I know that the core temps should climb to around 1300*+- … But I did expect to be able to light it off earlier in the burn than this. Watching the videos on this type of system it looks like it takes 3-5 minutes before you develop a burnable gas, this equipment was going up slowly because the wood pellets had to burn before the hearth was at temp (1300*) but I couldn’t wait that long smoking everybody out in the neighborhood. I was into this burn about an hour at this point and it was climbing quickly above 350* but it was billowing smoke that wouldn’t I couldn’t yet burn off.
        So my real question is; should I have powered thru this phase? Would it have settled down quickly, or was I still a long time away from burnable gas?

      • Joe Papa says:

        Rich, I’m sure we would all like to see a video so we can get a visual on which concepts you copied and which ones you re-engineered . Just remember that when you start WITHOUT the bio char, you are depositing tar throughout your system including your blower. The point of the bio char is to start with fuel that can’t possibly contain tar and use it to warm up your system . Once it’s warmed up ( if you copied Flash’s build) It will crack the tar as it consumes the fuel. At this point there won’t be any visible smoke. I like to wait a little longer than most to light my flare off just because I want to make sure all of the air has been evacuated from my system. Flash did explain how to make bio char in one of his videos using a paint can and a campfire if you want to do it that way. One of my youtube videos is a slideshow of the method he suggested ( making bio-char ) . I suggest making at least four paint cans full if your going to do it that way, because it burns fast. Technically some people only run bio-char , but it requires prepping a bunch of fuel and wasting some potential energy ( remember regular fuel contains more energy if your system uses it properly). Hope this helps. Good luck and I hope to see what you have made so we can give you better info. Joe

  43. Joe Papa says:

    Hey guys, I found a video that may hold some interest to the gasifier world of crazy inventors. One of the people I subscribe to posted a video about the testing of a gadget that he was chosen to test as a well known hvac tech. It is a digital manometer that also displays relative humidity. It also can be paired with your smartphone to display the info. Here is the link https://youtu.be/DY-RnuppERM . If you guys get a chance , please check it out and let me know what your thoughts are . Thanks, Joe

    • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

      Joe, Does this mean we have to start dressing up our rude and crude gasers and become socially acceptable members of the community ? Shudder the thought of it. But that is a pretty cool unit. The save feature has some possibilities to compare runs. I did send the link off to my HVAC son to see what he thinks.
      Bill

      • Joe Papa says:

        Bill , I think it’s safe to say that anyone who spends this much time in their garage , doesn’t care about being socially acceptable . The more time I spend around people , the more I don’t want to spend time around them. Dressing up for me is my good jeans, and a t-shirt that doesn’t have a wise ass saying on it. Talk to you later, Joe

      • Bill W. NH Hbbyloggr says:

        Joe,
        Well you are probably right about garage dwellers. It’s hard for us to know what is acceptable anymore. Heck, even my own flesh and blood roll their eyes at me. My daughter brought her new boyfriend to meet us. I happened to be out on the back deck sipping an ice tea out of an old canning jar. Just happened to have an old rifle propped up against the railing and out come the new BF .Maybe I shook his hand a little too hard in my enthusiasm to meet someone new . I thought I could hear bones crunching in his hand. He looked over at the old squirrel popper and made a hasty exit saying that he had forgot something back at his mom’s house and had to leave. He must have forgot for a long time because I never saw him again. I asked my daughter what ever happened to him and she just rolled her eyes at me. I guess I just don’t get it. He seemed like a nice kid.

      • Joe Papa says:

        Bill, if I don’t get my kids to roll their eyes at me at least once a day, I feel like I did something wrong. Then again when they were small , I told them that if they ever threw a temper tantrum in public , I would throw a bigger one and they never tested me on it. I guess I was believable . You probably did look crazy sitting there with your tea and rifle though. She’ll get over it. Have a good one, Joe

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