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Gasifier Blog

Working session 5 & 6

posted Apr 2, 2012, 12:13 PM by George Adams   [ updated Apr 10, 2012, 8:53 AM ]

I'm getting a bit behind in blogging about the gasifier. Three weeks ago we had a couple of backfires after letting some air leak into the system. All the wood pellets blew out the top and some went 20 feet into the air. It was exciting but dangerous. We skipped a week and were back at it last Wednesday. We didn't do any new construction but fired up the gasifier and got it to run for an hour straight. We also tried one inch cubes of maple and wood chips in the gasifier. In this gasifier the chips seemed to work better than the chunks. Check back later for pictures and videos.
Next session will be Wednesday April 4, 2012 It will be at George Adams' home and will be a planning session.


Working session four

posted Mar 11, 2012, 7:53 AM by George Adams

On Wednesday March 7, 2012 we worked for a few hours on the gasifier. Greg made up new spring latches during the week to hold the top and burn tube in place. He also got the tank cleaned up and painted. Bernel made up a straw filter with a plywood center partition in a 5 gallon plastic bucket and added straw. We made adjustments to our piping to connect the filter in-line. We also cut a hole in the air cleaner to accept the flexible plastic tube for the wood gas and made an adaptor to go from the metal piping to the plastic. We also experimented with chunk wood in place of the wood pellets. We jammed the fire tube after tamping the pellets down too hard and ended up with a solid mass of sawdust in the tube. We also tried a bigger opening when trying to test the wood gas to see if it would maintain a flame. We tried out Wayne's hydrogen generator which might be a way to increase the burn-ability of marginally good wood gas when first starting up. Ben showed us pictures of his pickup truck conversion. He doesn't have the gasifier working yet but has an impressive set of cooling tubes, a big filter and piping from the truck box up to the engine. He has gotten a lot done all on his own.
We will be getting together again next Wednesday March  14 at 9:00 AM if you are interested.
Below is a slideshow from last Wednesday.

Working session Three

posted Mar 1, 2012, 7:46 PM by George Adams   [ updated Mar 3, 2012, 3:36 PM ]

Thursday March 1, 2012

Gasifier Day Three

We didn't take and pictures of the engine running but a video of burning the gas and running the engine are below. 
We added a port to light the gasifier, cut a hole in the bottom to be used as an ash clean out. We secured the top on the gasifier and started it up. It took about 15 minutes before we could light the smoke/wood gas and for it to maintain a flame on its own. The smoke turns completely clear when burned so it doesn't show very well in the photo. We may need to light it up at night for a better view. Getting the smoke to burn was our goal for the day but Greg took it a step further and put the carburator of a small engine in the smoke plume and he was able to run the engine for 10 to 15 seconds at a time with no gas and just burning the wood gas.
The next work session will be building a filter system to get the tar out of the smoke, building a direct connection to the motor with an air mixing valve, spring catches for the top and maybe a cooling tower.
The next session is scheduled for Wednesday March 7 at 9:00 AM. Check with George or Greg to verify that the session is on.

Working session Two

posted Feb 29, 2012, 9:15 AM by George Adams   [ updated Feb 29, 2012, 9:18 AM ]

We had a short session on Saturday February 25, 2012. Chains were added to attach the basket under the burn tube. We looked a several blower motors trying to guess the best fit. We cut and welded up metal flanges and pipe nipples to make a air tight connection to the input and output of the fan. We cleaned up, cut and assembled a number of pipes and elbows between the gasifier and fan unit. We didn't get started on cooling tower. At next working session we should be able to fire up the gasifier and burn some wood gas.

Our next session was schedule for Wednesday February 29, 2012 but has been moved to Thursday March 1, 2012. Look for a video of burning wood gas.

Gasifier Parts List

posted Feb 20, 2012, 12:05 PM by George Adams   [ updated Feb 20, 2012, 12:06 PM ]

Thanks to all of you that have donated parts. I have gotten a number of questions about what it is that we need to finish up this first gasifier. Below is a list of the items we are looking for. The items we have already have a name after the item. Even if we have an item listed we will accept extras as we hope to make more than one of these.
Call or email me if you have questions or have something we could use.
George 715 455-1652 or

Gasifier Parts List

Gasifier Blog

posted Feb 19, 2012, 8:53 AM by George Adams   [ updated Feb 19, 2012, 3:41 PM ]

Saturday 2-18-2012
We had our first construction day and got a lot done. We decided on a hybrid design using some of the features from the FEMA plans and some from the Jefferson County Second Generation Gasifier.
We started with a 100 pound propane tank that hadn't aired out nearly enough.
The bottom 4" was cut off of the tank with a Sawzall. 
A 3" hole was cut in the center with a jig saw and a 24" section of 3" pipe was welded on.  This will be inverted and placed in the top of the remainder of the tank.
 A hole was cut in the side of the tank for the 2" pipe nipple that will be the exhaust port for the wood gas. Half of a 6" long 2" pipe nipple was welded to the hole.
We add the three angle iron legs to the inverted remainder of the tank. We have a stainer basket that will hang under the burn tube. 1/2" holes were drilled in the bottom and sides of the strainer. 

We will probably be working again next Saturday. Plans are to hang the strainer, attach and seal the burn tube to the rest of the tank, add an extension tube to the exhaust, add a blower fan and if all goes well fire up the gasifier.
For next week we will need some high temperature silicone sealant, 4 feet of light chain, 10 or more feet of 2" water pipe or exhaust pipe and a blower fan.
If we get far enough to start the filtration and cooling tower we will need a 8" by 5' tube, a number of various 2" pipe nipples and fittings, copper tubing and fittings.
Below the slide show is a picture of the Jefferson County Sustain Generation 2 Gasifier. We have most of the right side tank built. We still need to build the cooling tower on the left and add in all the piping. Our system may look a bit different than this one depending on the materials we come up with. The picture should give some idea of what we could use for materials.

Day One Gasifier


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