Thursday, October 28, 2010

GEK-ing Out On Gasification

Julia mentioned her obsession in her recent post about cargo bikes now it's my turn.

Our good friend Phoenix, who is staying with us now, sent me a link a while ago about a gasification stove which is similar to the rocket stoves but burns at near 100% efficiency due to it's ability to burn nearly all of the gases contained in the fuel rather than let them escape through the chimney. Phoenix's primary interest was in the byproduct called biochar which is apparently useful amendment for poor soil transforming it into tera preta.

Phoenix sent me the video below which I'd see before, maybe you have too. It's a "trash" powered Honda Accord. It runs on gas created through gasification and was built by the folks at All Power Labs.

This, and more discussion with Phoenix pointed me to the Gasification Experimentation Kit (GEK) website (It looks like they were at a Maker Fair too.)

From their website:
The GEK is a small scale DIY energy appliance that enables individuals to run typical internal combustion engines on "trash" in a GHG negative manner, through the gasification of waste biomass, and sequestering the byproducts as biochar.
Here are some of the folks from the GEK team showing how one of their power pallets works.

The power pallet is just the GEK system assembled and delivered on a pallet with a four cylinder electric generator attached.

Everything that GEK is doing is open source - from the designs to the software for their gasifier control unit. You can buy complete systems or build your own. If you go the DIY route the cool thing is that you can start with nothing but the cad drawings for creating the pieces then locally source materials and have them cut or you can buy the pre-cut metal components from the GEK folks as flat sheet-metal that you then weld up into tanks, etc. or you can buy welded components and simply bolt them together. I think it's fantastic that they support different price point/capability levels.

Julia and I are eyeing our property thinking about appropriate applications for this technology. They are numerous. More to come.

1 comment:

  1. This was a uber cool post, Eric. I sent a link to it to my three brothers because I think they'd be interested in it. They all three are on the over-brained but under-educated side and love to burn stuff, so this is right up their collective alley!


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