Gas production – Producer Gas

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    Does anyone know of current regulations for the production of producer gas?
    Producer gas is a gas made from distilling wood or other low value material in a retort to produce carbon monoxide. Sometimes steam is injected to add hydrogen to the mixture.
    This was a form of low-cost gas production and was used widely until replaced by natural gas .
    In South Australia we have a working Humphrey pump – an interesting machine which is a combined internal combustion engine and pump which uses the water as the piston. It is the only operable pump of its kind in the world and is powered by producer gas made on site.

    The person who opens the video, Doug Fieldhouse, is 94 years old so a lot of effort has been put into capturing his knowledge.
    The video uses historical footage to show the pump in operation because the pump has been forced to shut down because the producer gas system has been condemned.
    The problem: There is no current regulation for managing the production of producer gas (note producer gas is high in carbon monoxide so leaks and confined spaces are a serious problem but these have been solved – the problem is the producer plant)
    This and all other coal gas production processes are extinct (in Australia) and all regulations have lapsed. They still exist in archives but are not current.
    The engineers have searched for something similar and have decided that because the gas contains hydrogen (from the steam injected) they must apply the hydrogen regulations. They understand that this is inappropriate but it is all they have.
    To convert the system to meet hydrogen standards is far too expensive for a volunteer organisation and, in practical term, unnecessary.
    This type of gas was used throughout the UK, Europe and the Americas.
    Does anyone know of any current regulations for producer gas which can be used as examples when talking to Australian regulators?


    The link to video mentioned in my previous post didn’t show up so I am trying again.

    See the link below.

    Neil Hogg

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