This article provides information about wood gas stoves for the DIY ( Do It Yourself ) home-maker, camper and hiker ( backpacker ). Portable wood-gas stoves can be made at no cost by using easy to find scrap materials. A woodgas stove works by heating up any burnable organic material like wood until the material starts to give off gas, this gas is then mixed with heated air. This mixture is highly flammable and is what is burned by the woodgas stove. A normal fire works similar, but is much less efficient and more smoky. A woodgas stove can be about 10 times more efficient than a normal fire. Therefore, you will use about 10 times less wood for the same amount of heat and light. In addition you will experience much less smoke since the gases are burned much more efficiently with the woodgas stove. A woodgas stove is also more environment friendly than a normal fire since you will put less pollutants into the atmosphere. Some people use the portable stoves indoors, because it is generally smokeless. However, these stoves give off some carbon monoxide and do smoke sometimes – when not burning correctly. Its best used outdoors or in very well ventilated areas. A built in woodgas stove in your home could save electricity and money providing your wood is free.
Here follows a generic illustration/image of the basic working of all portable woodgas stoves:
A woodgas stove is ignited at the top with a fire-starter or by making a small fire on top with fine sticks and dry grass. The fire burns downward. The black material in the image is unburned material. Once the small top fire is hot enough to make the material below it hot enough to start giving off gas, the stove starts to burn the gas where it mixes it with hot air from the Secondary Air Jets. At the Primary Air Adjust you can control the rate at which air is fed to the Flaming Combustion Zone which is the main producer of the gas. The inlet labelled “Air” is where the main air intake is. Air will flow due to the convection formed by the heat inside the stove. However, it is much better to control it with a speed adjustable fan placed at the Air inlet. That way you have more control over the amount of heat you get to your cooking pot. And you have more control over the gas to air ratio by adjusting the fan speed and the Primary Air Adjust. That way you can tune it until it produces no smoke ( in case it smokes ) and gives off the amount of heat you want.