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Gasification woodgas cook stove

Old 02-26-20, 03:27 AM
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Mark Hoaglund
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Gasification woodgas cook stove

Was wondering about your thoughts, experiences and tips for fire starting & wood diameters to control burn time.

What I've done so far was harvest some dead branches up to 1 inch diameter. Brought them in to air dry after the beautiful snow melt weather. Processed the larger stove length pieces with my Coghlan's 8400 Sierra Folding Saw. For fire starter a couple weeks ago I ripped strips of paper, crumpled a couple and stuffed them in between the vertical twigs like candle wicks watching it lite up while burning as expected for a test run. Want to continue boiling water, cooking and baking before it warms up again. The southern front yard maples have buds but no robins yet.

Thanks folks.
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Old 02-26-20, 04:07 PM
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Mines similar to this but no wind screen & grill if your wondering:

Worth $19? - ? TOMSHOO Budget Gasifier Wood Stove - Review

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Old 02-26-20, 07:12 PM
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Possible but impractical for real-world, constantly-nomadic, cycle touring.

ISSUES:
1. Procuring properly dry wood at nightly campsites.
2. Preping and starting when conditions are not ideal.
3. Can be very smoky
4. In general pots end up sooty.
4. You probably need to carry a backup fuel also.

TO NOTE: My personal experience is with coffee-can-sytle stoves. The prebuilts originated from those, and beyond fit-and-finish seem functionally the same.
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Old 02-26-20, 07:37 PM
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This might interest the curious:

How hot does wood gas burn?
The gases burn and increase the temperature of the wood to about 600 degrees Celsius (1,112 degrees Fahrenheit). When the wood has released all its gases, it leaves charcoal and ashes. Charcoal burns at temperatures exceeding 1,100 degrees Celsius (2,012 degrees Fahrenheit).
How Hot Is a Bonfire? - Sciencing
https://sciencing.com/hot-bonfire-8770.html
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Old 02-26-20, 10:34 PM
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Not my scientific best but the gasification test run with moist wood smoked about 3 minutes from -22 to 600C and was a clean cooking heat for 15 minutes ruffly. I'll pay closer attention soon. I remember the third world needed efficient affordable versions to overcome unsafe health conditions but I could afford a stainless steel $20 manufactured unit to avoid rust & nest compactly.
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Old 02-26-20, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Possible but impractical for real-world, constantly-nomadic, cycle touring.

ISSUES:
1. Procuring properly dry wood at nightly campsites.
2. Preping and starting when conditions are not ideal.
3. Can be very smoky
4. In general pots end up sooty.
4. You probably need to carry a backup fuel also.

TO NOTE: My personal experience is with coffee-can-sytle stoves. The prebuilts originated from those, and beyond fit-and-finish seem functionally the same.
This ^

The point about sooty pots can't be understated.

I've been cooking in camp settings since I was in college (backpacking) and we've always had stoves. The group I started backpacking with had a community system where we had one "cook set" for 4-6 people and each of us shared the gear. The stove was a white gas stove, I want to say it was an MSR Whisperlite but I can't be certain. That was a long time ago..

On some of those trips I would do my own cooking with a single wall Snowpeak mug (heating up water for easy mac, oats, heating up soups, etc) over the camp fire or next to it. The soot was a major pain in the rear end - not to mention dealing with the ash blowing around at times.

Of course, cooking over wood fires is about as old school as it gets. Can it be done? Yep. With modern equipment, though - as pointed out in the above quote - I'll second the lack of practicality.

However, if you want to go this route with the wood stoves of this type - by all means, have at it and have fun doing it.

On a side note - you might, also, find alcohol stoves fun to play with. You can make them out of a couple of pop cans pressed together. Check out the following link for some more commercially made ones. This guy has been making some pretty clever Alcohol stoves for decades.

https://www.minibulldesign.com/productcart/pc/home.asp
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Old 02-27-20, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Possible but impractical for real-world, constantly-nomadic, cycle touring.

ISSUES:
1. Procuring properly dry wood at nightly campsites.
2. Preping and starting when conditions are not ideal.
3. Can be very smoky
4. In general pots end up sooty.
4. You probably need to carry a backup fuel also.

TO NOTE: My personal experience is with coffee-can-sytle stoves. The prebuilts originated from those, and beyond fit-and-finish seem functionally the same.
Finding dry wood isn't actually as big of a deal as one might think as the stuff going in is going to be quite small in size, once they get going they are quite powerful in that it doesn't really matter how wet the fuel is. The downside is that these things require constant feeding as they usually burn through a full fuel load in mere minutes.
And in general these things are stick burners so you can throw any old stick or pinecone in without issue. Also a single load of dry starter fuel doesn't weigh much, though it can be a chore to carry around.

The soot is real though and much much worse than in any other form of cooking I've ever tried, including cooking over an open fire. It does bake a hard soot surface on the outside of the pot, but it still blackens everything it touches.
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Old 02-27-20, 05:57 AM
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I have done several decades of annual trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (canoeing, not cycling) on the Minnesota and Ontario border, the US side has dedicated fire pits with steel cooking grates. We did almost all of our cooking on liquid fuel stoves, but we brought one coffee pot that we could use for boiling water on the fire. Never bothered to clean the soot off of it, instead carried it inside its dedicated stuff sack, the inside of the sack looked almost as sooty as the coffee pot. As a dedicated water boiler, it worked great.

But other than an occasional barbecue, we never cooked on wood fire, just used the fire for heating water.

I just can't understand the reason for wanting to use wood as a cooking fuel on a camping trip when there are very affordable and very convenient options that use butane or (somewhat less affordable) white gas stoves.



It is just so much simpler to use a small stove. Even one of my two pot meals with one burner is not too bad, just switch the pots back and forth to the burner every minute or two to keep them both warm.



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Old 02-27-20, 08:35 AM
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The two top advantages of non-wood stoves are the ability to turn them on and off easily, think making a cup of tea while still in your sleeping bag, and safety. Wood fires take a while to burn out after the cooking is done. The drawbacks of wood fires are size, environmental destruction, and time. Proper camping etiquette really requires only building a fire in an established fire ring, say good bye to stealth camping. Tourists in dry areas might actually be in violation of local laws with a wood fire. All that having been said, a fire for a group can provide lots of heat for a big pot of water for pasta and a focus for a convivial evening.
Both have their advantages. I travel with a stove, but am ready, willing, and able to build a fire if necessary and appropriate
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Old 02-27-20, 09:48 AM
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I think we did this one before?

Cooking on little wood stoves is fun but, as far as cycle touring is concerned, you really have to look into the laws in the area you wish to visit.

A lot of times now, in Western Canada with extreme fire seasons in summer, wood fires are banned, even in National and Provincial parks with fire rings. Butane cartridges always are allowed but even alcohol stoves get nixed sometimes (tipping and spilling hazard). The most convenient stove is the one you can use.
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Old 02-27-20, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
A lot of times now, in Western Canada with extreme fire seasons in summer, wood fires are banned, even in National and Provincial parks with fire rings. Butane cartridges always are allowed but even alcohol stoves get nixed sometimes (tipping and spilling hazard). The most convenient stove is the one you can use.
Such restrictions happen in the U.S. as well. When I was hanging out in CO in '00 there was a widespread open fire ban. I was living with some interns at Mesa Verde National Park. It was so dry you weren't even allowed to smoke cigarettes unless you were in your car in a parking lot. Then a Wednesday night lightning strike on abutting land that had caused an undetected smoldering erupted in high winds on Friday and spread to the park.
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Old 02-27-20, 01:59 PM
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Gas stoves are the best in most situations. The MSR Whisperlite Internationale is still around if you need fuel flexibility. Alcohol stoves can be bought or made, their performance is inferior to gas or multi-fuel stoves and varies widely depending upon specific stove/pot/fuel/pot stand/windscreen, and fuel grade ethanol, while not hard to find, costs as much or more than the proprietary cartridges used by the gas stoves.

If you have used any of these you would not waste time and money on a "wood" stove. Sooty pots (and hands) suck when you have no sink and pumice soap nearby to clean things up. You can scrub a pot clean with sand in the field, but why bother when you can avoid this nuisance entirely by making better gear choices?
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Old 02-27-20, 03:37 PM
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Hope to avoid the black pot syndrome by waiting for the gasification to clear the smoke then place my new 20 ounce stainless steel lidded water cup on to see how fast it boils. Check for ash & soot. Seems simple enough.

The first test there was no charcoal and little ash which was pleasing from a full charge thus no sooty warmed hands or handling the stove. Freak accident? Who knows. We'll see how things go next time.

Thanks folks.
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Old 02-27-20, 03:52 PM
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As for backup I'd like a vacuum tube or parabolic solar cooker and another Coleman 533 Dual Fuel stove. Alcohol stealth camping would be nice above freezing and I have a noisy small light weight butane/propane stove but below freezing it misfires.
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Old 02-27-20, 05:33 PM
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Admittedly I skimmed this..only due to the term "gasifier" being used. In this application, "gasifier" and referring to burning gases is pseudo science(using techy terms to capture attention that mean nothing)..at best.

I've run airtight wood stoves to partially heat my house for many years. When a wood stove gets good and hot it'll actually burn wood-gases(smoke) in the top-inside of the stove. You see a rolling boil of flame that starts and ends above the wood logs...very cool looking actually. This is part of the design in low-emission wood stoves. Some stove use catalytic converters to burn gases.

There's no magic here..the stove described here is a stick/twig stove. Any gases escape unburned just like any other open wood fire.
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Old 02-27-20, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Hoaglund View Post
As for backup I'd like a vacuum tube or parabolic solar cooker and another Coleman 533 Dual Fuel stove. Alcohol stealth camping would be nice above freezing and I have a noisy small light weight butane/propane stove but below freezing it misfires.
Sound thinking. I bought a small woodburning backpacking stove on a whim, but I have yet to use it as my main cooking source. I also have a buddy who owns a Biolite stove.
Liquid fuel stoves are simpler, cleaner, and more efficient. My trips are short enough now days that I can get by with one canister. Bringing a backup liquid fuel stove won't increase your packing weight and size by much. You can get a tiny isobutane canister fuel stove for next to nothing and they really do work well in above freezing temperatures. Mine only cost me 5 bucks and it has worked flawlessly.
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Old 02-27-20, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
In this application, "gasifier" and referring to burning gases is pseudo science(using techy terms to capture attention that mean nothing)..at best.

I've run airtight wood stoves to partially heat my house for many years. When a wood stove gets good and hot it'll actually burn wood-gases(smoke) in the top-inside of the stove.

There's no magic here..the stove described here is a stick/twig stove. Any gases escape unburned just like any other open wood fire.
I was thinking the same thing. That is a good explanation of where gasification is used in relation to burning wood - proper stoves designed as you state.

Originally Posted by Mark Hoaglund View Post
Hope to avoid the black pot syndrome by waiting for the gasification to clear the smoke then place my new 20 ounce stainless steel lidded water cup on to see how fast it boils. Check for ash & soot. Seems simple enough.

The first test there was no charcoal and little ash which was pleasing from a full charge thus no sooty warmed hands or handling the stove. Freak accident? Who knows. We'll see how things go next time.

Thanks folks.
I get the point you're making about wood fires burning "clean". However, that is not going to be the norm.

Case in point - how are you going to add fuel to keep the heat going as you are cooking? If you add "fresh" wood you have a couple things against you:
- if the wood is seasoned it has to go through the soldering phase before it catches on fire. There will be a period of time where the wood is heating through to coals. You are going to have smoke in this phase, no matter what.
- If the wood is green now you have fresh sap to add to the above time and process to get to that hot coal phase.

So now you are waiting for the fire to burn "clean" (and what may appear to your eyes as clean may, over time, prove not to be as soot can still be present) before putting your pot on. Then if you can't finish cooking in the one fill up of the wood you have to add wood, let the new wood heat up and get to the "clean" phase, all the while your pot is off = cooling down as opposed to cooking. That is unless you figure the sooty pot is worth the continuous cooking in which case the "gasification" that you are referring to is not a consideration at all at the end of the day.

One more note is wood like maple and all pines are quite sappy. Pine is frowned upon in fireplaces because of the sap and the soot that accumulates. It causes creosote buildup in chimneys that ends up leading to a lot of chimney fires. Thats the same stuff that will accumulate on your pots. I wouldn't think there would be much of a "fire hazard" unless you neglected your pots enormously, but the gunk build up is going to happen.

The more green the wood and the wetter the wood the less energy it will put out and the more energy it will require to heat up to combustion temp.
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Old 02-27-20, 09:29 PM
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One more quick point -

For sooty pots - use Fast Orange hand cleaner with pumice on the soot.

Apply a generous coat of it, work it around the sooty areas (don't scrub), and let it sit for about 45 minutes. Then start working the scrubbing with your fingers and a real little amount of water just to freshen up the liquid a bit (a few drops should be all you need). The soot and grime should come off fairly easily. Once you have scrubbed it pretty good then go ahead and start rising with a bit of flowing water.

There may be orange spots that end up stuck there that you just can't get out. I wouldn't worry about them. The main thing is to get the black stuff off that can turn everything else you are carrying black.
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Old 02-28-20, 12:34 AM
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The past 50 years I've heated or cooked with wood here in MN & WI were its easy to access. Like top down burning for smokeless fires and burning hotter to overcome creosote chimney fires. A magnet wood stove thermometer was my friend. Read a few in depth books on the subject for background reference. Vehicle wood gasifiers have been around in WWII during rationing and The Mother Earth News did articles on the matter in the 1970s. YT has several variations big and small for different applications. https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...=Wood+gasifier

I'll try Fast Orange hand cleaner with pumice since I don't expect perfection. I sure enjoy hearing your thoughts & learning with you. Hope all's well.
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Old 02-28-20, 08:18 AM
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When I was a kid in boy scouts in the 60s and 70s, the theory was that you applied soap to the outside of the cooking pot before you put the pot on the fire. Then after you are done with your meal the soot cleaned off easier. I did not mention that above, as I assumed everybody knew that.

I stopped doing that after I bought my first camp stove, Coleman fuel did not leave any soot.

But as noted above, I do not do that, my one sooty pot has its own dedicated stuff sack to keep everything else in the pack clean.
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Old 02-28-20, 07:10 PM
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I couldn't recall my BSA soaped pot days, thank you. Gotta wondering: Expense vs free energy? How about using more sustainable energy to offset carbon emissions? Instead of desertification how about reforestation and selective harvesting as other countries have done historically? Whats wrong with carbon neutral free energy & Exxon? Wantta work together and start somewhere for starters? Google YT
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Old 02-28-20, 08:19 PM
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We put soap on a pot before cooking over a fire to see if it will make cleaning after we cook easier.

Is your pot burned. and you cant clean it. here's a little trick my mother taught me. First, you must ensure that there is a little water in the bottom of pan. You sprinkle plenty of baking soda in the bottom and let it sit for a few hours. See how easy it is to clean .. Nice and shiny ...
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Old 02-28-20, 09:02 PM
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I think y'all have lost focus --> we are talking about bicycle touring.
None of this makes any sense for a tour longer than a weekend.
Maybe you can plan a dry weekend and bring your pots home for sand-blasting or whatever
BUT cleaning and/or carrying around sooty pots in your panniers for weeks makes no sense.

Challenge: Head out for a two-week-tour with your only cooking done on wood fire and then report back.
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Old 02-29-20, 02:41 PM
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I think your going to get your wish due to recent developments at home.
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Old 03-02-20, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
The drawbacks of wood fires are size, environmental destruction, and time.
Gas has to be extracted, refined, shipped in containers made of metal that is also extracted, etc. All that causes more destruction than a twig fire in a tin can.
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