Home-built wood-gas rig

Energy & Sustainability


Nifty video of a home-built “stratified downdraft gasifier,” a.k.a. a wood-gas generator. Wood gasification was an important 19th century fuel technology, but was finally displaced by petroleum-based gas. Wood gas made something of a comeback during WWII, borne of necessity. It may come back again, after the apocalypse, when we need to try and outrun the Main Force Patrol on our way to Thunderdome. Just pray we can stoke enough chairlegs and clapboard to get us all the way to Bartertown.

Gasifier Stove – [Thanks, Patti!] Link

22 thoughts on “Home-built wood-gas rig

  1. ryan says:

    i couldn’t discern from wikipedia, but is this a more efficient means of harvesting the energy potential in wood? As opposed to a very efficient wood burning stove that is burning very hot?

  2. ryan says:

    i couldn’t discern from wikipedia, but is this a more efficient means of harvesting the energy potential in wood? As opposed to a very efficient wood burning stove that is burning very hot?

  3. Gareth Branwyn says:

    It’s a process for creating a gas mixture (H2/CO/CO2/, others) that can power combustion engines (among other things). That’s why it became “popular” again in WWII (in Europe) as oil became more scarce. As far as I know (which isn’t far) you don’t need any dramatic changes to power an internal combustion engine, besides the gasification unit itself.

  4. The Thompson Five says:

    What a great video, fun to watch. But I wonder how much more efficient this is than using the wood to power a steam engine.

  5. CNC Programmer says:

    Here’s a little nerd thing I did on making woodgas.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V9FRAqpV2A

  6. ryan says:

    @The Thompson Five

    Yeah, that is kind of what i was getting at.

  7. Novysan says:

    In case you’d like to see a VERY large example of this in action, head over to perpetual Burning Man artist Jim Mason’s website.

    http://whatiamupto.com/mechabolic/technology.html

  8. Br0 says:

    way awesome. I’d love to do this.
    how efficient is it? and how realistic is it to use/store the woodgas?

  9. 10bulls says:

    Travelling across Australia in a woodgas converted car.
    http://www.linux-host.org/energy/woodfire.htm

  10. Sleepydog says:

    At the end of the video, in the credits, they provide a link to Open Source plans for this.
    http://www.gengas.nu/byggbes/index.shtml

  11. jon pogue says:

    Awesome I am going to build one. I own a firewood business and have a lot of scrap that I can put to good use.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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