Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Welder Builds Own Gasifier to Power Generator

Welder Ben Peterson needed to do something with all the junk lumber left on his property, after tearing down an old farmhouse. He found some plans for a gasifier from FEMA -- the US government emergency management agency -- and figured out how to scale it down a size he could use at home.
But the FEMA device was enormous, so Peterson spent two months redesigning filters and streamlining the airflow to get it down to a more family-friendly size. “I was making these things out of garbage cans and spare pipe, and I got addicted to the design process,” he says. The result is a DIY home gasifier that can power a portable generator. Now Peterson hopes to sell his design to the masses—and his work won’t be done until we’re all filling up our gas tanks with gasified garbage. _PopMech
Peterson wants to put his design into production so that everyone can turn garbage and biomass into syngas -- and turn syngas into useful energy (heat and power).

The process is more efficient at larger scales of course. That is why many huge oil and chemical companies are looking into "biomass to liquids" processes and various cellulosic electricity schemes.

But if you live at a location with a large supply of waste biomass, you may want to consider a small gasifier to run a generator and hot water heater. It is even possible to run automobiles on syngas with little modification.

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