[Gasification] Producer gas without nitrogen

Ken Boak ken.boak at gmail.com
Sun Mar 18 20:55:08 CDT 2012


An excellent discussion - and one that Kalle touches on in his 1942 paper.


He reasoned, why use completely atmospheric air, when you can feedback
about 20%  CO2 from the hot engine exhaust gases. Returning this hot carbon
dioxide into the reduction zone of the charcoal gasifier reduces the amount
of charcoal you need to burn per mile - and also returns water vapour which
boosts the H2 content.  It also cools the nozzle temperature to something
sensible  900 - 1000C.

Interesting that we breath an atmosphere that's roughly 78% nitrogen - and
we manage to oxidise and metabolise our fuel - coincidence?

Ok - woodgas has a low BTU content - about 1/6th that of methane or
propane.  But it wins in the end - because by the luck of its air/fuel
ration mix is roughly 1:1 - whereas propane is 14:1.   A cylinder full of
woodgas and air contains roughly the same energy as the same cylinder with
the correct air/propane mix.

One way to get more bang for your buck is to increase the compression ratio
- or use and engine with a naturally high compression ratio - i.e. a diesel.

I'm currently looking on converting simple diesel engines to spark +
compression ignition so that they can be used at their stock compression
ratio - and run on both diesel for starting and woodgas for the rest of the
duration of the run - without significant power derating.  It's entirely an
experimental piece of work - but documented here on the APL Wiki.


I'm also looking for a cheap and robust gasifier that is appropriate for
developing countries where the slow speed Lister is commonplace.

Gary Gilmore from Philadelphia is making some progress with his
interpretation of the Kalle.


I don't wish to hijack your thread - just make you aware of some
interesting stuff that's going on.


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