What is Gasification and How Does it Work?
Gasification isn’t a word you hear on a regular basis but is an old process that is gaining new popularity. Like wind turbines and solar power, gasification is a clean, renewable energy that depends on chemical reactions to create synthetic gas or syngas.
The History of Syngas
While you may have never heard of it, gasification has been around since the 1790s when a Scottish engineer named William Murdock produced syngas from coal to light his home. His invention caught on and soon most of the cities in Europe and America began using syngas – or “town gas” to light streets and homes.
Incredibly, World War II gasifiers powered tanks, cars, tractors – wherever petroleum was used – gasifiers were installed. These gasifiers lost a lot of heat, plugged up easily, and needed more manual tinkering. Today’s gasifiers are more efficient, better insulated, and use automated air mixture controls.
How Does Gasification Work?
At its most basic, the process of gasification happens in a closed system using limited oxygen and high heat to convert a carbon-containing fuel into energy. It sounds like combustion but it isn’t. Traditional combustion, like what happens in a wood stove, uses a lot of oxygen to produce heat. Gasification uses only a small amount of oxygen with a lot of heat in a series of stages.
3 Stages of Gasification
- In the first stage, heat essentially “decomposes” the wood, coal, or biomass through a process called pyrolysis – a slow, smoldering fire. As the fuel vaporizes, smoke is created that enters into the secondary combustion chamber.
- During the second stage is where the magic happens. In this chamber, the perfect amount of air is introduced creating a fire that burns up to 2,000 degrees.
- The third stage releases the energy of the smoke and produces energy that is transferred to the water stored in the boiler.
By optimizing this process, gasification uses up to 95% of the fuel energy to provide heat where you need it.
While all wood furnaces burn wood gases, a true gasification system uses a multi-stage downdraft process. This process allows you to control the air to fuel ratio for a cleaner, more efficient burn. Gasification works best with well-seasoned wood.
A wood furnace burns best with wood with a moisture content of around 15-30%. While wood with a higher moisture content can be burned it will cause more tar and creosote build-up. Burning well-seasoned wood will help improve the efficiency and heating performance of your wood furnace.
Optimal energy use
Our G series wood furnace is a downdraft boiler designed to turn well-seasoned wood into heat reducing your fuel costs. With its large firebox, the HeatMasterss G Series can heat longer, reducing your trips to add more wood. Because the refractory floor is designed to give consistent heat from corner to corner the wood never bridges or burns inconsistently causing hang-ups.
The HeatMasterss Advantage
HeatMasterss combines quality workmanship with high performance. As an industry leader, we build our furnaces with the best materials to make the longest-lasting, most rugged furnace available. Each of our furnaces is developed with you in mind.
Our network of professional dealers are at your service to provide installation, advice, and after-sale service whenever you need them.
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