Wood burning lawnmower (experiment)

Picture of Wood burning lawnmower (experiment)
This is an instructable I started about five years ago; it was a fail and only partially worked but here are some pictures and my intro from the time of the build. I thought some people might still find it interesting. I still remember people staring wide-eyed as they drove by my house seeing a mower with a "smokestack". LOL

Woodgas, biogasification, gasification, are all descriptions of this project and the spell check doesn't like any of those words. I've been reading in Farm Show Magazine about people converting their trucks and tractors to run on firewood; and I said "what the @#%?". But I checked things out a little more online a found quite a bit of information on this, especially a FEMA guide released in the late 1980's.
This is a simple process and you don't have to understand the chemistry for it to work. Basically you burn dry wood, grass, coal, etc in a tube at very low oxygen levels which gives off hydrogen and carbon monoxide, both flammable gases, and suck that into the engine to burn like propane. Actually its supposed to burn about as clean a propane too but with less power.

Warning: This project involves combustible gasses, poisonous gasses, hot surfaces and fire! If you plan to build something like this, don't burn yourself, don't do this indoors, and do this sober! Don't add any liquid starter fuel or anything similar; I learned the hard way with a fire ball shooting out of the burn chamber; I lost a good two months growth on my beard and one eyebrow. It's kinda funny since I didn't really get hurt, but it could have been worse.
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Step 1: Remove Gas Tank and Carb

We don't need a gasoline tank anymore and the carburetor that the mower came with, remove these offending items from the engine assembly.

Actually I later found out these things would have been nice to keep to make start-up easier.
to_be_arranged11 months ago
Good enthusiasm. I suggest starting with a charcoal gas producer. Incredibly simple to build, you almost built it here. Search "Gary Gilmore simple fire"...
skaar1 year ago
clip on fins made from pop cans for extra cooling?
"Wood engine" as it was sometimes called never really worked.
During nazi occupation in France many cars were converted to this type of fuel : the technology at the time made them not better than what you applied. Eventually the engine started and cars and small trucks could be driven but with many failures and never exceeding low speed. As I was born just after the war I never actually saw them, but I heard a lot about them in my family that was privileged to be allowed to have a car (as my uncle was a doctor) and such talks came always with jokes and … cursing !…
possibly a pot scrubber made / coarse steel wool would help with filtration

the carb would of also helped with the governing of the engine speed.

Great job on a fail though. You may be able to clean out the combustion chamber and get a new head gasket for cheap ( your local dealer should be able to get you a new gasket with the model, type and code that is stamped into the recoil housing) and create the wood burning lawnmower V. 2
rimar20001 year ago
Good try, good info, good work! Thanks for sharing it.