Choosing an Engine for Woodgas

by | Oct 30, 2023 | FAQ | 0 comments

Q: How to select and optimize a gasoline engine to woodgas? Should the engine be abundantly more powerful than necessary, or should we use a small engine with high rpm? These are some questions every woodgasser have asked.

A: When it comes to optimizing a gasoline engine to run on wood gas, there are several key factors to consider. Wood gas has a lower energy content than gasoline, which means that an engine will typically produce less power when running on wood gas than when running on gasoline. Here are some key points to consider:

Engine Size: It is generally recommended to use an engine that is larger than what might otherwise be necessary if it were running on gasoline. A common rule of thumb is to size the engine for about twice the required power output if it were running on gasoline. This helps to compensate for the lower energy content of wood gas.

Engine Speed: Wood gas does not have the same octane rating as gasoline, and as a result, engines running on wood gas can sometimes have a problem with engine knocking if the engine speed is too high. Keeping the engine speed (RPM) within a moderate range can help to prevent this issue.

Compression Ratio: Lowering the compression ratio of the engine can also help to prevent knocking and make the engine more tolerant to the lower quality fuel. This however may also reduce the engine efficiency and power output.

Air/Fuel Mixture: The air/fuel mixture will need to be adjusted for optimal performance. This usually means increasing the amount of wood gas relative to air compared to what would be used for gasoline. This is because wood gas is less energy dense than gasoline, so a higher volume is needed to achieve the same power output.

Gas Cleaning: Proper gas cleaning and filtering is crucial. Wood gas contains tar and particulates that can cause damage to the engine over time. A well-designed gas cleaning system can extend the life of the engine and improve its performance.

Converting a gasoline engine to run on wood gas requires a fair amount of knowledge and skill. Be sure to do thorough research and consider consulting with an expert before undertaking this kind of project.

Q: How many cc’s should a gasoline engine for producing 25kw be when using woodgas?

The power output of an engine is not solely determined by its displacement (cc), but also by factors like the fuel type, the engine’s efficiency, and the air/fuel mixture ratio. However, as a general rule of thumb, an engine running on wood gas might produce around half the power that it would on gasoline due to the lower energy content of wood gas.

If you need an engine to produce around 25 kW power on wood gas, you would typically start by looking at gasoline engines that produce around 50 kW. To give you a rough idea, a gasoline engine that produces 50 kW (about 67 horsepower) might have a displacement in the range of around 1.6 to 2.0 liters (1600 to 2000 cc), depending on the specific design and efficiency of the engine.

Again, this is a very rough estimate. The specific power output can vary quite a lot between different engines of the same displacement, depending on factors like the engine design, the fuel/air mixture, the compression ratio, and other factors. It would be advisable to consult with a professional or someone with experience in running engines on wood gas to get a more precise estimate based on your specific situation and requirements.

Q: What kind of an engine in general is optimal to generate power using woodgas?

A: Wood gas can be used to generate power in a variety of internal combustion engines, but certain types are more commonly used due to their robustness and tolerance to variable gas quality.

  1. Spark Ignition Engines (Gasoline Engines): These engines are often converted to run on wood gas because they are readily available, affordable, and relatively easy to modify. A wood gas system will typically feed into the air intake of the engine after the air filter. The carburetor remains in place for use when starting the engine and in case it’s necessary to switch back to gasoline. While this can be a practical choice, spark ignition engines may require more regular maintenance when run on wood gas due to potential issues such as tar build-up.
  2. Dual Fuel Engines: These engines are designed to run on both diesel and another type of fuel, like wood gas, simultaneously. In these systems, a small amount of diesel fuel is used for ignition, while the wood gas provides the primary fuel source. Dual fuel engines can offer improved efficiency, and they’re robust and less prone to tar-related issues, but they are typically more expensive and complex than spark ignition engines.
  3. Gas Turbines: These are another option for wood gas, but they are less commonly used due to their high cost and complexity, as well as their sensitivity to the gas quality.

When considering the type of engine to use with a wood gas system, it’s important to consider factors such as availability, cost, power requirements, and the operator’s ability to perform necessary maintenance and adjustments. It’s also important to properly clean and filter the wood gas before it enters the engine, regardless of the type of engine being used, to prevent damage from tar and particulates.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A Circular Economy Gap

A Circular Economy Gap

In a world cluttered with waste and choked by pollution, the call for a shift towards a circular economy has never been louder. This isn't just about recycling more or using less; it's about a...

Harnessing Global Megatrends

Harnessing Global Megatrends

As the global market dynamics shift, understanding and leveraging megatrends – vast, global forces shaping our future world – becomes crucial for businesses. These trends, spanning urbanization,...

IoT, AI, and Virium: The Revolutionaries

IoT, AI, and Virium: The Revolutionaries

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, AI and IoT are not just buzzwords but catalysts of a major industrial revolution. From the vast fields of agriculture to the intricate mechanisms of...