Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

True Off Grid Power: Woodgas

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Posted by Alan Connor on February 25, 2006, 6:15 am

With electricity from wind, solar panels, combustion engines,
or dams, you remain dependent on the Grid. (Meaning the full
industrial infrastructure that makes the power sub-grid and all
manufactured things possible.)

You can last a while after the Grid collapses.

With woodgas you can have light (just use it like you would
for a natural gas/methane/biogas lamp, directly) and heat
forever with, if necessary, nothing but your bare hands.

Good lamps have chimneys of glass, and crude glass can easily be
made from woodashes (calcium and potassium carbonates [fluxes]),
quartz sand or quartz.

Everything else, the generator, pipes, and nozzles can be made
from clay (low-fired ceramics). See the last section of this

Woodgas Info

Woodgas is extremely efficient, smokeless, and can be used
directly for illumination.

Note 1: Keep in mind that filtering and condensing, needed to run
an internal combustion on woodgas, are NOT necessary when using
woodgas for lights and stoves, etc.

Note 2: See the end of this post for the details on how to build
a woodgas generator under primitive conditions.







Gasification* is the cleanest, most efficient combustion method
known. It has been used for decades where clean heat is[703]
required. Examples include the thousands of vehicles which
were directly fuelled by Gasifiers during the Second World
War, or the coal gas "works" which were common in cities all
over the World before natural gas. These produced gas which
combusted so clean it was used in chimney-less household
appliances such as cookers and heaters, without adverse effects.



The purpose of this site is to promote the understanding and use
of Biomass in general and particularly WoodGas for cooking, power
and renewable fuels. ...



An introduction to the subject of wood gas



WoodGas, LLC - We sell smokeless wood burning camping stoves
in the USA and actively working to transfer our technology to
partners in developing nations. ,. ...




Plans from FEMA





...gasifiers. Woodgas is a high quality fuel like natural
gas. Woodgas burns very clean, and leaves no odour
or residue.



Principles and diagrams



Lots of information on converting various kinds of biomass (not
only wood) into burnable gas.



A good diagram and links



Fuel shortages during WWII prompted searches for alternative
fuels in England, Germany, Scandinavia and many other
countries. One of the most unusual solutions involved the
modification of vehicles for use with wood, charcoal, or
coal. Typical modifications included A) a gas generator; B) a
gas reservoir; and C) carburetor modifications and additional
plumbing to convey, filter, and meter the gas into the engine.



Construction details with lots of photos.



Details about energy produced per kilogram of wood, etc. Tables.



A Brief History of the Manufactured Gas Industry in the United

Before electricity became widely available, coal gas (producer
gas, town gas, water gas) were used to power many factories and
to power and light many urban areas and beyond.

Wood gas is basically the same thing, just purer and safer. The
main component of each is CO (carbon monoxide) which is quite
poisonous when breathed for any length of time or in any

Fortunately, un-filtered woodgas, which is how it is used for
anything but running an internal combustion engine, is smokeless,
but not odorless, and the smell of burning wood is easily
detected and tracked down in an environment that has no other
wood-burning going on.


Building a Woodgas Generator Under Primitive Conditions

The body of the woodgas generator and the pipes needed to
distribute the gas can be made of low-fired ceramics, clay
fired in what is called a "clamp", which is basically a pile of

Clay can almost always be found under the soil, a few feet
down. Dig it out and wash it if necessary (mix it with water, let
the junk settle and the organic matter float, skim off the latter
and pour off the thick clay-water on a pile of grass to drain and
dry to the point that it is workable).

The body of the generator, and you should make two so that one
can be fired up as the first is running low on fuel, can be a
cylinder about 4 feet high and 20" in diameter, with perhaps 3"
walls. Build it around a lashed/woven cylindrical framework of
small, green branches, or a section of a log, spending a lot of
time patting/tamping the clay.

Make a hole about 1/4" wider than the pipe that will be inserted
in it about 4" down from the top. Use a cement made by mixing 8
parts of leached, pure wood ashes with 2 parts clay with charcoal
and firing the mixture over a bed of kindling, to seal the pipe
in the opening.

About 6" up from the base, where the top of the rocks (see below)
will be, make a 1" hole. This is for lighting the wood and must
plugged with a rock or piece of fired clay, AND buried in dry
dirt or clay when not being used.

This hole is also used to insert a stick and stir the stones
around before each new charge of wood to prevent any clogging and
to do the same if it clogs while running.

Also, very dry, barkless, hardwood twigs and charcoal should
be used to start a new charge, thus minimizing/eliminating any
initial smoke. The hole is only plugged after the fire is burning
well, but well shy of "roaring".

The ashpit will fill very slowly with a pure, and valuable,
mineral ash.

The base of the cylinder should rest on flat rocks with spaces
between them to allow you to light the fire from below and for
air to draft upwards into the kindling in the cylinder. (If you
are using a section of log, remove it after the generator has
cured for a day or so and can retain its shape.)

Let it dry/cure out of the sun for a few days to a week then fill
it and surround it with kindling and small firewood, a generous
amount, and torch it.

To the best of your ability, make the top very flat and smooth
(you may have to sand it down with a piece of sandstone after it
has been fired. A flat rock or a disk of clay will serve as the
top and if you are using a rock, us it to shape the top of the
generator for a near-perfect fit. The gasket is made from the
pounded, shredded outer bark of of a mature, but not overly-old
evergreen, which will be compressed by the weight of the rock
top, or the rock on top of the clay top. (This outer bark is
pretty fire-resistant, and the temperatures at the top of the
generator are nowhere near its com- bustion temperature.)

Dig a pit about a foot and a half deep where you want the
generator to be located, somewhat smaller than the generator's
diameter, and about 2" below the surface put a woven screen of
small, green branches, Dig out one side so that you can insert a
length of clay or wood pipe at an angle so that the pipe opens in
the pit a few inches below the the screen and angles away from
the pit to the surface at about 30 degrees.  This is your air
intake, and the flow can be regulated by blocking the surface
opening to one degree or another.

Put the body in place and cover the screen with about 5" of small
rocks.  (Approximately 3/4" diameter, round and smooth, found
where running water is or used to be. These can split/explode
when heated, so test them, carefully, before using in the
generator, by throwing them in a hot fire and getting AWAY.)


I don't download his articles or any responses to them.

"wookie" my butt. Wookies are _nice_ creatures. Lord Beardmore
is a psuedo-progressive, spoiled middle-class hypocrite who
attacks anyone that steps on his selve-serving delusions
with clear thinking and facts.

He wears a gag when he is in my newsreader, and because he
can't _do_ anything but run his big mouth, that's the end
of him.


Other URLs of possible interest in my headers.

Posted by Anthony Matonak on February 25, 2006, 11:49 am

Alan Connor wrote:

You don't mean the Grid, you mean Civilization and All the Rest
of the Population of the Earth. Myself, I don't see any big
problem living around other people and trading services and goods.

Though, just as a hobby and for general learning, I've got nothing
against getting to know how to do just about anything. I might never
need to know how to move a pole barn by myself but it never hurts to



Posted by Derek Broughton on February 25, 2006, 3:16 pm

Anthony Matonak wrote:

Yeah, he's had the same rant before.  Afaict, it's just a vehicle for the
vicious piece of vitriol he tags at the end of the article.  I'm sure most
people have given up long before they get there, so I can't really see the

Posted by Ulysses on February 25, 2006, 6:21 pm

Yes, it's a lot of blah blah blah but I *would* like to see how woodgas can
be used for lighting, absorption refrigeration, water heating, and furnaces
etc.  Too bad the link doesn't work.  I'm thinking some kind of blower and
regulator would be needed but so far it looks like I may have to figure all
that out myself.

Posted by meow2222 on February 26, 2006, 8:02 pm

Ulysses wrote:

I assume it would work the same as coal gas did, or is there a problem
I'm missing?

I didnt follow his numerous links, but the obvious way to store and
distribute gas would be with an unpressurised 2-part water sealed tank.
This is a bottomless tank floating on water sitting in a topless tank.
The combination rises as it fills with gas, stores gas, and provides a
reasonably steady supply pressure. No need for any regulator.

:     _____
:  | |     | |
:  | |     | |
:  |~|     |~|
:  | |     | |
:  | |     | |
:  |_________|

His vision of the future might be more logical if there were no
alternative energy source to oil, but since there are many, such a
collapse doesnt look likely.


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