Welcome to Wayne Keith's Woodgas site!

This is a place for woodgassers to talk about mobile gasification, and to learn from woodgas driver Wayne Keith.


Wayne's plans are ready!

Wayne Keith has just published the plans for his famous wood gas truck. Get in on the action now! Order your copy of Have Wood Will Travel.

Start Here.

If you are new to woodgas, we have lots of reading material for you - everything from the classic Imbert gasifier to the modern Stratified Downdraft gasifier design. Browse through our collection of articles on gasification; or you can browse hundreds of useful links and download free gasifier plans!

Indiana Woodgas Meetup 2013

Calling all woodgassers in the Midwest!! We're going back to Indiana for our second annual woodgas meetup. We'll be in Argos, Indiana, May 17-19.

Come and see the wood powered trucks and generators you've been reading about! Wayne Keith, Mike LaRosa, Ron Lemler, Terry Grzyb and many more coming with stuff to show!

Read all about it on the Events forum.

Don't miss this chance to experience woodgas!

Featured Projects

We couldn't decide which truck to feature this month. There are so many builds happening right now, many of them close to completion! So this month, we're featuring all of them.

These are our dedicated builders, folks with a can-do spirit who took on the challenge of making their own gasifier. They've followed along with Wayne Keith's design, and successfully replicated his design. In various stages of completion all the way from finding the materials to learning to operate a brand new gasifier for the first time. These folks have watched the site continue to grow, have asked questions, tested out the videos, and shown that this method works. You can build a gasifier with the information here. They did it! Each of them has been invited to share some of their builds in a summary on this thread. Major props to our hardworking builders, you have shown the way for many to follow!

Read more about the new trucks here.

Burn Free

After 250,000 miles, he's still driving for free. Check out Wayne's new video!

Featured Project

Check out Chris Seymour's charcoal powered van! "Some of my friends and I had started this very simple carbon steel coal gasifier build last fall for my friend Justin A, He wanted one after visiting the all the great guys at the woodgas meet up in Kansas! We modeled it after my coal scooter gasifier. unfortunately, he hurt himself late last year at work and so we put his project on ice until this Spring. He hurt his leg pretty bad, so we took that into consideration when finishing up his unit for his physical abilities. He operates it like a pro!"

Read more about Chris' project here.

Did your membership expire?

If you can't access the Premium area anymore, it may be that your membership has expired. Read more here.

Featured Project

Check out Dutch John's latest woodgas vehicle - an American V8 pickup! "Recently I bought a very difficult to obtain vehicle, at least for Dutch standards. A '73 Chevy C-20 pickup truck with a 454 engine. I know, on your side of the pond such vehicles are shredded or left to rot.... But me and my wife are happy with with this simple, staight forward truck, although there always we be a Volvo around too.

I am in the midst of building the gasifier. Again full stainless. Many details from the Volvo gasifier are used again. The hearth is different, hopper and filter will be square, but following the contours of the cabin."

Read more about DJ's truck here.

Follow our progress!

We're adding new stuff all the time. It's easy to keep up - subscribe to the site via RSS, or visit the What's new page to see what's happening with wood gas.

Featured Project

Check out Ron Lemler's wood gas tractor! "Last fall I began converting a 1978 International 574 a utility size tractor to woodgas, and it's finally finished!! It has really good power (201 cid engine). I ran a 4ft tiller and didnt have any problem, and it runs down the road at a pretty good clip. I have a 40kw PTO generator I'll hook up and see what kind of power output I has. I used my version of the 1981 MEN gasifier, which I have have good success with on the truck conversion I did 2 years ago."

Read more about Ron's project here.

Woodgas in the News

MOTHER EARTH NEWS | April/May 2012

Richard Freudenberger

There’s a wood gasification sensation in Alabama, where Wayne Keith hasn’t used more than a few gallons of gasoline since 2004, thus saving about $40,000.

Back in 2004, Wayne Keith drew a line in the sand at $1.50. That’s the price at which the Alabama native would no longer buy a gallon of gasoline. Keith, who makes his living raising cows, growing hay and milling timber in a small town about 30 miles northeast of Birmingham, wasn’t bluffing. He knew he had an alternative fuel in his backyard: the hundreds of pounds of scrap wood he generates every time he runs his sawmill.

Wayne Keith is headed to Las Vegas in an old Dodge pickup that runs on, of all things, wood. He gets about 1.6 mpp (that’s miles per pound) and reckons he needs about 1,000 pounds to get there. No problem. He’s carrying a chainsaw and a list of lumberyards along the way.

Such are the provisions you need for Escape from Berkeley, a madcap alt-fuel race that mashes up Mad Max and Cannonball Run with a touch of the Darpa Challenge and Burning Man. If the rules are simple — no petroleum allowed, and fuel must be scavenged along the way — the challenge is anything but.

WSFA News | August 4, 2008

Bryan Henry

MONTGOMERY, AL - Going green in a really green Dodge pickup truck. The man behind the color is Wayne Keith, an Alabama cattleman, trucking along with his bio-truck.
"The actual gasifier was used in World War Two," said Keith.
Wayne Keith has modified an old creation, a 'gasifier' to produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide to power his pick up. Keith says he's used switchgrass and even chicken litter for fuel. Today, it's wood. It's a complicated process.
"You put it in there [the gasifier] and you burn it and it breaks down and that sends hydrogen which comes through the rails on either side of the truck. That's the cooling system, and then it goes back through the filter and to the engine," said Alabama Department of Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks.

Biofuels Digest | December 28, 2011

David Bransby

Wood: The Ultimate “Drop-in” Fuel

We hear a lot about “drop-in” fuels these days. While this term typically means an infrastructure-compatible liquid transportation fuel, Wayne Keith has come up with his own version of a “drop-in” fuel: wood, or any other biomass you can deliver in small chunks, that can literally be dropped into the down draft gasifier that powers his pickup.

Wayne Keith driving his wood fired pickup. The gasifier is mounted in the bed behind the driver’s seat, with the gas radiator the full width of the vehicle behind the cab, and the filters in front of the hood.
Alabama Farm News | October 2005

David Bransby

Wayne Keith is not concerned about the gas price hikes caused by the war in Iraq, increased demand from China and India, or hurricane Katrina. Neither is he concerned about the 1968 huge (390 cubic inch) gas-guzzling engine in his farm pickup. In fact, as far as Keith is concerned, the bigger the engine, the better, and he feels that the performance of his truck would be improved if he had an even larger engine. This is because he has retrofitted this vehicle to run on gas produced by partially burning wood.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS | September 16, 2011

John Rockhold

Back in June — wow, how time flies, and wow, how I am overdue to write this up — I had the pleasure of attending a gathering of wood gas gurus.

You may be wondering: What is wood gas, who are these gurus, and what do they do?

Well, basically, they use wood chips to...

WNDU News | June 2, 2011

Mark Peterson

A lot of people complain about the high price of gasoline but Ron Lemler did something about it.

The Marshall County man built a hybrid vehicle—that runs on wood.

“I don’t have to use any gas (gasoline),” said Lemler. “I feel bad for everybody else you know, that has to pay the price, but whenever it (the price of gasoline) goes up more, I just drive my truck more,” said Lemler.

Lemler has a 1960 Ford F250 pickup truck with a complex wood burning contraption bolted down in the back bed.

On this day, Ron poured small pieces of oak into a cylindrical “wood gas generator,” which was located just behind the passenger cab, and actually stood higher than the roof of the cab.

“I used just stuff that we had laying around the shop here; the tank itself was made out of an old water heater and then, so is the filter, and these here were just some old sawdust augers.”

The Gadsden Times | March 29, 2013

John Davidson

Three trucks, each powered by different fuels other than straight gasoline, were on display Friday in the parking lot in front of Tractor Supply Co., 2900 E. Meighan Blvd., and will remain there through Saturday.

Two of the trucks use more conventional fuels, natural gas and propane, but another is powered by wood.

Wayne Keith of Springville modified a 1992 Dodge Dakota so it could run on leftover wood from his farm.

Birmingham News | September 15, 2011

Michael C. Bolton

SPRINGVILLE, Alabama -- If Alabama State Troopers had asked Wayne Keith why he was running his 1993 Dodge Dakota pickup at 90 mph on I-59 in St. Clair County last week, his reply probably would have resulted in a Breathalyzer test.

His story of making a practice run for a land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats would have likely raised suspicion of a little too much barley and hops.

The 61-year-old Springville inventor is indeed at the Bonneville Salt Flats this week. On Wednesday...

New York Times | October 12, 2008

Jesse McKinley

BERKELEY, Calif. — It is a classic road rally, 600 miles from the liberal embrace of Berkeley to the anything-goes lights of Las Vegas. No speeding is allowed, or in some cases even possible. And if you stop to refuel, it had better be in someone’s trash.

On Saturday, five teams began the Escape From Berkeley, maybe the world’s most eco-friendly motor race, driving all manner of alternative-fuel-burning jalopies, roadsters, and even a frying oil-fueled Mercedes-Benz, with a single goal: to complete the race using no petroleum.

Fountain County Neighbor | October 30, 2012

Rebecca Congleton

Fountain County man's truck runs on 'wood gas'

The science behind it is a bit complicated, but according to Richard Cooper, converting his 1998 Dodge Dakota to run on 'wood gas' was as simple as purchasing and following the design plans laid out by Alabama native Wayne Keith, whose website, driveonwood.com gives many resources and provides video tutorials on converting engines to run via "wood gasification".
Cooper, who became interested in the alternative fuel method a while ago, but only recently read about Keith's successes in a magazine, says he invested about $800 in materials to build the wood burning contraption that now sits permanently in the bed of his pickup truck.

Hardwood Matters Magazine | August 2012

Crystal Oldham

One Man’s Journey In Powering Trucks With Renewable, Natural Resources

With gas prices currently pushing around $4.00 per gallon throughout the country, an Alabama man is utilizing the renewable natural resource NHLA members love so much as a means to get him around. Wood. Wood gas, to be exact.

Throughout the years, Wayne Keith has been a do-it-yourselfer, but in 2004, he took his skills to a new level by modifying his first pickup truck to run on wood chunks.

Woodgas.net | August 2008

Jonathan Spreadborough

Wayne Keith is my woodgas mentor. Wayne makes woodgas look easy. His units look nice too. Woodgas is a fact of life for him. He owns and operates a small saw mill and farm in Alabama and uses his waste wood to power his two trucks. Both are considered daily drivers and he has put a lot of miles on woodgas, in fact I doubt anyone in the United States has driven as many miles on wood as he has.

KSPR News | April 12, 2013

Sheena Elzie

HUMANSVILLE, Mo. -- Forget paying high gas prices. One man here found a way to save gas money by driving on wood instead of fuel, and he says you can do it, too.

A piece of scrap wood might not look like it's worth much, but to Doug Brethower it's worth hundreds. That's how much he says he saves when wood is turned into fuel for his truck.

If you take a drive with Brethower, you won ask about gas prices, but rather about how his truck is running without gas.

"It's nice to be able to drive without having to be hooked up to the pipe line," said Brethower.

He uses a homemade system that turns wood scraps into fuel through a process called gasification.

Eat More Chili blog | January 17, 2011

Chris Saenz

Wayne Keith leaned over and said, "What's the fastest you've ever been on wood?"
For most people, the answer would be 0 miles an hour unless they were rolling down the river on a log. But Keith regularly clocks up to 80 miles an hour on his wood-fueled Dodge Dakota and hauls 40-foot gooseneck trailer loads of hay with his wood-powered Ford F250 on his 140-acre Springville, Ala., farm.

The Daily Advocate | November 19, 2012

Linda Moody

GREENVILLE - A young, rural Greenville man has come up with an innovative way to utilize an alternative fuel to power an older Ford pick-up truck he bought.

John Cleveland has used a process called Wood Gasification to produce a flammable gas that, when piped to the engine, acts much as natural gas or propane would to power a vehicle.

"The wood gas generator, also known as a gasifier, is in the bed of my truck and produces this fuel in real time on demand," said the 35-year-old. "My fuel is chunks of wood about the size of a baseball. So, my truck drives on wood."

Cleveland said he has worked on this project since about March of the year and finally drove it for the first time about two months ago.

Mechanical Engineering | February 2012

Michael Abrams

Put the words “wood” and “power” anywhere near each other and the mind turns to images of thick grey smoke billowing out of a chimney or exhaust, filling the air with carbon emissions. But the process that has inspired do-it-yourselfers to do it themselves isn’t burning, per se, but gasification: the decomposition of biomass into gases that can then be burned cleanly. What’s more, these gases can be sent directly into conventional engines much the way natural gas can.

Ozarks Green Energy Development | September 2011

Jim Hart

Wayne Keith, a tinker from Alabama. Who is he and why is he important for such a time as this?

Keith, an unassuming farmer, who has worked in law-enforcement and as a tinker built his own sawmill, has been using wood to fuel his farm trucks and his family vehicle for the past six years. Keith estimates he has driven over 200,000 miles on wood. Keith claims he has never cut down a live tree to fuel his gasifier or heat his home.

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