Gasification is a process that converts organic or fossil fuel based carbonaceous materials into carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. This is achieved by reacting the material at high temperatures (>700 °C), without combustion, with a controlled amount of oxygen and/or steam.
In simpler language it is the process of converting wood into a flammable gas by burning it at extremely high temperature in an oxygen deprived environment. This gas can then be utilized as a gasoline substitute.
The process is extremely efficient and gets excellent energy out of a cord of wood while leaving minimal ash to clean out. Although it was used extensively 50 to 100 years ago, since the advent of cheap oil in the late 1950s and 1960s it has been largely ignored.Gasification works both at a very simple level in wood stoves and the complex corporate sized level to feed megawatts of power into national electricity grids.
Many from this current generation would be surprised to know that during the Second World War, almost every motorized vehicle in continental Europe was converted to use firewood and many in the states were as well. Yet it is rare to see it in use today in that manner.
When I first learned about gasification I was obviously intrigued. Being a prepper I am always seeking ways to be self reliant yet maintain as many of the niceties I enjoy in my daily life as possible. Gasification in my opionion is a lifesaver for a prepper (not literally). It allows me the benefit of converting farm equipment and maintaining a high yield in a time of collapse. Not too mention the benefit of vehicular mobility as well. Really the list is as long a the power demand.
We have an older model Ford F-350 Diesel at our Training Complex and I intend to convert it to run on wood sometime in the (hopefully near) future
The benefits of a gasifier are huge, but adding to these already awesome benefits, the wood gasifier also produces a charcoal, a byproduct known as biochar. It is biochar that the ancients used in South America to build the fertility of their soils and boost their crop yields With the use of this biochar they turned their rain forest soils into a black humus!!!
Take a look at a good sized one in action.
In one of our upcoming newsletters we plan to include a some pretty awesome gasifier plans for you, but in the meantime here is a good one for you to read over produced for FEMA. DOWNLOAD HERE