Two Letters Re: Build Your Own Wood Gas Generating Stove

Just a brief note in relation to the recent post regarding gasification. In researching the issue further, I found on Wikipedia’s wood gas generator article that producer gas should not be compressed beyond 15 psi due to liquefaction of some of the compounds and the possibility of severe carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in the event of a leak. I like the idea of storing the gas for future use, but care and caution should be used. My suggestion would be to store the gas in an outdoor location far removed from people and animals to prevent health issues if the storage container were to leak. After further research I found that large canvas balloons or bags were a low-pressure, high-volume method of storing producer gas when it was used as an automobile fuel, [during World War II]. – Gregory R.

Carbon monoxide exposure is a major risk with Wood gassifiers. Positive ventilation and redundant battery operated CO detectors should be employed if there is any closed space or near closed space usage (Garages, Barns, living spaces etc)

A caution is required on the idea of storing Wood gas under pressure. Wood gas is composed of typically CO 22%; H2 18%; CH4 3%, CO2 6% and N2 51% Gasholder (Water displacement) vessels are the only recommended form storage due to the risk of precipitating volatile elements in an ordinary pressure vessel. PSI above 15 lbs should likewise be avoided. I would be very cautious about using an ordinary compressor as the piston could generate momentary pressures well in excess of the outlet reading. Further heat and cylinder lubrication introduce further potentially combustible uncertainties.

Readers will find much useful info and links available – Dollardog


JWR Adds: Also keep in mind that creosote, coal tar, and some related concentrates from wood combustion have been identified as possible carcinogens. Therefore, take the appropriate precautions. Whether you are cleaning your own chimney or working on gasifier equipment, always wear a dust mask and rubber gloves.