The wood gasifier design presented in this report has as its origin the proven technology used in World War II during actual shortages of gasoline and diesel fuel. and FEMA EMWE We’rk Unit D. APPROVED FOR .. The wood gasifier design presented in this report has as its origin the proven technology. If you google “fema gasifier” there will be several documents that should pop up. Below is an example.

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This simple, stratified, downdraft gasifier unit can be constructed from materials that would be widely available in the United States in a prolonged petroleum crisis.

Because of the wood gasifier’s somewhat low efficiency, the inconvenience of operation, and the potential health fma from toxic fumes, most of such units were abandoned when oil again became available in This includes Wayne Keith whose work I consider to be extraordinary.

This is one page of plahs website that I’ve been looking forward to doing a write-up on. Section 1 describes gasification principles basifier wood gas generators, in general, and gives some historical background about their operation and effectiveness.

I am not aware of an account where a genuine FEMA design has been used to operate an engine over an extended period without problems when I write “extended”, I mean at least hours of engine operation and preferably A proven design concept that works very well and is stable if it’s set up correctly.

Such manufactured gas was used for street lights and was piped into houses for heating, lighting, and cooking. It should be acknowledged that there are alternate technologies such as methane production or use of gaifier fuels for keeping internal combustion engines in operation during a prolonged petroleum crisis; the wood gasifier unit described in this report represents only one solution to the problem.


FEMA Gasifier

In diesel engines, the fuel is sprayed into the combustion chamber as fine droplets which burn as they vaporize. The FEMA gasifier poans only meant as a last resort emergency fuel source so it was never intended to be used as a long term fuel source.

This new technology has several popular names, including ‘stratified, downdraft gasification’ and ‘open top gasification.

While it can do reasonably well with very dry fuel of a very regular size, it will make a lot more tar than the Imbert under all conditions. Gasification is a physicochemical process in which chemical transformations occur along with the conversion gaisfier energy.

The open top design ensures uniform access of air to the pyrolysis region.

FEMA wood gasifier demonstration and DIY specifications (biogas forum at permies)

As the charcoal reacts with the combustion gases, it eventually reaches a very low density and breaks up into a dust containing all of the ash as well as a percentage of the original carbon. This means that combustion should be isolated to smaller region for higher peak temperatures i.

Being an open top air fed design, the fire from the reaction zone can climb straight up through the fuel and waste it and it can cause the gasifier to run very hot and inefficent.

A prototype design of the stratified, downdraft gasifier design has been developed. Much lower tar emissions due to it’s design. No special fuel shape or pretreatment is necessary; any blocky fuel can be used. This simplified design employs a balanced, negative-pressure concept in which the old type of sealed fuel hopper is no longer necessary.

That is how I learned This unit was then mounted onto the front of a gasoline-engine farm tractor and successfully field tested, using wood chips as the only fuel; see Fig. A prototype gasifier unit was fabricated from these instructions.

The goal of this report is to furnish information for building a homemade wood gas generator made out of ordinary, available hardware, in order to get tractors, trucks, and other vehicles operating without delay, if a severe liquid fuel emergency should arise. Therefore, in any case I expect a FEMA design to introduce tar into an engine at a rate many times higher than an Imbert all else equal.


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I mentioned in a previous post some modifications that might be done. If one removes most of the volatiles from wood essentially making charcoal in the processthen gasifier design is not so critical.

A simpler filtering system. The chemical reactions and thermochemical conversions which occur inside a wood gas generator are too long and too complicated to be covered here. Making a combustible gas from coal and wood began around in Europe. Thousands of gas works all over the world were eventually dismantled. He got good results using charred wood chunks in a FEMA gasifier to fuel his trucks. Although I’m still new to working with gasifiers I do have a few feathers under my hat that gave me some basic but solid knowledge on this topic since I’ve acquired some real world “hands on” experience with the construction and the operation of both the Imbert and the FEMA gasifiers plus I’ve read as much as I could on the topic even if some of the technical language was a bit fuzzy to me including watching every video out there I could find.

Detailed, step-by-step procedures are presented in this report for constructing a simplified version of the World War II, Imbert wood gas generator. During operation of this gasifier, air passes uniformly downward through four zones, hence the name ‘stratified: Smoke and gas vented into the atmosphere while new wood was being loaded; the operator bad to be careful not to breathe the unpleasant smoke and toxic fumes.