Can drive a car on wood gas

Anyone can do gasoline, diesel and electricity. We drive with wood!

We all know an internal combustion engine that burns gasoline or diesel, but did you also know that there are automobiles that run on normal firewood?


This vehicle technology is called wood gasification.

The year is 1946. Germany is in ruins. There is a lack of everything, skilled workers, metal, gasoline. The factories were either destroyed or dismantled. Petrol is rarer than ever and urgently needed in agriculture. What do we run our vehicles with now?

Then the era of the wood gasifier began. The wood gasifier was developed as early as 1936, but could never become established with petrol or diesel engines. Now the situation was completely different and no less dramatic.


The wood gasifier,a strange boiler that could be seen on a sidecar (for motorcycles) or on the back of a car. A funny looking construction that has it all. The way it works is quite simple: The wood is heated in the boiler to such an extent that the gas in the wood escapes. This gas is now fed into the gasoline engine and operates the vehicle.

3 kg of dried wood corresponds to 1 liter of gasoline. Not bad at all, is it?


The key is to slow down.

We then start the engine of our car and we can drive off immediately. Unfortunately, it's not that easy here. Our vehicle that drives with wood takes a more or less small eternity before we can start. There is no place here for haste.

We fire up our boiler, wait until the whole thing burns properly and fill our wooden tank above. After about 20 minutes enough gas has escaped and we can start.

But now it is said: There is strength in calm, because the gas escapes slowly and steadily. We drive slowly, take a “break” from time to time and fill up with new wood.

Of course we have one advantage, we see a lot of the landscape. If we want to or not.


The ecological solution to our problems?

No. Wood gasifiers were and are anything but environmentally friendly. Well, we're driving with a renewable raw material, but the emission values ​​are more than bad. And our worldwide tree population is not an invitation to replace our fuel either.

Today the wood gasifier has had its day. The end of the 40s was the heyday of cars that drove with wood. At that time there were more than 500,000 vehicles with this special technology.

But we have to leave one thing to the wood gasifier: It was almost the perfect solution in a time with the greatest deficiency. Easy to build, convert and operate.