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Wood Gas Generators


Wood gas generators work just like its name. It is a gasification unit that generates gas from wood or charcoal. The produced gas is a mix of atmospheric nitrogen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, traces of methane. This gas, after proper filtering, can be used to run an internal combustion engine or for other purposes.

Dutch John Wood Gasifier

Above you see a typical WW2 gasifier system for cars. It is light-weight and simple.

Below you’ll find some of the best resources, videos and tips available online about building and using your own wood gas generator. If you find it useful then feel free to share this page with your friends.




  • Free Download: Construction of a Simplified Wood Gas Generator: For Fueling Internal Combustion Engines in a Petroleum Emergency (available in print here) by H LaFontaine and F P Zimmerman is a report sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The purpose of this report is to develop detailed, illustrated instructions for the fabrication, installation, and operation of a biomass gasifier unit that is capable of providing emergency fuel for vehicles. These instructions have been prepared as a manual for use by any mechanic who is reasonably proficient in metal fabrication or engine repair.
  • Free Download: Handbook of Biomass Downdraft Gasifier Engine Systems. This is intended as a guide to the design, testing, operation, and manufacture of small-scale (less than 200kW / 270hp) gasifiers.
  • Free Download: Wood gas as engine fuel (also in html for online viewing) by Mechanical Wood Products Branch, Forest Industries Division, FAO Forestry Department of the United Nations. In “Wood Gas as Engine Fuel” FAO presents a summary of modern wood gasification technology and the economics of its application to internal combustion engines. Texts on different aspects of wood gasification, prepared by specialists, are the basis of this publication.


Wood Gasification, As Explained by Wayne Keith

Wayne Keith, “Mr. Wood Gas,” talks with John Rockhold of MOTHER EARTH NEWS about the basics of wood gasification and how it can be used to power a vehicle.

Also check out part one and part two of Wayne Keith’s series on wood gas.

Wood stove runs a generator, produces gasoline, runs a fridge and heats hot water at the same time

This is the most efficient wood stove on the planet it will make gasoline run a generator and a propane fridge, heats hot water and your home at the same time. this system works on any dry organic material.

Homemade gasifier uses wood pellets to run generator

The gasifier uses wood pellets to create flammable mixture that a generator can run on without gasoline. This video shows how it was constructed, how it works, and how to use it from start to finish. Great project for anyone looking for alternative energy or wanting to live off the grid.

Simple woodgas generator for small electric RV generator

This video shows the construction of a simple woodgas generator that can be used to power a small 5 HP RV electric generator.

Wood gas generator running a lawnmower

This video shows a lawnmower running on wood gas. While not very practical for a lawnmower, it is still a nice example of a wood gas system.

Cover photo: Wayne Keith’s Dodge V10 hauling hay with woodgas, KY Metro, CC BY-SA

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