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Old 11-05-2008, 12:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Run your car on wood

Around Sweden with wood in the tank

Seems kind of cool to me


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Old 11-05-2008, 01:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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So... A steam engine? I think I'd like that.
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What is the comparison of pollutants from burning wood vs other fuels?
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Its not a steam engine. Its a technology that was in use in Europe during WWII when gasoline was in short supply for non-military users. They burn wood or coal under anaerobic conditions to produce carbon monoxide, then use the carbon monoxide to run the engine. The drawbacks of this system are that the added components are very bulky, taking up a lot of space in the vehicle, and produces a limited amount of CO, so the engine mostly runs at reduced power settings. The advantage is that you can still drive when gasoline is unavailable.
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Old 11-05-2008, 08:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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This is also a simple example of some of the clean coal technologies - Often refered to as IGCC or "Integrated Gassification Combined Cycle" Yes i spelled that totally wrong...

Partially burn the coal clean up the by products - then run the "Syn Gas" through a combined cycle gas turbine. Benifits include using coal in a Cleaner Process - you are able to capture much more of the pollutants in the fuel because the initial burn is in a closed system ( instead of the large boiler).

Very neat idea...
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Old 11-05-2008, 08:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 11-05-2008, 09:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bikin' Ed View Post
What is the comparison of pollutants from burning wood vs other fuels?
I'd imagine not very good, other than being carbon neutral... The main idea is that the wood is gassified, then the wood gas is put through the carb and off you go.
Have you ever been around an outdoor boiler? They release almost all the wood gas without burning it when they are damped down and they stink up quite a large area. I'd hope this would be better. Anyways wood isn't easy to burn cleanly but if they could get the exhaust as clean as an EPA woodstove the pollution wouldn't be too obnoxious in a rural setting.


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Old 11-05-2008, 11:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Doofus McFancypants View Post
Benifits include using coal in a Cleaner Process - you are able to capture much more of the pollutants in the fuel...
Apologies for getting off-topic, but I have to point out that this is deliberate misinformation. (Not by you, by the coal companies.) The output that really matters is CO2, and this process doesn't change that one tiny bit.
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I actually know some guys locally who have already built a good sized wood gasifier.

So far, they have used it for running a gasoline engine (to be hooked up to a generator) and cooking bratwursts.

The main idea is to be able to scale it up to power electricity for a house, or a whole small community.

They are currently experimenting with other biomass besides wood, such as chunking up bits of left-over crops.

It's all totally renewable, and the only real "waste" is charcoal leftover from burning the wood, which can than also be used for many things, grilling food being the least among them. They also pump CO2 from the burning into the greenhouse to keep the plants happy!

EDIT: Talked to this guy last night. He and a few other fellows have been tinkering with doing this to a car. They plan to have it up and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association's Alt Car Show next summer!


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