Anyone Using a Wood Gasification Boiler?

For topics about heating with other types of fuel such as wood burners, gas furnaces, oil burners and geothermal heat pumps.
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coaledsweat
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Post Wed. Dec. 31, 2008 7:43 pm

mikeandgerry wrote:Their secondary goal is to establish a greener infrastructure that competes with the real future of clean energy production through nuclear fusion technology which is running on a very solid schedule for implementation in about 27 years.
I think we heard this one over 27 years ago, didn't we?
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

CapeCoaler
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Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
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Location: Cape Cod, MA

Post Thu. Jan. 01, 2009 1:14 am

The 'russian stove' or 'masonry heater' is a far better setup if you want to burn wood cleanly.
http://www.mha-net.org/
I am not an engineer, train or otherwise!
I stay at a Holiday Inn at least once a year!
Most of all I do have common sense and a practical application of logic.
Oh, add humor, on the dry side, along with a wee bit 'o sarcasm.

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Freddy
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
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Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined
Location: Orrington, Maine

Post Thu. Jan. 01, 2009 9:51 am

Professor Dick Hill of The University of Maine taught how to properly burn wood and he did that around 30 yrs ago. There has been no change since then. There is only one way to burn it as clean as it can be burned & that is hot & fast. Any other method is just trying to burn it slower or make improperly seasoned wood burn with less creosote. The wood gasification is a good idea for making wood burn slower with not as much pollution, but a good ol' Russian stove or masonry heater is very close to being as clean and efficient.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

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whistlenut
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Post Thu. Jan. 01, 2009 10:37 am

I found an 1982 Eshland 180 Gassification boiler that was removed from a huge residential setting, and thought about rehabilitating it. I called AHS about parts costs and was pleasantly surprised. In case you have never had anything to do with this company, you will be very pleasantly surprised when you might even talk to the owner himself when they answer your call. (I have also had great luck talking to Pete Axeman, EFM, Keystoker, Leisure Line, and Thermo Dymanics.) I was also advised that checking the boiler's steel plate was a very good idea. Long story short, water quality in the boiler wasn't a priority and you can assume that there was a great deal of repair required. Soooooo with that being an issue, I opted out of that situation and continued on with more coal boilers. The process of wood burning is just as Freddy states, 'burn it hot and fast, store the resulting energy in some manner', or creosote your world forever. I just met a local guy who has purchased a Danish gasser in October, and has 3- 500 gal old propane tanks for hot water storage(foam insulated....blah, blah, blah.) It takes up a huge physical space, requires complex computer controls, larger circulators, piping, etc......and still you have to feed it 16 cords a season. His fire lasts about 5 to six hours, and it burns cleanly. It is fed twice a day, not much ash and works fine. If he had used a coal boiler, he would have had about 25 percent of the footprint, auto feeding, and simple controls, piping and pumping and not dealing with 16 cords of wood.
I know many of us have burned wood for years, but when the opportunity to try something else came along, we discovered what the folks from PA had know for decades: coal is not just a four letter word.
I have burned for 31 years now, and still learn daily from my experiences and this forum.
Many of you may know that the Pellet Industry is attempting to get a large number of folks in Maine to change over to Pellet Boilers imported from Bosch, and are setting up distributors for bulk delivery since last Sept.
They sure have enough wood to make pellets out of....for now. What will be the "NEXT BIG THING"?
If a better mousetrap can be found, perhaps they will catch a few more mice. Chime in Freddy, please.

CapeCoaler
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Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
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Location: Cape Cod, MA

Post Fri. Jan. 02, 2009 11:37 am

The russian stove is heat in its most basic but most efficient form!
A true KISS design.
During the New England ice storm my friend had his yearly Christmas party.
No problem big house with the russian heater toasty warm, just had to fire it twice because it was heating the whole house now!
Needs no electric and holds no water burns clean it is a perfect wood burner.
I am not an engineer, train or otherwise!
I stay at a Holiday Inn at least once a year!
Most of all I do have common sense and a practical application of logic.
Oh, add humor, on the dry side, along with a wee bit 'o sarcasm.


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Freddy
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
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Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined
Location: Orrington, Maine

Post Fri. Jan. 02, 2009 3:19 pm

whistlenut wrote:They (Maine) sure have enough wood to make pellets out of....for now.
Yes, and no. While we do have enough wood, there's a problem with supply. We put all wood in one category: fiber. They'd like the pubic to think that pellets are made from waste....sawdust, twigs & branches. Well, the reality is that most are made from fiber, that same fiber that feeds the sawmills, paper mills, and OSB factories. The high cost of diesel drove a bunch of loggers out of business and now there's a shortage, hence the price of pellets now rivals the price of oil. Then toss in rich tree huggers that buy up large kits of land & shut it off to logging. It all adds up to both a shortage and higher prices. I honestly don't know how well the "20% of homes will heat with pellets within five years" plan is going. I'll be real surprised if it works out as hoped.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

Paulie
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Post Fri. Jan. 02, 2009 3:51 pm

I looked into wood gasification boilers. Pretty cool, but it is still wood. And unless you live in the sticks, wood is not cheap.
Anthracite coal came up a winner on all fronts when I was looking for an oil alternative. As far as being green goes, when
you compute production,refining and delivery, even on the CO2 front, coal is greener. Wood though renewable, is pretty
dirty all in all. How renewable is it? For every tree cut down, is another planted? Because if it is not, then it is not renewed.
So, yes it is renewable, but probably not renewed. Anthracite is tough to beat, I have not found a way. Coal On :D

NOPEC
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Post Mon. Jan. 05, 2009 9:37 am

While not a gasification boiler, i'm really happy with my Harman sf-260. it burns wood very cleanly as well as anthracite. when I was shopping I compared it to most of the outdoor boilers and for $2900 + installation I got my "dual fuel" requirement met an I keep about 2500 sqft at 74 degrees on 4 tons of anthracite and 2-4 cords of logs this year. last year I burned 6 cords and 1 ton. no smoke at all on anthracite. only mild smoke when first loading on wood. but I have a 30' chimney. ymmv.

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mikeandgerry
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Post Tue. Jan. 06, 2009 2:51 am

coaledsweat wrote:
mikeandgerry wrote:Their secondary goal is to establish a greener infrastructure that competes with the real future of clean energy production through nuclear fusion technology which is running on a very solid schedule for implementation in about 27 years.
I think we heard this one over 27 years ago, didn't we?
It was discussed in theory in the 70's but the project got real legs just recently with a 30 year timeline to commercial viability.

I wouldn't mock the technology. It's real and it's real complicated. And it could fail. And we will be dead before it is viable and commercialized. It's not your average garage-style coal boiler rehab !
The essence of freedom is the proper limitation of government.

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coaledsweat
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Post Sun. Mar. 01, 2009 3:41 pm

mikeandgerry wrote:
coaledsweat wrote: I think we heard this one over 27 years ago, didn't we?
It was discussed in theory in the 70's but the project got real legs just recently with a 30 year timeline to commercial viability.

I wouldn't mock the technology. It's real and it's real complicated. And it could fail. And we will be dead before it is viable and commercialized. It's not your average garage-style coal boiler rehab !
Not mocking, but find it was hawked big time with no knowledge of results or timeline. You know, like the flying cars everyone would have had by now.
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.


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AdkCoal
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Post Sun. Mar. 01, 2009 10:05 pm

I have a Tarm Wood gsification boiler sitting in my wood storage area which is now my coal storage area.

My Keystoker KAA-2 is now sitting where the Tarm used to sit in the boiler room.

The coal unit is easier to maintain and fuel than the Tarm and I can get fuel for it in the middle of winter if I need to. Pretty hard to get wood up here once the snow arrives. I also discovered that the Tarm really only liked to burn bone dry seasoned wood which made the cost of fueling the Tarm more than a conventional wood boiler.

I found the Tarm to well built and very efficent. It was by no means smokeless but it did not line the chimney with creosote either since the gases were burnt in the refractory. I went to coal because handling the wood at my age was not something that I looked forward to.

If I was installing a new unit, I would go with coal over wood.

WIcoal
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Post Wed. Nov. 11, 2009 11:51 am

mikeandgerry wrote:Where I live in Chenango County, NY there are a lot of wood users and woods. The popularity of the outdoor boiler has picked up recently and is causing the more densely populated municipalities to outlaw them, except for the wood gasification types, due to the smoke nuisance.

I am curious as to how they work and if they work as they say, i.e. nearly smokeless. I am also curious if the wood fire can be controlled better like a coal or pellet device yielding more efficiency. Lastly what's the cost.
Here is a website of an outdoor gasification wood boiler; http://www.naturescomfortllc.org
I heat with a gasification wood furnace in my basement, which does not produce any smoke. I have the model 200 https://www.lamppakuuma.com

lobstafari
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Stove/Furnace Make: Tarm
Stove/Furnace Model: OLD, I believe 2000

Post Sun. Apr. 18, 2010 6:47 am

I have an old Tarm. Its not hooked up properly, the gasifier pot is smashed out of it, and it is in a poorly insulated 1800s brick farmhouse. It smokes on startup, about like any woodstove might, but once the stack temp gets to about 300, you push in the bypass lever to start gasifying. When you look at the chimney outdoors, there is no smoke, and heat trails are visible only when its below zero, otherwise youd never know it was lit. We keep our house in the mid 60s range all winter, and use a fair amount of hot water. Last winter we burned 7 cords of wood. The previous owner installed it, so Im not sure of the cost, but Im sure it was less than $5k. I would recommend one to anybody who had the wood to feed it, and the space to set one up. It seems to burn best with finely split wood, forklift pallets, and dry pine. It has 1" heater hose running into the house from a 1,000 gal tank. If anyone had a picture of what the gasification pot looked like, Im pretty sure I could copy it using refractory cement, and increase the efficiency. Thanks!

lobstafari
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Stove/Furnace Make: Tarm
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Post Tue. Apr. 20, 2010 8:17 am

I answered my own question, Bioheat USA sells the gasification pots, and all other brick for it. Easier to buy them all made up than fabricate.
Last edited by Richard S. on Tue. Apr. 20, 2010 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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