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close this bookBiomass Gasification - Technology and Utilisation (Individual Authors)
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View the documentOverview of Gasification Technology
View the documentBiomass as Gasification Fuel
View the documentGasification for Energy Supply
View the documentGasification History and Development
View the documentGasification Process
View the documentProducer Gas and it´s Constituents
View the documentHazards with Producer Gas
Open this folder and view contentsGas Producers (Gasifiers)
Open this folder and view contentsImpact of Fuel Properties on Gasification
Open this folder and view contentsSuitability of Some Biomass Fuels
Open this folder and view contentsProducer Gas Drive Engines
View the documentConditioning of Producer Gas
View the documentTroubles with Gasification System
View the documentLiteratures on Gasification

Gasification History and Development

The history of gasification dates back to seventeenth century. Since the conception of idea, gasification has passed through several phases of development. Yearwise development of the technology is given below.


Thomas Shirley conducted crude experiments with carborated hydrogen


Dean Clayton obtained coal gas from pyrolitic experiment


Robert Gardner obtained the first patent with regard to gasification


First confirmed use of producer gas reported, Murdoc used the gas generated from coal to light a room in his house. Since then, for many years coal gas was used for cooking and heating


Lampodium proved the possibility of using waste gases escaping from charring of wood


Fourcroy found the water gas by reaction of water with a hot carbon


developed first gas producer which uses oil as fuel


First commercially used gasifier was built in France


Real breakthrough in technology with introduction of Siemens gasifier. This gasifier is considered to be first successful unit


Gasifiers were successfully used with engines for power generation


First 600 hp gasifier was exhibited in Paris. Thereafter, larger engines upto 5400 hp were put into service


J.W. Parker run a passenger vehicle with producer gas

after 1901

Image In the period 1901-1920, many gasifier-engine systems were sold and used for power and electricity generation


Image Nazi Germany accelerated effort to convert existing vehicles to producer gas drive as part of plan for national security and independence from imported oil


Began development for small automotive and portable gas producer. British and French Government felt that automotive charcoal gas producer is more suitable for their colonies where supply of gasoline was scarce and wood that could charred to charcoal was readily available


Image About 2,50,000 vehicles were registered in the Sweden. Out of them, 90 % were converted to producer gas drive. Almost all of the 20,000 tractors were operated on producer gas. 40 % of the fuel used was wood and remainder charcoal

After 1945

After end of second world war, with plentiful gasoline and diesel available at cheap cost, gasificaton technology lost glory and importance

1950- 1970

During this decades, gasification was " Forgotten Technology ". Many goverments in europe to felt that consumption of wood at the prevailing rate will reduce the forest, creating several environmental problems

After 1970

The year 1970´s brought a renewed interest in the technology for power generation at small scale. Since then work is also concentrated to use fuels other than wood and charcoal.