This sites goal is to help you on your path to construct your very own homemade gasifier. Gasifiers are a fun and educational project with many practial uses, the most common being producing fuel to run engines. Follow me and lets begin your journey to that beautiful blue gas.
What is a gasifier
A gasifier is a device that converts biomass such as wood chips, blocks, pellets, sticks leaves, grass clippings, even cow patties to a usable burnable clean and environmentally friendly gas through a process called pyrolosis. The biomass is broken down by heat in an oxygen restricted environment and the resulting gasses (hydrogen, carbonmonoxide, methane and other inert gasses) can then be used in multiple aplications.
Types of gasifiers
There are two main types of gasifiers, one known as an “Imbert” and the other a “fema”, for our diy biomass gasifier we will focus on the “fema”. This style of wood gasifier was chosen because of its simplicity to build and relatively low cost when compared to an “imbert”.
Did you know
Gasifiers have been around for many years. While it may seem like some new tech, gasifiers were at thier peak during WWII, especially in Europe where gasoline shortages sparked the need for alternative fuels for vehicles, at that time many thousands of automobiles were powered by gasifiers and many major automobile manufacturers exported thier vehicles with factory installed gasifiers.
By far the most common application for a gasifier is fuel production for power generation. A gasifier when built correctly produces a very clean burning fuel that can be plumbed directly into the intake of an engine and used in place of gasoline with no modifications to the engine needed with the exception of connecting your wood gas hose to it. This gasifier has been connected to a small generator and ran for well over fourty hours and counting solely on wood with no signs of tar build up, the generator fires right up every time and has proven this gasifiers reliability and tar free operation. A gasifier is an excellent option for renewable energy from biomass that would normally be wasted, in my local area (the pacific northwest) free or incredibly low cost biomass is readily available from many sources, my work for instance regularly burns hundreds of pounds of waste wood every month. Another source comes in the form of slash piles or piles of waste wood left over from logging that would otherwise be burned or discarded, my favorite however is from local road maintenance crews that limb trees along the highway, this biomass is laying around in nice piles of chips all along the highway, all the hard work is done for me just stop, fill a few buckets and dry them out for use, Brilliant.
Why a “FEMA Gasifier”
I chose the fema gasifier for a few reasons, one being as far as gasifiers go the fema has a reputation for being a bad design and producing tar, i generally root for the underdog in every fight so i decided to build a fema gasifier generator and modify the original design to give it a fighting chance and clean up its dirty rep, I believe i have succeeded and the quality of my gas and many hours of runtime on my generator are a testament to that, most fema gasifiers when built strictly by the fema plans do produce tar and generally any engine powered by one usually falls victim to the same problem, a stuck valve from tar build up, this almost always happens within an hour or two of operation. The gasifier found on this site has many, many trouble and tar free hours of operation far surpassing any other fema gasifier that i am aware of. The biggest differences between the modified fema 1.6 and a standard fema gasifier is filtration. The fema plans do not include a cyclone filter which in my opinion is very important. More so the fema design filter is absolutely terrible allowing a large portion of unfiltered gas to bypass 90% of the filtration media. The filter on this gasifier unit is of my own design and forces the gas to be exposed to the entire filter media with no possibility of bypassing, all gas produced must pass through the entire filter before moving on.