ELECTRICITY FROM WOODGAS
June 2-6, community resilience activist Doug Brethower hosted a 5-day Biostove & Bioenergy Camp at Woodpecker Ranch near Theodosia, Missouri. For the 5 days, 8 men studied & talked, learned gasification & combustion, air flow & updraft, built stoves, and shared enthusiasm for technology to obtain renewable bioenergy & biochar from local, abundant, sustainable biomass.
they built small soup can cookstoves. morning i talked for 3 hours about biochar, soil and carbon-smart farming.
The most exciting event was June 4, when a 5-gallon gasifier fabricated by Alfred Denninger (dark t-shirt in center) was connected to a 4 kilowatt electric generator. The gasifier was filled with charred wood pellets, and stoked to a fierce yellow burn with a shop vac. For 38 minutes, the gasifier delivered combustible "chargas" to the generator while it consumed less than a pint of charcoal.
Alfred's gasifier is based on the design by Alabama woodgas wizard Wayne Keith. who converted 9 pickup trucks to run on woodgas (www.dyarrow.org/woodgas). One was videoed by Mother Earth News doing 84 mph on 100% woodgas.
Doug Brethower bought Wayne's 1954 Ford pickup (red above) powered by a home-built gasifier system. Wayne now has a website and book detailing his ideas and experience with woodgas conversion (www.driveonwood.com).
To remove impurities, gas released by gasification of char is piped through a simple filter consisting of wire screen coiled inside a metal cylinder. Gas is then piped to the generator air filter and into the carburetor. In photo below, hot chargas enters on left; exits to generator on right. Fresh air intake is hole at bottom center, showing red hot charcoal fire inside. Black hose at top is char gas supply to filter and generator. Silver hose with shut-off valve on lower right is exhaust return from the generator.
A third pipe returns any exhaust gases from the generator to the gasifier. In the photo below, the 5-gallon gasifier (top view) burps a small gas flare out of the fresh air intake.
At the least, this gasifier & generator can be used in an emergency power outage. Or it can be scaled up to larger size and used to generate on-site, off-grid power for a farm, sawmill or other business.
Or this technology can be scaled up even further to provide municipal power for a rural community.
After Alfred Denninger's (above) success with a 5-gallon gasifier at the Biostove Camp, he tackled a new, bigger challenge. Al bought a 1993 Dodge Dakota pickup truck -- an ideal model to convert to run on woodgas.
Al will follow the design of Wayne Keith to build a larger gasifier to power his new pickup. Alfred Denninger's next gasifier fabrication project is to build a complete gasifier to power a 1993 Dodge Dakota pickup truck. Alfred's new, much larger, more complexgasifier will be based on Wayne Keith's design, as detailed in Keith's new book:
for a green & peaceful planet,