Step 14: Future Plans and Modifications
#1. I still have the goal of using the gasifier to run an engine. I have come a long way in reducing the amount of tar the gasifier produces, but will need to further clean the gas before feeding it into an engine. The remaining tar and any particulates will need to be removed from the gas. So I need to build a scrubbing system, or cyclone separator. The gas should also be cooled before feeding it into an engine. So a radiator or other cooler will need to be added to the system.
#2. I am very seriously considering rebuilding the central core of the gasifier using ceramic materials. The hotter the reaction zone can get, the better the gasification process works. The stainless steel reaction tube absorbs a lot of heat and conducts it away from the reaction zone. Ceramic materials don't conduct heat like metal, and can handle much higher temperatures without melting.
#3. I want to build an automatic shaking system for the shaker grate.
#4. I want to build a moisture removal system for the fuel hopper section. As the fuel moves down the reaction tube, toward the reaction zone, it heats up and moisture is driven out of it. This moisture then condenses on the cool upper section of the tube, and makes the fuel there damp. Damp fuel doesn't burn or gasify well.
#5. I have an idea for an auger feed system to keep the fuel hopper topped off from a larger pellet bin. And maybe another auger system to remove accumulated ash and char from the bottom of the drum. With these in place, the gasifier could run indefinitely.
#6. I am considering installing diesel engine glow plugs in the reaction zone so the gasifier can be started electrically.
#7. I'd like to someday build a larger version of the gasifier that could power a vehicle like a car or truck.
These are just a few of my ideas. I probably have more ideas than I can try out in 10 lifetimes. You can follow the future evolution of this project, and my many other projects, on my web site at http://www.mdpub.com.