I am Jonathan Spreadborough, a back yard mechanic, with a couple of years of college, no degree other than the general hard knocks degree. My main focus for woodgas is as an alternative fuel for use in internal combustion engines.
I started my quest in woodgas at a very young age, around 8 or so, I was an avid reader and my parents subscribed to the Mother Earth News magazine. I read the article of the wood powered truck that Mother Earth News built many, many times.
I made my first woodgas discovery a little later, while on a family camping trip. We had an extra tent pole and I was using it to play with the camp fire, I discovered that if I stuck the pole into the fire, smoke would rise out the other end. I then took a small stick put it in the fire then light the smoke on fire. It was pretty cool, I had a nice flame pole, the flame was 5 feet away from the camp fire.
My woodgas discovery was soon lost in my teen age years and I went on to bigger things like girls, school, military, raising a family and life in general. In 2006 after many years of investigating woodgas off and on I decided I was going to build something with woodgas. I made a small FEMA design gasifier out of a 55 gallon drum, a 6 inch fire tube and a turkey fryer strainer basket. While it was a very crude gasifier, yet I was able to flare the gas. This started my quest to run a motor off of woodgas.
I decided that my gas guzzling motor home was an excellent candidate. I did build a imbert gasifier for my motor home, and it did work. However the extra weight that the oversized cooling system and the gasifier put on the back of my motor home made it pretty undriveable, I was bottoming out on my trailer hitch on just about every bump. So after two miles of driving on woodgas I returned home and parked my motor home. I was faced with redoing the whole unit, or overload springs, probably both. I then realized, wait I drove on wood! I know this works. Why shouldn't I build one I can drive everyday. So my truck became the next logical vehicle.
I also completed a project to run a diesel irrigation pump on woodgas. On a diesel motor unless you install a spark conversion kit, you still need to run some diesel as a pilot fuel. The irrigation pump ran quieter and smother on a woodgas blend than it did on diesel alone. While the project was complete as far as a build goes, the project sponsor did not follow through and get it tested on a dyno so we would have some hard data as to how much reduced diesel consumption and how much actual power loss.
You can contact me by email
jonathan (at) woodgas (dot) net
Sorry got to keep the spam bots from overloading my email!