Gasification is a process that converts organic or fossil based carbonaceous materials into carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. This is achieved by reacting the material at high temperatures, without combustion, with a controlled amount of oxygen and/or steam. The resulting gas mixture is called syngas (from synthesis gas or synthetic gas) or producer gas and is itself a fuel. The power derived from gasification of biomass and combustion of the resultant gas is considered to be a source of renewable energy.
Sounds neat right? Well I thought so and set out to build a prototype gasifier stove for backpacking. The stove would have to be small, lightweight and be able to bring one liter to a rolling boiling within 5 minutes… and be built from “household” items without the use of a machine shop.
For my first attempt I used a small paint tin (which can be bought at any local hardware store or big box home center) and a 19oz soup can. The pot stand was fashioned from hardware wire mesh… the total cost for the materials was about $4. My initial test was a success – gasification took place and the flame was quite impressive for the amount of fuel used.
I have some design changes for the next one, but over all I am super happy with my first attempt. Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions on how I can improve on this design. Cheers 😉