Burning Smoke: Gasification

Gasification may be an unfamiliar term for many of us but it is central to understanding the efforts to produce smokeless and safe stoves for cooking with biomass fuels as well as making biochar.  

This gasifier was built by Dirk-Jan Rosse to evaluate the grass pellets he produces and to assess how much slag and ash they produce.  It was kludged together with some scrap parts he had lying around his shop and is certainly not a production model.

As I wanted to make a video that would illustrate how gasification actually burns “smoke” in order to produce heat, we ignited the fuel through a port at the bottom of the stove to generate
lots of smoke and then lots of heat.  If we had lit the fuel from the top, it would have been smokeless. This same stove works in two different ways: as a TLUD and as a BLUD.

Pronounced “T-LUD”.  The fuel is ignited from the top and is essentially smokeless.

BLUD: Bottom Lit Up Draft.  Pronounced “B-LUD”. The fuel is ignited from the bottom and up until a certain point generates a lot of smoke.

The TLUD has the advantage of producting biochar while used as a cooking stove.

Here is a diagram to help with some of the terminology of the TLUD.

A diagram by Paul Anderson of the TLUD gasifier stove.


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