In an oxygen restricted environment, gasification is the thermal decomposition of organic material at elevated temperatures and its process requires an initial heat supply to get underway and produces syngas which is a mixture of combustible gases mainly methane, complex hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and carbon monoxide. Giving the process a high degree of flexibility, the syngas can be stored or combusted as it is produced. With the help of gasification, the biomass is burnt very efficiently, and its technologically advanced forms can also provide for carbon capture. It might successfully combat climate change and even reduce the carbon emissions.
The process of being turned into carbon monoxide and hydrogen by reaction of the raw material (wood) at high temperatures with a controlled amount of oxygen is called wood gasification. Wood transforms into gas as without oxygen it is unable to burn, so the transformed gas can be used as a fuel in an internal combustion engine.
These wood boilers were primarily designed to be installed either in a utility room or an outbuilding room. To let one easily heat their house and domestic hot water with wood they have high heat outputs and nice big fireboxes. All one needs to do is fill the big firebox with logs of wood and walk away and let the gasification boiler take care of the rest. One can load the boilers right up, burn them hard, let it burn down and reload again if needed so one can call it like batch burners. Produces a low level of emissions or smoke as this is a very efficient way of burning wood.
The important and familiar technology in the 19th and early 20th century was the gasification, and from the earliest days of the development, its potential and practical applicability to internal combustion engine were well-understood. Most practicing technical people would know a good deal about town gas which was produced from coal as a local business, mainly for lighting purposes, at least initially and then the experience in the trade was widespread. Widely used on industrial scales to generate electricity are the gasification of fossil fuels.
COMMON CAUSES OF HIGH WOOD CONSUMPTION
There are quite a few causes of high wood consumption and thankfully many can be resolved but keep in mind that in the form of BTUs (British thermal unit) the wood contains energy. The BTU heat energy is converted from one form, wood, to another, hot water by one’s furnace so that the heat is used in their building or homes. Those BTUs are obviously going somewhere if one’s furnace is consuming the wood. One wants that that energy to go to their home not anywhere else. Some common culprits are;
1. Unseasoned woods can be a big problem as the wood which isn’t seasoned then almost 40% of the woodpile is burnt off just to burn off the wood’s moisture. It doesn’t matter when the woods are cut it isn’t properly seasonal if it isn’t dry enough to burn. In order to get the wood to the moisture level necessary for proper operation in a gasification furnace one’s hardwood must be properly seasoned for at least a year or two.
2. Why is it important to have seasoned firewood? Think of the work and cost one incurred to purchase, haul, cut, split, stack and cover the woodpile, and now just think if somebody steals one’s woodpile and that too 40% of it. The worst thing that can happen to one after so much trouble they go through. The same way one loses as much as 40% of the heating value in their wood to burn off just the moisture in the wood when one burns the green unseasoned woods. Those BTUs exit one’s furnace in the form of steam or condenses one’s furnace. That’s an enormous waste just because one doesn’t plan ahead.
3. The proper operation of the furnace is also affected if the burning wood isn’t properly seasoned.
4. The insulation at the furnace is the next culprit. One will feel the warmth if one touches the skin or roof of their furnace that is because the heat is escaping the furnace, that shouldn’t be the case as manufacturers have designed it to not be insulated but of course, the chimneys and door frame will be too hot to touch.
5. For parasitic heat loss, one should check their underground pipe. To simply measure how much heat is lost there one can do a DELTA-T test.
6. Follow the DELTA –T instructions on locating the source of the heat loss if the test shows that one is losing significant heat. Instructions are;
- In the back of the furnace check the uninsulated pipe
- Check in other colder areas unheated basements or crawl spaces in the uninsulated pipe
- In the underground pipe check for water.
7. If one is still burning more wood after the test shows normal minimal heat loss then consider the following;
- Ash maintenance is important if ash’s level too high it will kill the furnace’s efficiency
- Proper cleaning is required around all outdoor furnaces and one should follow all the guidelines for proper cleaning so that the furnace will get back to its ideal efficiency level.
- Temperatures should always be as per the guidelines and one must never operate their boiler below 140 degrees of temperature.