It’s been in my head for a few weeks. Could a refrigerator compressor be used to condense woodgas into a liquid state for storage in propane tanks. I’m thinking a water filter for the particulates and standard propane mechanical set-up stuff. It would provide the storage and portability. Anyone out there know how similar woodgas is to propane or natural gas? Btu’s and chemical makeup?

This is the best idea I’ve seen on this page in a long time. Chase this one down. Coal gasification / liquefaction was done on a large scale in the U.S. and may still be done as far as I know. But it never really got commercial. But this was the economics of oil and nothing else I think. The process worked…and it gave us a liquid fuel which is what the world is geared up to handle. Good thought. Like you say, it may have been done or maybe it is being done. Either way, the idea is a good one.

The composition of the producer gas depends on the method used for gasification but generally and under ideal conditions the gas consists of the following.. co carbon monoxide 20 to 30% by volume h2 hydrogen 10-25% ch4 methane 0-4% carbon dioxide 2-15% n2 nitrogen 45-60% generally the gas is used as it is produced either for heating or as a fuel for engines. off hand i see no reason that it could not be compressed and stored although since its a mix of gasses that might present a difficulty. for instance methane takes 5000 psi to liquify so Im not sure, I haven’t heard of anyone storing the gas good question..

And I’m wondering if under high centrifugal force the gases couldn’t be somewhat separated? ( Centrifugal separation techniques ) Perhaps with some cooling present too. The CO2 is the densest and so that one might be easy. And couldn’t you combine some of the hydrogen with the nitrogen to make a fertilizer ( ammonia ) that could be injected right into the ground? Then you would be left with some pretty impressive gases to do heating jobs.

If the centrifuge thing would work it might make more sense to use the gas from the wood to run the centrifuge and just feed it air, the lightest component of which is hydrogen and very desirable as an energy source. Then store the hydrogen which contains much more energy per cu. ft. As far as using propane tanks for storage they are only rated for pressures of 200 or 250 psi depending on their date of manufacture. At this pressure you could store about 4000 gal. of gas in a 500 gal.tank.

Before you guys go too much further you may wish to look up the critical pressure and the critical temperature of the various gases involved. This sets the limits on what can be done at what temperatures and pressures. Any thermodynamics text will have these values and explain the ideas. I may have to look there myself.

If the gas is cooled then compressed in a porous container, only the hydrogen will pass through so it can be separated out. Like a fuel cell membrane. I am also working on the idea that because hydrogen is lighter than air, a pipe attached to a kite will allow the hydrogen to be sucked down from way up in the sky an used.