to the magical world of wood gasification!
Yes indeed! I have occupied myself in the noble art of wood
gasification for some time now and know exactly which chemical
reactions take place in the gasifier. However, even for me, it is still
amazing to be able to drive along at sixty miles an hour on nothing
else but wood!
Wood, the oldest and most accessible fuel, was overtaken by fossil
fuels for ages, but it has never disappeared. It has also been pushed
aside as a secondary source of solar energy by modern photo-voltaic
solar cells. As a motor fuel it is considered old-fashioned and
awkward, because of a bad reputation from the second world war.
Nevertheless, the eyes of bystanders twinkle when they spot a woodgas
car. Put an Italian sports car and a woodgas car beside each other and
the largest mob collects itself around the woodmobile.
Wood, as a fuel, is not bad at all. I consider wood as a battery for
solar energy. The tree uses carbon dioxide and water to grow, and in
this way it "charges" its battery from the sun. However, merciless
sceptics will tear me down on the low efficiency fact and in that sense
they are right. What the sceptics do not take into account is that
manufacturing and recycling an ordinary battery costs energy, precious
raw materials and it cannot be made locally. An ordinary battery
discharges itself after time and thus shortens its life span. Wood has
none of these disadvantages, but has the advantages of providing shade,
food, oxygen, building materials, removing CO2 from the atmosphere and
then still it can serve as a fuel.
Unfortunately wood is not a cutting edge material and our modern, fast
paced society does not tolerate a low tech fuel to operate a high tech
machine. Obviously these worlds are separated too far and it is not
acceptable to unite them.
However, woodgas can be produced surprisingly easy. The fact that a
combustion engine can run on woodgas is mysterious. Wood is warm,
romantic…. wood is magical.....
I will take you through the mystic world of mobile wood gasification.
First, we will start will some dull definitions: what gasification is
and how a woodgas generator works.
In the more exciting second part, I tell you about the
construction of my own wood gasifier on a Volvo 240.
In the third and last part I will try to teach you how to build a
gasifier by yourself or at least give you a start.
Look ahead, read and enjoy!!