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DOW Library

The Drive On Wood Library contains articles, plans, research papers and other useful resources on gasification. Enjoy!

Newbie reference

The Basics Of Woodgas

What is woodgas anyway? A good explanation from Steve Unruh, followed by Jim Mason's in-depth article.

Essential Reading

Your woodgas education starts here. These classics of woodgas literature are referenced all the time by woodgassers. Study well!


Some questions come up over and over again in woodgas discussions. Here's a few of the most frequent.


Aren't you going to use up all the trees? Not at all. Let's take a closer look at the US wood supply.

Woodgas Donor Vehicles

Here are some of the criteria we use to decide which vehicle to convert to woodgas. It depends a lot on your usage, whether for fast highway traveling or heavy load hauling.

Free Gasifier Plans

Here's a list of gasifier plans you can download, completely free! Build something simple to get your feet wet or use this as your starting point for a gasifier of your own design.


You say you can weld, sure you can. But are you getting the best quality joints? Is your project full of pinholes? You don't want it to fall apart at the first bump in the road. Check out the best practices for welding your project.

Modern designs

The Stratified Downdraft Gasifier

An article explaining the operating principles of the FEMA or stratified downdraft gasifier.

Handbook of Biomass Downdraft Gasifier Engine Systems

This classic from Tom Reed covers most aspects of a gasification system, and outlines how to design and construct your own system.

Fluidyne Special Project

Doug Williams of Fluidyne systems has applied many years of experience to this 25th anniversary design.

The Missouri Wood Gasifier

Here's a simple gasifier from Raymond Rissler. He designed it to burn sawdust. Detailed drawings and descriptions.

Dobson Gasifier

Larry Dobson released this gasifier design to the public domain, and it is being used by the Open Source Ecology project.

Auburn University Efficiency Tests

Wayne Keith has the most efficient gasifier the road today. This test compared running a Dodge Dakota on gasoline, wood, plastic, and chicken litter. They achieved 37% better fuel economy on wood than gasoline!

WWII designs & history

The Imbert Gasifier

Basic overview of the classic Imbert designed gasifier. This is still the basis for most gasifier designs.

Inverted V Hearth Dimensions

Dimensions for an inverted V hearth, used in the later Swedish designs.

Driving On Wood: The Lost Art of Driving Without Gasoline

A good overview of some WWII units, with a modern interpretation at the end.

Producer Gas and the Australian Motorist

There were wartime shortages in Australia too... here's a short history of woodgas down under.

Old publications

1949 | Gengas: The Swedish Classic On Wood Fueled Vehicles

After the war, the collective knowledge about gasification was recorded in a few massive works. Gengas, originally written in Swedish, has been translated and republished by the Biomass Energy Foundation.

1939 | The Modern Portable Gas Producer

This gem found by Pete Stanitis covers several of the early WWII systems in detail.

1907 | A Treatise on Producer Gas and Gas Producers

Back at the turn of the century, vehicles running on wood was years away - but producer gas (woodgas) was used for large single piston engines, as well as town gas, before natural gas was discovered.

Gasifier theory & operation

Encyclopedia Of Biomass Thermal Conversion

The first major work by Tom Reed, this work has chapters written by many of the top gasification experts of the day. Very useful reading.

World Bank Tech Paper #296

An overview of gasification, fairly comprehensive with several systems detailed.

FAO 72

An in depth manual on operating gasifiers, from the Food and Agriculture Organization, Forestry divison. Excellent reading.

The effects of Superficial Velocity on gasifier efficiency

Superficial velocity is basically how "fast" your gasifier is running. Important concept to learn, especially for constricted hearth designs.

Turn Down Ratio

Turn down ratio is the difference between full output and minimum output on a gasifier. This has a lot to do with the design of the unit, and a wide ratio is very good for vehicle applications.

Small Scale Gas Producer-Engine Systems

Ali Kaupp's original work, republished by the Biomass Energy Foundation. Covers both older and modern (1970's) systems, and a general overview of gasification.

Fast Pyrolysis

A powerpoint presentation on the decomposition of wood by pyrolysis. The result is bio-oil, a potentially useful product.

Reverse Water Gas Shift Reaction

The Water-gas shift happens when carbon monoxide and water vapor react to form carbon dioxide and hydrogen. This article discusses the reversal of this effect.

Syngas for fuel cell use

Iowa State

Biomass Gasifier Tars: Their Nature, Formation, and Conversion


Gasification case studies

A Survey of Biomass Gasification 2001

Survey by the Biomass Energy Foundation of the current (2001) gasification scene, various modern projects discussed and "databased".

Availability and Sustainability of Wood Resources for Energy Generation in the United States

American Forest & Paper Association

Biomass gasification for use in agriculture and forestry in Serbia


A look at small scale gasification communities by Gasification Australia


Viking Gasifier installation in Denmark

powerpoint, case study

Taylor Biomass Gasification Process for Synthesis Gas

Taylor and NREL/BEF


A Woodgas Stove For Developing Countries

Woodgas stove design from the Biomass Energy Foundation.

Midge Gasifier Camp Stove

An easy woodgas stove you can make from a tin can.



Here are some links to other woodgas resources.


These are the books we don't have at DOW....

CGPL/Indian Institute of Science

A full section of gasification reference papers from the Indian Institute of Science.


WeChar Act of 2009

Proposed bill to convert waste biomass to biochar and energy.

Dr David Bransby's Bio

Biomass advocate and partner with Wayne Keith.

Harry LaFontaine news article 1983

1983 article on woodgas pioneer Harry LaFontaine. Rare photographs of his system.

Square Baler Gearbox: Service Manual

Some folks are now using gearboxes from square balers to build wood chunkers. Here's the service manual if you need to rebuild one.

About Drive On Wood

A community of gasification enthusiasts hosted by Wayne Keith, resident expert & woodgas pioneer.

Drive On Wood is a partnership of Wayne Keith & Chris Saenz.

Contact Us

Drive On Wood
924 Chestnut Dr
Frankfort, KY 40601

Phone: 502-514-WOOD
Email: [email protected]