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Questions about Biomass Gasification

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posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 08:39 AM
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I was watching the TV show "The Colony" last night and they constructed a biomass gasifier because they were running out of fuel for their generator. In the show, they were dependent on building one from scratch using only the things around them but they had a group of people including engineers and others that were knowledgeable in mechanics. That would not be the case for me in an emergency. I was thinking that, because of my lack of knowledge in these areas, it would be good idea to already have one of these constructed and tested before I actually needed it in an emergency situation.

So, my questions... Has anyone tried this? Please share your experiences. I did a web search and there are a few websites that sell plans for these. Anybody ever use any of these? There seems to be a variety of different designs for different uses - do I go with just a basic one to fuel just a generator or would it be smart to go for a more complex one? Are there any alternatives that you've found that are better than gasifiers?



[edit on 29/7/2009 by Iamonlyhuman]




posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 08:44 AM
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Apparently, they were used in WWII to fuel vehicles as well. Some other info:
www.gekgasifier.com...

Gasification is the use of heat to tranform solid biomass, or other carbonaceous solids, into a synthetic “natural gas like” flammable fuel. Through gasification, we can convert nearly any solid dry organic matter into a clean burning, carbon neutral, gaseous fuel. Whether starting with wood chips or walnut shells, construction debris or agricultural waste, the end product is a flexible gaseous fuel you can burn in your internal combustion engine, cooking stove, furnace or flamethrower.



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 02:58 PM
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That show drove me nuts!

Then I saw the disclaimer at the end about experts being on hand to help them.


PUHHLEEZE!!

Finding a box of brand new Harbor Freight tools? What kind of survival scenario is that?

And the 'wood gas' running the generator perfectly without any sort of mixture regulation, etc.?

It was frustrating, BUT...

Heating wood to Fahrenheit 451 will cause it to release flammable fumes, thus the Ray Bradbury novel...

Personally i would have built a still and made methanol for the generator and ethanol for bartering/partying.

Oh well.



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 03:00 PM
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Originally posted by Iamonlyhuman
Apparently, they were used in WWII to fuel vehicles as well. Some other info:
www.gekgasifier.com...

Gasification is the use of heat to tranform solid biomass, or other carbonaceous solids, into a synthetic “natural gas like” flammable fuel. Through gasification, we can convert nearly any solid dry organic matter into a clean burning, carbon neutral, gaseous fuel. Whether starting with wood chips or walnut shells, construction debris or agricultural waste, the end product is a flexible gaseous fuel you can burn in your internal combustion engine, cooking stove, furnace or flamethrower.




The other issue I saw was that 'wood gas' contains a LOT of carbon monoxide which could have killed them in a confined space.

Not to mention the flashover/backdraft effect of heating flammable material in an oxygen starved environment.

A sudden introduction of oxygen into the 'gasifier' would have resulted in an instant and deadly explosion.

I think there was a lot more to what they did than what they showed.



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 03:05 PM
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On the woodgas.com site they state the 'wood gas' contains the following:




CO 22%; H2 18%; CH4 3%, CO2 6% and N2 51%



So that's CO (Carbon Monoxide) which is DEADLY, H2 (Hydrogen) which is EXPLOSIVE, and Methane (CH4)....

It's probably possible, but likely dangerous without specific skills and knowledge.



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 05:26 PM
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Here is a working lawn tractor for you to look at. I made this back when gas was $4.50 a gallon. Living here in Arkansas there isn't any problem finding wood. I watched that episode on the history channel and I was glad to see that someone even thought about using that.

Having built one I can see where they will have problems on keeping that type of system running for longer periods of time. That is why I built a hopper type so I can fill with more fuel for longer runs, this was used for years by farmers at the turn of the century for there tractors.

Here is the hopper:

Download Screenshot1.png from FileFactory.com

Download Screenshot2.png from FileFactory.com

This may be a little hard to see but the engine is running ready to go to work. This is a 20 hp Briggs twin and it is turn a 48 blade. I move 3 acres a week, besides when I mow it smells like someone is cooking out on a grill.

Download Screenshot1.png from FileFactory.com



Tru



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 08:31 AM
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reply to post by truskeptic
 


Do you think it would work for fueling a generator? Have you looked at any websites that claim to have good plans? If so, based on your experience, do they look like they would work? AND, what about emsed1's comments about safety in your experience?

[edit on 30/7/2009 by Iamonlyhuman]



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 08:33 AM
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Originally posted by emsed1
On the woodgas.com site they state the 'wood gas' contains the following:




CO 22%; H2 18%; CH4 3%, CO2 6% and N2 51%



So that's CO (Carbon Monoxide) which is DEADLY, H2 (Hydrogen) which is EXPLOSIVE, and Methane (CH4)....

It's probably possible, but likely dangerous without specific skills and knowledge.


Good point. Am I correct in saying that you think that the entire gasifier concept is unsafe? If you do think that, what alternatives should I consider? If you don't think that, what would you suggest to alter their specs?



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 09:27 AM
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reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
 



I watched the show again last night and took a look around the web. It seems like it's a plausible fuel source but I'm not sure how it would work long-term for a generator.

The tractor sounds like it's got the whole thing down to a science. I read somewhere that the wood actually has to turn to charcoal to keep the thing going so that's probably the grill smell. Kinda makes me hungry!

The other thing I was thinking is that the generator on the show looked like it was a two-stroke, which would have to have oil mixed in the fuel. I'm not sure how you would mix two-stroke oil in a gasified fuel.

On the other hand, where I grew up in Texas a lot of the ranchers converted their pickup trucks to run on propane or butane and they carried huge tanks in the bed because they were so far from the nearest gas station and drove the range so long each day. I think for a carbureted engine a propane conversion wouldn't be that bad, so maybe a wood gas conversion might not be bad either.

One thing I would recommend for vehicles and other things like generators with engines is that you use synthetic oil. In a disaster you won't be able to get oil changes, but if you use a high-quality synthetic you can get double or triple the engine life that you would get out of petroleum oil.

Another technology that seems to be getting popular is using a battery to generate hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis. Of course the mixture is explosive but if you can get it perfected it is a perfect clean-burning fuel that only produces water vapor as a by-product. Of course if you were trying to charge the battery you would need more battery power to generate the fuel than you would get out of it.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by Iamonlyhuman
reply to post by truskeptic
 


Do you think it would work for fueling a generator? Have you looked at any websites that claim to have good plans? If so, based on your experience, do they look like they would work? AND, what about emsed1's comments about safety in your experience?

[edit on 30/7/2009 by Iamonlyhuman]


This is a 20 hp V twin engine. I don't know how large of genny that you are wanting to run but 20 hp would be enough for about 12k. With the system I made it can be refueled and any time while running! I used a modified system that I found on the web from Fema (PDF). I also use a small rotary fan (barrel fan) to "draft" the pot when starting, as soon as the gas lights (making charcoal) the engine is ready to run. All of this takes about 3-5 minutes, not bad from stuff I pick up from the yard!

I will be happy to send you the PDF via email if you wish, it has been a fun project for me. Basically is was made out of junk that I was throwing away (cleaning the garage out).

As for safety, yes is does have deadly fumes, but what doesn't when the engines we are forced to use. However! As with 'any combustion engine' is should "NEVER" be ran indoors! In fact I read somewhere using woodgas has less hydrocarbons than diesel or regular gas engines. Propane, natural gas is none the less just as deadly.

Tru



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by emsed1
reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
 

Another technology that seems to be getting popular is using a battery to generate hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis. Of course the mixture is explosive but if you can get it perfected it is a perfect clean-burning fuel that only produces water vapor as a by-product. Of course if you were trying to charge the battery you would need more battery power to generate the fuel than you would get out of it.


I believe you will find it takes more energy to produce the hydrogen and oxygen out ot water than what you get out of it back! Using distlled water with a pinch of baking soda to give the water a little resistance and always use stainless steel for the electrodes. Basically the same idea for electro plating, you can tell whitch one is hydrogen because it will have twice the bubbles as the oxygen, since it is using H2O. Two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen.

Hope this helps.
Tru

I also have quite a bit of info on Stan Meyer and his water powered VW (dune buggy).



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 07:05 PM
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Is this the FEMA report? onestraw.files.wordpress.com...

90 pages but I'm going to print it out because I know it will take some time for me to digest. Also, I'm going to have to ask one of my friends to help me with it as I'm not all that mechanically inclined but I do grasp most subjects quickly. My lack of experience is actually the reason why I feel it is necessary that I have something of this sort already made and tested BEFORE I need it. Lol, it would be terrible to be IN an emergency and have to try to figure out how to build this thing.

Oh, something else - I did skim the first few pages and found it interesting that it can also be used to fuel a diesel engine once started with a small amount of diesel.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
 


Becareful adding woodgas to a diesel, a diesel is fired by injecting fuel at a proper time and it will hammer and cause damage to the engine if it gets too much woodgas via the intake air supply. I have a 27 hp diesel genny (15 kw) that I use cooking oil in (another story) so care must be given trying to that!

That is the PDF I used when I built mine and with a little thought you can make it work for about any gas engine except a 2 stroke as they need to have oil as they are being ran. I use a 50 cal amunition can filled with wood chips and fiber glass to filter my fuel (woodgas) prior to being burned and it is amazing on how clean the oil stays running wood gas compared to gasoline.

Tru



posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 04:03 AM
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FWIW, you may want to have a squizzy at this youtube. It's the story of Jean Pain who created hot water to his home and created biogas from waste timber, composted in a huge pile that lasts for approximately 18 months. The gas also runs his gas stove.

Jean Pain youtube



posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 10:11 AM
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reply to post by tangotemper
 


Great find..........Thanks. I have heard of the bio gas and just never messed with it. This stuff has been around for years and we have been lead around by our noses on what to believe and how to believe it.

Kudos to you for comming out of the cave to see some light, it does my old heart some good seeing at you and others are stepping out of the box!

Tru



posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 11:02 AM
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Very cool stuff!

It's amazing what a little ingenuity and hard work can do.

Is it bad that I was eyeballing all the mulch at the local park yesterday in the playground and thinking about how much fuel I could get out of it? :-)



posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 03:00 PM
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Check out victorygasworks.com for real gasifiers that work. You can watch videos of the inventor Ben with his gasifiers powering dump trucks, generators and a huge mobile biomass gasifier for a University. Check out his videos on biomass gasifiers and gasifcation on the site and also look them up on youtube.com by searching victorygasworks. This guy is the real thing. Living offgrid, preparing for 2012, a major disaster, loss of power during harsh weather conditions etc... Gasifiers make real energy out of turning solid biomass into it's gaseous state to power all sorts of stuff like the Europeans during WWII.



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