Coal Gas Vehicles

Contrary to popular belief, vehicles run with natural gas was very common in the early 1900s in America and parts of Europe. However, this gas was not derived from petroleum (as in the case of CNG in modern vehicles) which became intensely scarce during the two World Wars, but from two unconventional sources—wood and coal.

Wood and coal gas are derived from burning wood and coal respectively in a oxygen-deprived environment to produce a gas rich in hydrogen and carbon monoxide. In wood gas vehicles, a wood gas generator called a gasifier, which is essentially a furnace, is tagged along with the vehicle in a trailer. The gas produced by burning wood is fed via pipes directly to the vehicles’ internal combustion engine. This kind of modification became very popular during World War 2 due to severe gasoline shortage.

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Coal Gas Vehicles


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