In the movie Back to The Future II, Doc Brown fitted the Delorian with a new fuel system, the Mr. Fusion. Growing up, I always thought of this system as the ultimate future of technology and once we were capable of using trash as fuel: anything would be possible. The Mr. Fusion technology is something that I feel encapsulated many of us in our childhood, something we all hoped one day we would have in everyday life.
As it turns out, a system very similar to the Mr. Fusion has been around for a long time – it just never made it into the production lines of any of the big car manufacturers, and the general public has been kept ignorant of its existence. The machine is called a gasifier, and the process isn’t fusion, but gasification.
Gasification is the process of turning the byproduct of pretty much anything that is able to be burned into a gas that can then be carbonated into an engine, similar to an engine running on propane or natural gas. Many engineers and farmers have used and are still currently using gasification to power their homes, cars, and trucks using anything from wood to coffee grounds as fuel.
Here is a general breakdown of how your average gasifier operates:
Now I know what you’re thinking…after seeing Wayne Keith’s wood truck but let me assure you there are answers.
1. That thing is huge! That could never realistically be used as an everyday driver
-Wayne Keith claims that using a gasifier instead of gasoline costs him an extra 2 minutes a day heating it up in the morning.
-Many other engineers have built gasifiers that are much smaller than Keith’s, and many even fit into cars.
-Wayne and many of the other people who you can find on Youtube that have built gasifiers are just single people or very small groups of engineers working together on relatively small budgets. Imagine what Chevy or Ford could do if they were to actually try.
2. That must be terrible for the environment.
-Gasifiers can be run on just about anything that can burn including wood, garbage, charcoal and just about anything you can think of.
-Auburn University ran some tests on Wayne Keith’s truck and found that it got about 7 more miles to the gallon when compared in BTU’s. It also passed California fuel emission standards which are the highest in the country.
Auburn University study: