Notes from Windward: #63

The following is from a response to an email inquiry as to the status of the wood gas generator.

At 10:45 AM 2/9/04 -0600, you wrote:
>I read with great interest your article in "Notes from the Windward Vol.
>63" regarding the construction of the wood gas generator.
>Will there be a follow up in Vol. 64?

      That's what the plan is.

      The project is to the point where we need to mount the generator on a trailer. What I've got in mind is a trailer made from the back end of a small "Luv&quto; style pickup truck where the front part of the frame is bend in to form a triangle in front of the pickup box.

      The point is that in order to keep the grate from choking up with ash, it has to be jiggled periodically. That happens naturally when the trailer is going down a bumpy road, but when the generator is stationary, or going down really smooth road, the ability of the reformer to process gas goes way down.

      We actually plan on using the generator in stationary mode, and having it mounted on a trailer just makes it easier to move from location to location. Consequently, being able to keep the grate clear of ash is key to making this design work.

      By mounting it on the forward triangle of the trailer, we'll have easy access to the underside of the generator, something which will facilitate the shaker design that we're planning on using.

      I've got my eye on a trailer made this way, and haven't heard back from the owner. Of late, we've been hunkered down for the winter, and have been focusing on keeping animals watered and people washed during the cold temps. Now that spring is just around the corner, we're starting to think in terms of moving forward on this project.

      Especially since over the winter we were able to acquire a PTO mounted wood chipper. A woodgas generator isn't a whole lot of use without a ready supply of coarse wood chips to feed it, so now that we've got that bottleneck solved, we're ready to get back to building a unit to convert those chips into woodgas.

      Another aspect is that there have been some very impressive developments in the conversion of woodgas into methanol, specifically a new catalysis step up which looks like it will enable us to convert our wood chips into methanol, at which point we'd switch over to running a gasoline/methanol blend in our vehicles.

      Anyway, that's were we are on the project.

with best wishes,


Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 63