Can Wood Gas Be Compressed & Stored in a Tank?

by Erin Watson-Price
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Wood gas can be compressed and stored in a tank. The composition of wood gas and the necessary fuel-to-air combustion ratio make storing wood gas uneconomical. However, gasifiers used to collect and condense wood gas for immediate use may prove valuable as a future alternative fuel source.

What is Wood Gas?

Wood gas is a generic term to include gas resulting from the combustion of carbon-based biomass, a natural and renewable fuel source. Examples include wood, paper, straw and trash.

Compressing and Storing Wood Gas

Wood gas contains a high level of impurities including carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Between 38.25 percent and 43 percent of the wood gas produced during gasification is combustible. Also, wood gas compresses at a very low pressure. Taken together, when wood gas is compressed, according to the website, a 100-gallon tank of wood gas would only fuel a car for two miles.

Alternative Fuel Source

Wood gas works well as an alternative fuel source if used immediately rather than stored in tanks. World War II tanks used gasifiers to produce fuel. Current applications include power plants and a hobby car. The amount of fuel necessary makes wood gas-fueled cars unwieldy for current mass production, but the increased interest in alternative fuel resources may help increase the efficiency of gasifiers.

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