What We Do:
What is a Gasifier ?Gasifiers (our gasifiers in particular) run on a clients feedstock, usually consisting of types of grasses or woodchips from a renewable perennial planting of hay or wood (generally switchgrass or willow) the client has made the commitment to themselves to be "as green as can be" or is simply tired of the energy companies always having a "hand in their pocket".
Gasifiers generally run on a portion of the supplied feedstock as well as converting the balance of it to a fuel for other applications by a process known as "thermally driven, chemical reduction of biomass" or in easier terms, they burn part of the feedstock to attain the heat needed to reduce the rest of the feedstock into elemental gases, like hydrogen (H2), Methane (CH4), Ethane (C2H6), Ethylene (C2H4), Argon (Ar), and Nitrogen (N2). this mixture of gases is much the same as natural gas or propane, and burns with almost the same power. All of our gasifiers, are of the downdraft style, and are self fueling, require only small amounts of electricity, (under 15 amps) they need little to no maintenance other than a routine check, and periodic feedstock bunker (fuel) re-filling (like filling your car).
Here is an example of each type:
Fuel: Gasifiers can be configured to convert biomass to a fuel much like propane or natural gas, they do this in "Real time" with the vehicle's engine, and co-exist in a symbiotic relationship with that engine, (both need each other to run) if either one quits, so does the other. Gasifiers are well suited for use on a truck simply from the standpoint of having the box to carry fuel in containers (5-gallon pails work nicely), an average consumption for a standard 1/2 ton is about 3 pails of wood chips for a 1 hour drive at highway speeds.
Cogen: In a co-generation application, the gasifier is used as a fuel source for the prime mover (generator talk, for engine) and replaces gasoline as the prime movers fuel, this engine in-turn is hooked to a suitable AC or DC generator to generate electricity as required by the customer, as well, the water jacket of the engine and exhaust is used as a recirculating hot water source for Hydronic heating of buildings or "process heat" for industrial applications.
Heat: The Final configuration is "heat only", this method is far superior to what is known as a "Homesteader, or Outdoor Wood Boiler" (OWB) these devices are getting a very bad name simply because the internal design is a poor method of heat conversion, BUT, NOT a heating gasifier, ours can directly replace an old smoking OWB, and meet or exceed EPA and environmental regulations PERIOD !
Some Basic History:
Gasifiers are NOT new, they have been around since the mid 1850's (town gas and theater's "He's in the limelight" (town gas was also called lime gas when used as theater lighting)) Gasifiers were also in high demand during the second world war (WW II) in Europe, during the mid 1940's for automotive fuel use. (over 1 million production cars where in use during this time, running on gasifiers, both production and home-made versions).New Additions:
Since the 1940's we as humans, have come a long way in advancing this technology, with the advent of stainless steel, electronics, wood chippers, and MIG welding, low-cost gasifiers are now well within the average persons reach & price, as well, our understanding of the process, has also dramatically advanced in the knowledge of combustion & heat transfer .
What this means to the average person: With gasoline and energy in general on the continual rise, we would like to present the abilities to you for replacing aging or obsolete equipment with "old world" reliability, gasifiers are NOT a "High-Tech" device, and nor should they be or need to be. well designed equipment lasts the better part of a lifetime, if you are looking for a "cheap" way, I would say "look elsewhere" HOWEVER if you are wanting to be cost effective, then read on.
Gasifiers are like wood stoves, they need constant attention, and are a lot of work, FALSE !
Gasifiers require cleanings everyday, FALSE!
They smell, FALSE !
They are "dirty", FALSE !
They Pollute, FALSE ! (much less than a very good woodstove).
There will be no trees left, FALSE ! (woodlot management and perennial species, like willow)
My truck will smell like "French Fries", FALSE ! (in fact there is no odor at all)Limitations:
With all things in life, we have limitations, could one use a gasifier truck to cross the USA ?
ANSWER: YES, you could, but you would have to make arrangements for feedstock at regular intervals (just like gas stations) Currently no network of feedstock locations exists, however, supply and demand is changing.
Can I run my gasifier like "Mr. Fusion" from the movie "Back to the Future" ?
ANSWER: NO, Gasifiers are much like engines, you can NOT run a Gasoline engine on Diesel, nor can you run a Diesel engine on Gasoline, there are small windows of exception within a feedstock, but you can NOT throw banana peals and tin cans into one, it simply will NOT work, PERIOD !.
Note: gasifiers are easily reconfigurable to a new feedstock, but it does take about 3-5 hours to do so. You would not be wanting to change feedstock's on a regular basis.
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