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Old 10-13-2010, 12:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Gasman what state do you live in.

When you get some good links on building them post it up and hopefully we can add a how-to to the wiki.

Since I'm not sure how one actually works I'm going to suggest it any way when you have the extra gas that you are not using it could probably be piped back the the air intake on the gasifier. Also look in to the rocket stove for the burn chamber.

Almost forgot if you disable the EGR and use its location for pumping the gas in it should equally mix with incoming air. I assume the truck has a separate unit for the EGR.

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Last edited by Phantom; 10-13-2010 at 12:54 PM.. Reason: Forgot about EGR
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I researched EGR a bit, and I just might be able to use that as part of my fuel system. If possible, it would have the added benefit of not having to drastically alter (as much) under the hood. My first choice would be just to reroute the exhaust back to the exhaust pipes to keep my computer from freaking. (... and to take care of those pesky CO fumes! ) That idea has officially made my list for considerations for where to pipe in my syngas.

The idea of piping the excess syngas into the burn chamber seems to have merit, that's for sure. I'll definitely play with that idea some over the weekend. It might actually be used in that way to raise burn temps (thus further breakdown of tars), and may yield a higher concentration of combustible gases relative to inerts (like CO2), or at least an increase in effective fuel yield (per volume of dry fuel). If that works, and it wouldn't require a significantly more elaborate air/fuel mix box (or equiv device), then it could very well be a better option than just burning it off.

Regarding the hybrid-type designs... I'll see what I can do. From what I've been able to find so far, it probably won't be practical to design a system that can be switched over rapidly (on the move). It would be more of a backup system. I doubt I'll get to switch it over in less than a couple minutes. That being said, if at all possible, I want to make one where I could switch it all over in less than 10 minutes.

Before undertaking the actual build, I want to be confident that: 1. First and foremost, if the design I end up with doesn't work (or eventually fails, I want to be able to restore my vehicle to the way it was before within a day or two. 2. that I've thought through each part of the system enough that I'm confident there won't be any major hangs when I do build. And 3. ... that the system will actually work.

I still have lots of research to do, though. And, thanks to you guys, my list just keeps getting longer, lol.
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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an update... (I'm going to keep detail here, for those who are curious, and for those who may be interested in similar projects).

(forgot to add earlier that I'm in middle TN)

Well, I decided I wanted to do fuel testing this weekend, instead of working out modified designs to accept my preferred fuel (regular split wood). Since most designs that I like have to do with more-or-less standardized blocks of fuel, that is what I created. I actually thought a bit more about trash, and worked with it. I used only paper products for these tests, which I separated into two categories -- newspaper, and printing paper/envelopes (mostly junk mail).

I used the newspaper for proof-of-concept tests that are made to prove the idea, and not feasibility. Any efforts in batch manufacturing are wasted if the final product wouldn't work anyway. . I wanted to see if 1. it was possible to make such blocks with only paper and water, 2. if such blocks would have acceptable burn qualities, and 3. how much work it would take to make such chunks.

I initially took two full sheets of newspaper, cut them up, added a lot of water, and blended them in a blender into mush (which only took about 2 seconds at full pulse). I drained the water, then painstakingly compressed the mush in an empty soda can to shape it and get out any excess water. Then, I made a very basic kiln and dried the block. After the block cooled, I lit it and it performed much better than I had even hoped for.

So, concept proven. Next I used shredded paper from junk mail and just added water (leaving it in strips, not turning it into mush). Instead of painstakingly compressing it into a soda can, I cut a 6" long piece out of a 2" diameter 1/8" thick mild steel cylinder (pipe). (Note: I tried 1/16 pipe first, and it quickly failed. I would need something thicker than 1/8" if I wanted to make many of then). Then I filled the pipe with the paper mixture, and used a 12 ton hydraulic jack in a press to compress the mixture from 6" down to 1.5", removing most of the water as well. I made about 4 blocks before the pipe split, then I flipped it and made a few more with less force. Though it was faster than making them by hand, it was still impractical. I have not yet tried to ignite them, because they are not dry enough. If they work well, I'll try again without water-- just using the press to make chunks from dry paper.

Unfortunately, atm all signs are pointing to fuel block making being impractical. So I'll probably have to choose between 1. using loose fuel of some sort (some sort of trash), 2. sawing wood into smaller chunks, or 3. redesigning the burn chamber (and perhaps some other sections) to accommodate standard split wood. I will keep with the final testing of the fuel block concept, though.

Note: DO NOT use a microwave to test moisture content! I had a specimen ignite while doing this (at only 30% power, after about ~1 min)... if I wasn't right there to carry it away, it could have been a very bad situation. Embarrassing, yes, but I felt I should share for safety's sake.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:29 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I do not know if it would work with size constraints but on instructables a guy took news papers soaked them in a 5gal bucket for 1-2days. Then he removed them and pounded the sheets of paper with a rubber mallet on the ground to break the fibers and make it easier for them to stick. After doing that to both sides he used a dowel rod to roll the paper in to logs let it dry and then started fires with it. You could do the same and when dry cut the paper logs to size.
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Old 10-30-2010, 02:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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You are planning to split enough wood to run your truck on?

You are looking for efficiency, yet you live an hour from everywhere and drive an F150?

Moving and/or buying a different vehicle might make a lot more sense. What are you carrying with you that makes you need an F150?

Is splitting wood the most profitable thing that you can be doing with your time? How many dollars worth of fuel will you replace if you spend an hour splitting wood? Have you done a cost/benefit analysis to determine if this is the best use of your time?
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting this cool woodburning car. I think the creation of wood gas lends itself to running a stationary generator rather than a car or truck. Mainly due to the weight and size of the burning materials and burning equipment. Alot of heat is wasted in the wood burning process, if that could be reused somehow the EFF would increase.
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:17 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Phantom: I put some paper in a bucket after reading your post, but I haven't been able to get around to it so far. I'll let you know how it goes.

hypermiler01: My preference is to use split wood, but I'm not done with testing other possible fuel sources yet. I might make it accept a more diverse array of fuels. And when you say "enough," it seems to imply that it would take a lot of wood. I could split all the wood I would need for a month in a few hours, so time and effort (for splitting wood) is not an issue. Plus, it is good exercise, and I'd be killing multiple birds with one stone (safely removing dead trees, so they don't fall and injure/damage animals, people, or other trees). So money saved (money earned) is not the only benefit, and I would be doing almost all of the work anyway. Looking at it strictly monetarily, I would "earn" about $300 for a few hours' extra work one saturday/sunday a month, once built.

I am seeking several types of efficiencies. Monetarily, the money can be used better elsewhere, especially since I have an unlimited fuel source (fuel resource efficiency) that I haven't exploited at all. Environmentally, I wouldn't be using sunk carbon, or paying others to damage the environment to find more fossil fuels. The materials and tools are already in my possession as well, so it would be mostly time and research that I'd invest. Kaizen is another major reason. I could go on, but any of those would be reason enough to do it on its own... assuming it is feasible, which I have yet to determine. But, to more directly answer your question about my use of time, I do not run my personal life like a business (planned, optimized actions, and so forth). They are two very different things, and strategies for success in both differ greatly (in fact, they are almost opposite n many ways). So long as my actions are productive, and myself and those around me enjoy them and benefit from them, that's what I do.

And yeah, I could just get a little people carrier for a daily driver. I don't really carry anything very often, which is one main reason why I'm considering my alternatives-- buy a fuel-efficient car, or modify mine to use less pump gas. I haven't ruled out getting a little people carrier, though. But first I'm looking into the gasifier. If I find a way to make it feasible, it would be better for the environment (planet) and my wallet (among other things) than just buying a more fuel-efficient car. Since the truck has an open bed, I wouldn't need to make many modifications to the truck itself. The truck also happens to have a few other advantages that make adding a gasifier easier than normal.

MorphDaCivic: The main reason gasifiers are suited best for stationary generators is that they perform best within a narrow fuel demand range. Since the fuel demand in a vehicle engine (when driving) often varies by more than 1000%, something has to give. What most people do is design the gasifier for a certain demand, then keep the engine's RPM within a given percent of that demand (running around in high RPM all the time). My solution is to keep demand constant by using a blower that adjusts itself to supplement demand when actual engine demand is low (so I don't have to change my on-road driving style much, if at all). That way, if engine demand is low, the gasifier is still operating optimally internally (though the fuel is going to waste). Since I have effectively unlimited fuel, this is not an issue for me.

I haven't had time to brainstorm any design modifications for the burn chamber, unfortunately. When I have time and get some ideas, I'll update. Hopefully I'll have time this week.
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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As someone who just spent a weekend doing some wildland fire mitigation using a six inch chipper, I'd say that's probably the best wood gas fuel source. Easy to shovel into a small opening, fuel dense, and easily available on the cheap. My neighbor uses a burn barrel to get rid of yard scraps and says wood chips just will not burn, but whole branches burn just fine. Given that what you want is anaerobic off gassing, that seems like the perfect wood gas fuel. As for the fuel to heat the chips, probably split would would work better since wood chips don't burn well because they can't get enough oxygen to them due to the density of the fuel.

Now that's a zero waste solution.

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