Building Gasifier Unit & Fuel Hopper

Figure 2-2 shows an exploded view of the gas generator unit and the fuel hopper; the list of materials is given in Table 2-1 (all figures and tables mentioned in Sect. 2 are presented at the end of Sect. 2). Only the dimensions of the fire tube (Item 1A) must be reasonably close; all other dimensions and materials can be substituted as long as complete airtightness is maintained. In the following instructions, all item numbers refer both to Fig.
2-2 and to Table 2-1.

The prototype unit described in this report was constructed for use with a 35-hp gasoline engine; the unit has a fire tube diameter of 6 in. (as determined from Table 2-2).
A gas generator unit containing a fire tube up to 9-in, diameter (i.e., a gasifier unit for fueling engines up to about 65 hp) can be constructed from the following instructions. If your engine requires a fire tube diameter of 10 in. or more, use a 55-gal drum for the gas unit and another 55-gal drum for the fuel hopper.

The following fabrication procedure is very general and can be applied to the construction of gas generator units of any size; however, the specific dimensions which are given in the parts list and in the instructions below are for this particular prototype unit. All accompanying photographs were taken during the actual assembly of the prototype unit.
The fabrication procedure is as follows:

1. Using the displacement or horsepower rating of the engine to be fueled by the gasifier unit, determine the dimensions (inside diameter and length) of the fire tube (Item 1A) from Table 2-2. Fabricate a cylindrical tube or cut a length of correctly sized pipe to match the dimensions from Table 2-2. (For the prototype gasifier unit illustrated in this report, a 6-in.-diam firetube was used; its length was 19 in.)

2. The circular top plate (Item 2A) should be cut to a diameter equal to the outside diameter of the gasifier housing drum (Item 3A) at its top. A circular hole should then be cut in the center of the top plate; the diameter of this hole must be equal to the outside diameter of the fire tube. The fire tube (Item 1A) should the be welded at a right angle to the top plate (Item 2A) as shown in Fig. 2-3.

3. The grate (Item 4A) should be made from a stainless steel mixing bowl or colander.
Approximately 125 holes with diameters of 1/2 in. should be drilled in the bottom and up the sides of the mixing bowl; see Fig. 2-4. A U-bolt (Item 5A) should be welded horizontally to the side of the grate, 2 in. from its bottom. This U-bolt will be interlocked with the shaker mechanism (Item 12A) in a later step.

4. The support chains (Item 6A) are to be attached to the grate in three evenly spaced holes drilled under the lip of the mixing bowl or colander; see Fig. 2-5. These chains are to be connected to the top plate (Item 2A) with eyebolts (Item 7A), as shown in Fig. 2-6. Each eyebolt should have two nuts, one on each side of the top •••••, so that the eyebolts can be adjusted to the proper length. When assembled, the bottom of the firetube should be 1.25 in. above the bottom of the mixing bowl.

5. A hole equal to the outside diameter of the ash cleanout port (Item 8A) should be cut into the side of the gasifier housing drum (Item 3A); the bottom edge of this hole should be about 1/2 in. from the bottom of the drum. Because of the thin wall thickness of oil drums and garbage cans, welding is not recommended; brazing such parts to the drums or cans will ensure both strength and airtightness (see Fig. 2-7).

6. Two holes, equal to the outside diameters of the ignition ports (Item 10A), are to be cut with their centers at a distance from the top of the housing drum (Item 3A) equal to the firetube length less 7 in. (19 in. less 7 in. equals 12 in. for this prototype unit); the holes should be placed opposite each other as shown in Fig. 2-2. The ignition ports should be attached to the wall of the housing drum by brazing.

7. When the ash cleanout port (Item 8A) and the ignition ports (Item 10A) have been attached to the wall of the gasifier housing drum (Item 3A), they should then be closed with pipe caps, Items 9A and 11A respectively. The threads of the pipe caps should be first coated with high temperature silicone (Item 27A) to ensure airtightness. An optional steel crossbar welded to the pipe cap will reduce the effort required to open these caps later.

8. The shaker assembly (Item 12A) is shown in Fig. 2-8. The 1/2-in. pipe (Item 1AA) should be brazed into the side of the housing drum (Item 3A), 1.5 inches from the bottom of the drum; the length of this pipe which protrudes into the drum must be chosen so that the upright bar (Item 2AA) is in line with the U-bolt (Item 5A) on the grate. Likewise, the length of the upright bar must be selected so as to connect into the U-bolt.

9. Weld the upright bar (Item 2AA) to the head of the bolt (Item 3AA). The threaded end of the bolt should be ground down or flattened on one side, as shown in Fig. 2-9, to positively interlock with a slot to be drilled and filed in the handle (Item 4AA). The handle can be formed or bent into any desired or convenient shape.

10. A hole should be drilled in the pipe cap (Item 7AA) so that there is a close fit between this hole and the bolt (Item 3AA). The close fit will help to ensure airtightness.

11. Before assembling the shaker, as shown in Fig. 2-8, coat the bolt (Item 3AA) with a small amount of grease. Before inserting the bolt, fill the pipe (Item 1AA) with high temperature silicone (Item 27A) to ensure airtightness. Tighten the nuts (Item 6AA) so that the position of the handle (Item 4AA) is maintained by friction, yet is capable of being turned and agitated during cleanout or stationary operation.

12. Fabricate the supports (Item 13A) for the gasifier unit housing drum (Item 3A) out of rectangular, iron bar stock. The shape and height of the support flanges must be determined by the frame of the vehicle to which the gasifier is to be mounted. The supports can either be bolted to the bottom and side with the 1/4-in. bolts (Item 14A) or can be brazed directly to the drum; see Fig. 2-10. Remember to seal all bolt holes for airtightness.

13. Completely cover the bottom of the housing drum (Item 3A) with 1/2 in. of hydraulic cement (Item 28A). The cement should also be applied to the inside of the drum for about 5 in. up the inside walls near the bottom. All edges should be rounded for easy ash removal.

14. The fuel hopper (Item 15A) is to be made from a second container with its bottom up as shown in Fig. 2-11. Remove the bottom, leaving a 1/4-in. lip around the circumference.

15. A garden hose (Item 17A) should be cut to a length equal to the circumference of the fuel hopper (Item 15A) and should then be slit along its entire length. It should be placed over the edge of the fuel hopper from which the bottom was removed. This will prevent injury to the operator when adding wood fuel to the unit. To insure close fit of the garbage can lid (Item 16A), a piece of weather stripping (Item 18A) should be attached under the lid where it makes contact with the fuel hopper.

16. Cut four support bars (Item 19A) to lengths 2.5 in. longer than the height of the fuel hopper (Item 15A). Drill a 3/8-in. hole in each end of all four support bars; these holes should be centered 3/4 in. from the ends. Bend 2 in. of each end of these support bars over at a right angle; then, mount them evenly spaced around the fuel hopper (Item 15A) with 1/4-in. bolts (Item 20A). One of the bends on each support bar should be as close to the lower edge of the fuel hopper as possible.

17. Cut four metal triangular standoffs (Item 21A) and braze, weld, or rivet them flat against the edge of the garbage can lid (Item 16A) as shown in Fig. 2-12; they must be aligned with the four support bars (Item 19A) attached to the fuel hopper. During operation, the garbage can lid must have • minimum 3/4-in. opening for air passage; the standoffs should provide this clearance when they are engaged into the holes in the top edges of the support bars (Item 19A); see Fig. 2-13.

18. Two eye hooks (Item 22A) should be attached to opposite sides of the garbage can lid (Item 16A). Two screen door springs (Item 23A) should be attached to the garbage can handles and used under tension to keep the top lid (Item 16A) either open or closed.

19. Cut the oil drum lock ring (Item 24A) to the exact circumference of the top plate (Item 2A) so that it will fit snugly around the gasifier unit housing drum (Item 3A).

20. Cut four 2 by 2 by 1/4-in. tabs (Item 25A); then, braze these tabs to the lock ring (Item 24A), evenly spaced and in alignment with the support bars (Item 19A) on the fuel hopper. Drill a 3/8-in. hole in each tab to align with the holes in the fuel hopper support bars (Item 19A). The lock ring is shown in Fig. 2-14.

21. The connecting pipe (Item 29A) between the gasifier unit and the filter unit should be attached to the gasifier housing drum (Item 3A) at a point 6 in. below the top of the drum. This pipe must be a minimum of 2-in. in diameter and should be at least 6 ft long for cooling purposes. At least one of the ends of this pipe must be removable for cleaning and maintenance. On this prototype unit, an airtight electrical conduit connector was used; this connection is visible in Fig. 2-1. Many similar plumbing devices are available and can be used if they are suitable for operation at 400°F and above. The pipe can also be welded or brazed directly to the housing drum.

22. When assembling the gasifier unit, the upright bar (Item 2AA) on the shaker assembly must be placed inside the U-bolt (Item 5A) on the grate.

23. The lock ring will then clamp the gasifier unit housing drum (Item 3A) and the top plate (Item 2A) together. The fuel hopper support bars (Item 19A) must be attached to the tabs (Item 25A) on the lock ring with bolts (Item 26A). High temperature silicone (Item 27A) should be applied to all edges to make an airtight connection. The lock ring connections are shown in the lower portion of Fig. 2-13.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply