[Gasification] The Enigma of Gasification

doug.williams Doug.Williams at orcon.net.nz
Sun Jan 2 02:03:08 CST 2011

Hi Jim and Colleagues,

My evening is ruined yet once again by this infernal technology, but I never duck if there is stuff to stick!

That I continue to refer to fraudulent claims, should not worry anyone who, like yourself, operate in an open manner. In some ways I envy your capability to do what you have done, which unfortunately from my long suffering financial supporters perspective, just isn't and never will be possible. That I can never have the time to stop by for a visit, is my loss not yours, because by necessity, it's flat out all the way from the minute I hit the ground till I leave. I cannot play the tourist even for a day in your beautiful city.

That you should consider me as one of your teaches pleases me no end, and I am happy to stand in the glow of your success, as the student must be better than his teacher.  Just know though, that I don't smack anyone over the head for failing having tried (:-) There is however for me, a problem with long debates, where semantics take over and it becomes like verbal **** of the fingers. 


>now that the world seems to be caring again about this tech, and we
>have a major new tool in the garage to make it work (the web), i hope
>you will enjoy some of what you have worked so hard for and
>contributed so much to make possible.  there are no end of projects
>that need doing.

The web has been the saviour of gasification, and I would add to that SKYPE, Solid Works and CAD drawings. 

>while doing so, i hope you will also consider resisting the veiled and
>not so veiled suggestions that this particular one of your students is
>somehow proceeding with dishonesty.  this has been a theme from you
>for about two years now, and frankly, i'm tired of it.

As I said, not your worry, as this is true fraud and being perpetrated in several countries, the latest Australia and New Zealand. The advise I would give to anyone pushing gasifiers, is show your work with photography, provide the necessary authorized test documentation, and not promise or claim things because you have done it for a few hours. Most reading this don't have to continually answer questions about gasification companies from people in far away places, but I do as a unpaid service to the uninformed. The frustration that is expressed more often than not, is that having been offered the gasifier, it's never even been built or tested in a commercial operating environment. 

>it would be difficult for me and our group to be doing this in any
>more open and exposed manner.  all our work is up online for all to
>consider and critique.  it is exhaustively documented in hard data,
>and any hand waving labelled as such.  we have regular open workshops
>at our facility with large numbers of people who review all the
>details and see all the warts.  between the workshops people walk
>through regularly to see and consider.  our successes and failures are
>very public, and for most this has led to feeling of transparency and
>honesty in the endeavor not found elsewhere.  i'm not sure how to
>create any more intimate opportunities for others to kick the tires
>and see if things hold air.

I'm not sure why you should feel so threatened with such public involvement, but having set out to allow people to experiment with the GEK, the results are not your problem. 
If we use an incorrect phrase sometimes in our rush to get things done, so what, correct it later. Learn and move on, because it takes a while to present gasified discussion when you are dealing with multiple questions and interruptions.

>if you continue to find things otherwise, you are again invited to
>come see things for yourself during one of your california visits.
>same for greg, who is likely the biggest enthusiast of contrary
>suggestions at the moment.  you both have been invited multiple times
>to our facility.  you both continue to be invited.  the next workshop,
>again with some form of long duration gasifier-genset run, will happen
>late feb most likely.  yes, the regular writing of grumpy and
>pessimistic notes is more enjoyable, but i do not find it to equal
>increased honesty.  i just find it sad.

Grumpy I might be Jim,  I spent the whole of my New Years Day writing about the "Enigma" one single letter at a time, I'm that slow. My wife was furious and with good reason, but, I was endeavouring to find some way to bring into focus a touchy subject. I finished it at 11:30pm, a very long day to start the year.

>it has been a very interesting process going from prototypes to demos
>to pr to having a good deal of machines out in the world.  things
>change rather significantly once one's machines are out of the shop
>and in the hands of others.  you can no longer make sure they are used
>"correctly", and you can no longer control the messaging that happens
>around them.  people do stranger things than one could ever imagine.
>odd stories get told that bear little resemblance to what you said,
>intended, or in fact did.

Covered this and you make your point to clarify the situation.

>dealing with the general public can easily insult any optimism one
>might have left regarding the human animal.  but fortunately the
>opposite is also true.  for me gasification has been a fabulous filter
>to find interesting people around the world.  many of the most
>interesting ones show up regularly at our place.  for this i feel very
>fortunate and have much gratitude.

Indeed we meet fantastic people.

>at the same time, i am often baffled by the suspicion of progress,
>resistance to science, and borderline ludditism one finds around wood
>gas discussions.  in many instances, right here.  if we really can do
>no better than what was done in 1906, why are any of us even
>bothering?  defending such a position seems absurd to me.

Jim, ideas turn in to experiments, then towards some conclusion. Our historical science is a foundation from which shaky take-offs can be launched. It's just unfortunate that we have opinions in opposing directions. If we were in a Pub discussion, the loser would buy the next round, it's stiff banter most of the time. 

>progress is clearly possible.  small scale gasification is likely even
>a solvable problem.  i'm highly confident we all can and will.

It is easier to be done now for many places.

>all here can participate in and benefit from the emerging solutions.
>it can be a shared and collaborative endeavor, rewarding all here who
>have co-taught each other.   the pie is massive.  there is no zero sum
>thus i disagree with the across the board pessimism of your note and
>counter with optimism.  it is an optimism i find supported by current
>evidence and experience.

Well said, good for you, never accept when your mind disagrees.

>a grateful student,

If you still consider me like that, write with capitals, it's doesn't respect the language you use (:-)

Can I leave now?

Doug Williams.
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