Let's make a list of all the current vehicles running woodgas. "Current" meaning any street legal vehicle that is regularly fired and driven, or could be on the road with 24 hrs notice. List the owner, locale, and make/year/engine/configuration. Here's a start.
Chris Seymour is the self-proclaimed historian of woodgas. He has collected hundreds of photos of woodgas cars from WWII, and he will be sharing them on this page...Once we get our heads together on that. Stay tuned.
Here are some questions Wayne hears get a lot. If you have more specific questions, please ask in the forum.
Q. What is woodgas?
A. Woodgas is a flammable gas released by wood when it is heated. When you see flames in a fire, that is actually woodgas burning. If we capture the gas, we can burn it in an engine. Read more about the Basics of Gasification.
"So here is my current evolved explanation: Wood gasification is running smoke though a hot bed of charcoal. Period. That's it. Of course, the devil is in the details. You have to set things up so ONLY this is happening. I answer people's questions by referring back to these statements. Example: Have you ever burned wood chips? I have. Smokes a lot. But how you gonna flow that smoke through a packed bed of charred chips?
This report is one in a series of emergency technology assessments sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The purpose of this report is to develop detailed, illustrated instructions for the fabrication, installation, and operation of a biomass gasifier unit (i.e., a "producer gas" generator, also called a 'wood gas' generator) that is capable of providing emergeney fuel for vehicles, such as tractors and trucks, in the event that normal petroleum sources were severely disrupted for an extended period of time. These instructions have been prepared as a manual for use by any mechanic who is reasonably proficient in metal fabrication or engine repair.
The constricted hearth, downdraft gasifier shown in Fig. 1 is often called the 'Imbert' gasifier after its inventor, Jacques Imbert. It has been commercially manufactured under various names. These units were mass produced during World War II by automotive companies including General Motors, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. A list of known manufacturers is here. These units would have cost about $3000 in 2010 dollars. But when World War II started, it took six to eight months before factory-made gasifiers were widely available. Thousands of Europeans were saved from certain starvation by homemade gasifiers made from washing machine tubs, old water heaters, and oxygen cylinders. Surprisingly, the operation of these units was nearly as efficient as the factory-made units. The homemade units only lasted for 20,000 miles with many repairs, while the factory-made units operated, with few repairs, up to 100,000 miles.