WWII Gasifiers

Dear Gasification Colleagues

With a resurgence of interest in old WWII gasifiers by this forum, it pays to remember about this period of time. With very few of these gasifiers surviving 50-60 years, the literature can give the reader a confusing and sometimes conflicting understanding of how they worked.

In 1989, I had the opportunity to inspect a collection of WWII gasifiers actually purchased from the original agents that sold them throughout Germany. The collection is complete with original operating manuals, and I understand a huge range of documentation obtained from the government archives.

The owner of the collection is Harold Steppart, and he is often in attendance at biomass conferences in Germany, but I personally have no current contact details. Harold's intentions were to one day set up a working museum and as its now 11 years since I last spoke with him, maybe its already a reality. He is by the way an engine designer and is the best I have met when it comes to discussion on dual fuel engines. The designs of the gasifiers speak for themselves, and give the thin sheet steel available, the skill of their manufacture is clear to see. It is however one thing to be an innovative manufacturer, and another to make a reliable product.

With so many companies making gasifiers in Germany, the railways engineers were given the task to test them, and duds are included in the collection.

In hindsight, its easy to see why some of these designs had problems, but time and materials were not on their side.

The photographs are without text and my only comment is that some only just work given their dimensional parameters. Unfortunately I didn't record the names of the manufactures.

Doug Williams
Fluidyne Gasification.