Prepare Mag: August 2018 - page 16

If you have ever investigated or researched wood
gasification you have seen that wood gas is a great resource
that we can use to generate our own energy. Burning wood
in a controlled, oxygen limited environment will yield
synthetic gas (Syngas) that can be used much as the same as
natural gas or propane. We can use this Syngas in heating
applications and to run internal combustions engines in
vehicles or standard generators to create electricity. Wood
gasification has been known and used for about 200 years,
yet today we still know very little about its use and benefits.
Wood gasification seems to be something that is
‘rediscovered’ in times of fuel shortages, natural disasters
and other crisis, only to be forgotten when those crisis pass.
Today, there is a renewed interest and movement to
rediscover wood gasification in an effort to become more
independent and self-reliant in our lives.
Once you have seen the benefits of a wood gas generator
and you decide that you would like to generate your own
wood gas energy, the next step is to acquire or build one. In
doing some basic research you will find there are very few
commercial manufacturers of wood gas generators and
those that are available are often extremely expensive
costing upwards of $15,000-$25,000 USD. This cost level
puts them out of reach for most typical residential owners.
The next and most cost-effective option is to build one
yourself or have one built for you which will cost in the
$2,000-$5,000 USD range. While this article is not a
complete step-by-step discussion on the build process, it
will detail some resources, build considerations and do’s
and don’ts that will make your gasifier build successful and
cost effective.
First Decision: Is this build a production unit or a
science project?
Once you have made the decision to build (or have built)
your own wood gas generator, the first and most important
decision is whether this is going to be a ‘production’ unit,
something you will use as a an appliance just as you would
you wood stove or generator, or is this a ‘science project’,
Building a (Downdraft)
Wood Gasif ier
By Steven Honkus – OffGrid48°/
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