Episode-1392- Woodgas Power for the Home User — 14 Comments

  1. I’m really glad he was able to get these to market. I backed his Kickstarter but it did not get funded. I’m going to have to get one of these.

  2. This has me really excited. My family owns quite a few acres in Alaska that are covered in trees but not on the grid, so a woodgas generator seems like the perfect fit.

    I’m not that mechanically inclined, and was kind of dreading having to figure out how to build my own. I’m happy that someone is producing one that is relatively affordable and easy to transport.

    One thing I might try experimenting with is hooking the water jacket up to a bigger tank and using it as a thermal battery to help heat a building.

    • You mean screwing up something and getting a two foot long methane torch in the face doesn’t sound like fun to you!?

      I’m totally with you – I could not build one of these myself because I don’t have the motor or welding knowledge. But I can throw some wood in a can and follow directions. 🙂

  3. Regarding the history of “corn” Jack is correct that what we think of as corn today came from America with Columbus in 1492. I forgot that.

    The document I was reading for this segment came from 1846 (The Influence of Scarcities and of the High Prices of Wheat on the Mortality of the People of England by William Farr… an old favorite :-)) and that document used the word “corn”. I wondered about that but didn’t take the time to think because I knew that at the time England had a 5 year surplus of wheat. Why pay for corn? Why not pay for wheat? Had I dug into that question I would have been able to clarify this misleading term “corn”.

    Here is a quote from Michael Postan (a major economic historian) editing the Cambridge Economic History of Europe from the Decline of the Roman Empire, published in the 1960s:

    “By the fourteenth century corn cost about twice as much as it did in the tenth. This was largely due to the fact that the corn fields of of Asia Minor were now in the hands of the Turks.”

    Michael Postan was the husband of Eileen Power, the historian who discovered that the primary way to get your husband to love you forever in the Middle Ages was to keep the fleas off of him. 😉 She also wrote a very good paper on the wool trade that helped me understand why King Richard II would cut off exports of wool from England to Flanders. That embargo of wool along with debasing the coinage is what is causing the famine the people are experiencing during this time [1392-93 or so].

    In any case that is an explanation, not an excuse. I’ll try to listen better the next time I ask myself a question. 🙂


    • Alex,
      Thanks for doing this research. I love this part of the show and hit the wiki often to get more information.

    • FYI… the word “cattle” does not necessarily mean “cows” in the Middle Ages. It means livestock as opposed to animals in the wild. It can also mean any moveable property… like “chattel”. It is also related to the economic word “capital”. I can imagine myself forgetting all that so I’m stating it now. Feel free to remind me if I forget.

      I want to get it right so I want to be corrected. I have a thick skin so you aren’t going to hurt my feelings. Just say it.

      Alex Shrugged.

  4. jack the hillbilly chemist he was talking about is mrteslonian on youtube here is the 1st in a series of vids as a matter a fact you mite like to go through his whole channel he has a lot of really good info on his channel but here is a vid that will start a series that will tell you all about what you can do with the gasifier bi products hope this helps some. his channel is really worth browsing through for a few hours

  5. I have not listened yet, but this is an amazing product. Up here in Prince Edward Island, I have a lot of softwood on my property, I use it mainly for heat, (close to 100% wood heat). This would allow for yet more utilization of that resource; to supplement my solar. This is the type of small business Jack speaks often about, one that produces real products right in the U.S.

    Shipping to Canada my be prohibitive however

    • We’re moving to central Maine in the next year. Ship it to me and drive down and pick it up. 😉

      • Central Maine, that is pretty sparsely populated is it not?. Millinocket comes to mind . I’ve drove the #9 back from Boston a while back.

  6. Is this interview not showing up on the mobile app for anyone else or is it just me?

  7. We’re moving to central Maine in the next year. Ship it to me and drive down and pick it up. 😉

  8. To be quite honest I really wasn’t to interested in this topic. I do listen to every podcast. WOW! I should not be surprised but Jack you made me need one. Not want but need. I was all set on doing some solar and battery back ups. You made me have to rethink that. Great show! Keep surprising me.