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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Explaining How Wood Gasification Works Part1


How to explain how wood gasification works? That is a very good question there are many different ways to explain this but here I will try to put it into words in a way that if you know nothing about it you should get the idea on how it works.
Let’s start by talking about things you can look at that have best ways to let you see somewhat how if functions. Have you ever had a camp fire going and thrown a paper plate on the fire if so you have seen parts of gasification in action. You say how well if you sat there and watch the plate from the first second you put it on the fire. What you would see is that the paper plate would turn brown then just as it turn black it burst into flames and if you are laying down watching real carful you will see that when the flames burst they are above the plate not even touching it. How that works is the heat from the fire first dried out the plate making it go brown. Then it charred it turning it black once black it releases the good burnable gasses and that’s why you get a woof effect due to the paper plate is so thin and it all releases at one shot due to the heat.
Another way to see gasification is if you look at a wood fire burning and look close throw some wood on it then watch and wait. After a while as the wood dries out and starts to char in spots if you get down and look at it straight on not from the top looking down but up as close as you can from the side. When you look real close you can see in spots where the flame is well off the wood and if you look real close you can see the smoke move up from the wood and once it’s mixed with the fresh air it burns. These are all examples of gasification once you have really looked at both those then as I explain how the gasification unit works than it all makes more sense.
The gasification unit has sever key parts to them not all are the same and not all function exactly the same but if they are made right they all get to the same end result. That is to take a raw material of some biomass such as wood, leaves, grass, hay, straw, coal, even dried manure, burn it in a starved oxygen environment. Then they filter it to take out such stuff as tar, water, ash, once those are all taken out you then have a nice clean burnable gas called wood gas or syngas both are the same thing. There are many uses for this cleaned gas it can be run in a motor or stored to use and cooking or even for heating. Once you get good clean wood gas it don’t have the same btu’s as gasoline but if you make it on your own than it can save you a ton of money by not having to buy gasoline.
 Now the old days they only used the units for making wood gas but people like me and some others have taken it to new levels. When I say that I like to add stuff that has great value to each firing of the unit first thing I like to add is a hot water heating line this if there is no power can give you nice warm water to shower with. I also like to add in a steam line this can serve several things one you can make steam to make power or you can do what I like to use it for I setup a water drip line so it drips water in slow once the burner unit is hot. I then make a cooling coil like how a still cools off the alcohol vapor to make it into a liquid and I put a catch pot at the bottom to collect the drippings. Now I know some of you are thinking why all that well steamed water is good clean drinking water. I like to have backups for anything I can so look at it like this when you have the gasification unit running you than can take dirty water let it drip in and steam off the good clean water as a vapor it then when cools condenses back into clean water ready to drink after it cools off. So as you now are learning there is a lot more that can be done in making a wood gasification unit than just making wood gas. Later on or maybe in another later writings I’ll talk about some of the other crazy stuff I have done to my unit.