Friday, March 2, 2012

Wood Gas Stove

I finished my wood gasification stove today.  I got the idea to do this from this video.  A wood gas stove converts wood into flammable gas, then, via a literal afterburner, it burns that gas at high heat. It's essentially smokeless, and super efficient.  This kind of stove also has the advantage of being free, because it's made from stuff I was going to throw away anyway, and the fuel is pencil-sized sticks on the ground. To make it, you'll need a soup can, a large peach can and a tuna can.  Here's my version of the stove, with minor modifications from the video: 

The completed stove.  I skipped drilling holes
in favor of a simple can opener and a nail. 
It was quick, and I didn't have to buy any tools.
Sharp edges may be a concern though.

You have to cut the lid off the larger can and keep the rim intact, as this forms the support platform for the burner can.  Eight holes around its base provide combustion air to the burner can.  The burner can also has a series of holes around the base, and more in the bottom to provide combustion air into the burn chamber.  Another ring of about 16 small holes punched 3/4" from the top rim creates the afterburner that ignites the smoke/gasified wood. The tuna can, with about eight holes punched in it for ventilation sits on top.  When you're done, it fits back inside the whole kit.

The components are a 4"-diameter peach can
for combustion air, a 3"-diameter soup can for the
burn chamber, and a tuna fish can as a pot stand.
It's not pretty, but it should be functional.

I think this would make a fun project for Scouts. Everyone brings the necessary materials (including a FULL can of peaches), and tools.  Step one: empty the peaches into a Dutch oven and make a peach cobbler :).  Step two: start punching holes in empty cans.  By the end of the night, you'll have a bunch of camping stoves, lots of bandaged fingers, and Dutch oven peach cobbler! (Don't forget the ice cream)

The tools I used: No electricity required.
The file was useful for flattening the punch-outs left by
the can opener. Online videos say to use a 3/8" bit for
the large holes, and a 1/8" bit for the smaller ones.
I figured a can opener would make similar-sized holes
with less effort. A Dremmel might be useful in the future.

The following week, everyone should bring their new stoves and something to cook, like oatmeal, pasta or a freezer bag meal.  After getting familiar with how it works, you're ready to hit the trail!

Here are instructions for another, albeit non-BSA-approved, stove.

1 comment:

Tory said...

Great idea! I've been wanting to make one for a while myself...