Location: Gasification for Generators

Gasification to Drive AC or DC Generators

Gasification, a nearly 200 year old technology, turn wood and biomass into natural gas that can run a generator. Humans have been producing energy from wood, peat, and other biomass for 180 years using the advances of gasification. Initially developed to produce gas for lighting flame street lamps & cooking in 1800s, syngas is a derivative of biomass like wood, peat, or straw. The gas lamp was later replaced by the electric bulb, and natural gas was found to be far cheaper than the process most often. Gasification has been used by industry to create fuel gases from waste materials, but only on a small scale.

However, gasification technology sees a resurgence any time fossil fuels become scarce, expensive, or rationed for other purposes. For instance, during the Second World War, over one million vehicles in Europe were powered by a commercially available gasification system. The Gasogene, or Gazogène, produced a combustible gas from wood chips, powering cars, buses, and trucks. After the war, with chronic shortages now a thing of the past, the technology and use waned.

Today, as we face dual threats, global climate change along with fossil fuel shortages, the need for gasification technology is again apparent. As a homeowner, farmer, rancher, or commercial property owner, you have biomass as a result of property ownership. The amount of power you can generate is dependant on you clearing the abundance brush, grass, trees, etc. from your property as maintenance requires anyway. Not only must you collect your fuel source to keep things neat and tidy, you have a productive thing to do with it now. The best part, that fuel source is CO2 neutral.

How it Works - AKA technical Jargon.

Biomass gasification means incomplete combustion of carbon Baseloadd biomass. As the biomass is heated, it changes from solids to combustible gases and ash. These combustible gases are Carbon monoxide (CO), Hydrogen (H2) and traces of Methane (CH4). This mixture is called producer gas, syngas, woodgas, and a host of other things.

Syngas, or woodgas, can be used as a substitute for furnace oil in direct heat applications, gasoline in combustion engines, natural gas in stoves and propane in barbeques. Due to it's chemical characteristics, woodgas is not much different in heat or energy potential than natural gas.

Bottom line, just like natural gas, woodgas can be used to run internal combustion engines without any change to the gas at all. No enrichment is necessary, just ash and tar removal. Syngas is a direct replacement, in both compression and spark ignition engines for other fossil fuels so it can drive your generator. When you are truly ready to go off grid, here is how you do so.

Links to Gasification Related Information:
Victory Gasworks
A complete DIY from FEMA.
Handbook of Biomass Downdraft Gasifier Engine Systems

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