Saturday, January 11, 2014

Homemade gasifier uses wood pellets to run generator

Via Charlie
 If anyone on your blog is interested in serious off grid living this is an excellent video on gasifiers.   The unit is well built and the video explains it well.  Lots of folks don't think these things will work, but they powered most of Germany during WWII because Hitler was taking all the oil and coal for his war effort.

 Gasifier uses wood pellets to create flammable mixture that a generator can run on without gasoline. This video shows how it was constructed, how it works, and how to use it from start to finish. Great project for anyone looking for alternative energy or wanting to live off the grid.

Just for some clarification -- I mention a rheostat that I ordered; I ordered a 25w 20 ohm rheostat. That rheostat will effectively give me the control to adjust the voltage to the blower motor from 12v down to nearly 0v (I think... I'm not an electrical engineer).

Download the FEMA Gasifier plans at:
Download this video (low-res, sorry) at:


  1. As far as the 12 volt blower the builder used and the rheostat he discussed, none of that is necessary. Many folks building gasifiers are building them with the idea of using them for a power outage caused by a storm or some other short term power interruption. The 12 blower just provides induction air to get the system running and makes it a bit easier to get it started up. A hand bellows will work just as well and I think a properly designed rig would get going without ID air at all. It just might start up slower.

  2. Hmmm.
    The Tinkerer in me is intrigued.
    I know I could build one of those if it weren't for the metric buttload of other projects I have going.
    It's compact enough to throw on a movers dolly I see.

    Just for shits and giggles I downloaded the plans. Maybe next Summer after I get my plate cleaned off a little.

    I was planning on a propane conversion for my generator but I'm thinking I like this a whole lot better.
    This half of the entire state is a potential fuel source if TSHTF.

    Thanks for a very informative post Brock, that was one of the best ones I have seen that shows the whole shebang plus seeing it actually working too.

    1. Certainly. Wonder if you could make them for a profit?

  3. If you could just make and sell them probably so but regardless the fact that FEMA encourages them and tells you how to build them, I feel certain the EPA would be on you like a duck on a Junebug if you tried to manufacture them. Just to be clear, these things don't have to run on wood stove pellets. They will run on wood chips or for that matter bales of hay. If you go on Youtube and do enough searching for Gasifiers you'll find a video of a dairy farm somewhere in Northern Europe that runs totally on
    a gasifier fueled with round bales of hay. I mean the dairy, the owners house and shop and several cottages where his workers live.

  4. This is the video I mentioned about fueling a farm with a gasifier. I think I got it wrong and it's a chicken farm not dairy but it's still impressive. This is only partly in English
    but if you listen closely you can figure out what is going on. The same guy makes other videos about the same farm.

  5. how long will it run with a full tube of pellets?

  6. Check out this link that was posted above yours.