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Gasification

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Fisher Bill, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Fisher Bill

    Fisher Bill Tigard Member

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    I'm still new to prepping and I picked up on a video of someone running their gas engines using wood by means of gasification so I watched a bunch of videos and it seems like a good alternative way of creating power.

    Then I ran across this guy and started looking at his other videos and he really has some sweet homemade projects for all kinds of things so if you want, his stuff is here; Engineer775 - YouTube

    This guy has built one to take to market I would think. How The Liberator Gasifier Works - YouTube

    This has terrible audio but explains the process pretty well; Intro to Gasification (Part 1 of 3) - YouTube

    So anyone here try this???
     
  2. Gaust

    Gaust Portland Member

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    I've never tried anything as involved, but I have built a couple of very simple gasifier wood stoves from 1qt paint cans to boil water or cook with. They use twigs about the size of a pencil, very efficient, and smokeless once it's going. I have also built a few "penny" alcohol stoves from aluminum cans. They are very light weight and able to cook/ boil food.
     
  3. OLDNEWBIE

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

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    This looks pretty cool but beyond what I could get away with where I'm living.
     
  4. Fisher Bill

    Fisher Bill Tigard Member

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    Yeah this guy must be out in the country, he ran the farm 12K generator with his version of the gasifier.

    The wood gas generator runs the whole farm! - YouTube

     
  5. SB1027

    SB1027 Ycounty New Member

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    After a lot of research, I built a pretty big gasifier. Loaded it up with pellets from wilco and ran my 78 f35o with a 460 engine on it, I was blown away how well it ran. Just to let you all know FEMA has a pretty good instructions on building one online, check out youtube as well. There is load of free info. Forunately I have a machine shop at my disposal, but one can be built like the Fema one out of pretty basic stuff and tools.
     
  6. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Wood Gasification is a fairly simple technology for making an engine "run", personally I'm not really sold on it as a viable system for long term use, mostly because you're feeding a gaseous fuel to an engine that normally controls itself by adjusting the amount of liquid fuel it takes in, this makes fuel regulation a major issue, and once converted it's probably more than a put gas in tank, flip switch change to get back to gasoline. Lean fuel mixtures can easily burn up most engines, you're also feeding it a hot gas that likely contains abrasive soot, also refueling the system likely requires more than stopping at the gas station, you need to depressurize the gassifier add wood, bring the whole thing back up to temp.

    The two things I've looked at in the past as having a slightly higher bar for technical operation is Fischer-Tropsch using either coal or biomass as the feedstock, if you can accomplish gasification this is simply taking your gasified fuel and running it through a reactor and distillation array to produce a liquid fuel. The other one that caught my interest recently are bio-butanol processes, as they can be used to produce acetone as well as butanol and production is a fermentation process. Combining the fermentation followed by a destructive distillation of the mash would allow you to get maximum energy from your feedstocks, whether you used the product for a GTL (gas-to-liquid) process or not, it could still be useful.

    Another technology I looked at were the bergius and karrick process, Karrick was more attractive in that it would produce a liquid fuel that could be refined further, but would also produce significant amounts of coke, which is a key material in the production of iron and steel. However, both of these are highly dependent on having access to bitumus coal.
     
  7. SB1027

    SB1027 Ycounty New Member

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    As far as my Gassification experience, I pinched off the fuel line to my truck, ran it until it died. Hooked my gassifier hose directly over the carb, the truck fired right up, removed the hose and the truck died, repeated this a couple of time and it fired right up. Revved the engine to a pretty high rmp and you would have no idea it was running on smoke not gasoline, it was very impressive. When I was done testing my gassifier I removed the hose, unpinched the fuel line and the truck fired right up. Zero modifications were made. The only problem I can see is poor filtering for the smoke, which could lead to excessive tar entering the engine. This was only built as a backup alternative should the need arise, and now I have one.
     
  8. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    AMProds, if you were my neighbor I might have a turkey bone to pick with you if you set up a biobutanol fermentation tank next door. The bacteria used to generate butanol are wholly different from the yeast that make ethanol in - well, everything.

    I could only describe the stench of the butyric-acid related byproducts of butanol and acetone fermentation as... indescribable.
     
  9. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Yes, it smells like vomit feet and cheese mixed together into some kind of unholy cacophony of stink. It's at least one order of magnitude worse than a leather tannery. In my experience, it's pretty average in terms of farm smells though, it definitely smells better than pig styes and manure ponds.

    However, normal ethanol fermentation, while that phase doesn't smell too bad, there are plenty of butyrate products produced by boiling this, and it smells just as bad during the distillation process, in fact, I think it smells worse, like boiling vomit.
     
  10. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    Yum, "smells better than pig sties," there's a low hurdle to surmount.
    I guess my property is a whole lot smaller than yours, because I wouldn't dream of subjecting my neighbors to that olfactory onslaught.

    In truth, I've never attempted a distillery, but it does have its appeal, what with all the people on this forum who reload their own empties. That's my idea of economizing; shooting is secondary.

    Gasification first of all avoids many of the pitfalls of true distillation, since the products are never condensed or purified - just blasted straight into a carburetor. But more importantly, we were originally talking about a wood feedstock, which would produce methanol, not ethanol, by a process called "destructive distillation," which is unrelated to yeast or bacterial fermentation.

    Destructive distillation of dry wood for fuel really works, since methanol is inherently better than hygroscopic ethanol. But I'd have to warn any experimenters out there that you'd still need to add lube, probably in a two-cycle type of system, to overcome the powerful solvent and fluxing action of methanol. It'll run like gangbusters, but it'll also dry out and score your cylinders, so be careful.
     
  11. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    From an efficiency perspective, gasification does seem simpler, via a DD process you feed that material into an engine, and it runs. This makes little mention of the fact that you've now complicated your average vehicle by filling the beds of most pickups with this apparatus effectively defeats it as a cargo vehicle.

    The way I look at the whole gasification/distillation argument, is with a gasifier, you will need to have it work when you want to drive somewhere, this means it must be loaded with fuel, brought up to temp, and then driven, and these conditions must remain and the reaction carefully regulated to make sure you're not consuming fuel too quickly, and at some point the system must be shut down, cooled off and recharged with wood fuel, then reheated, in order to continue driving. Distillation, syngas, watergas, butyrate fuels, and the like have the advantage that you can make these fuels when you don't need them, and then they are ready for when you do need them. I look at it as akin to direct solar and wind power generation, vs the same application with storage batteries. You can make power when you don't need it (store it in batteries) and then use it when you do.