DIY





How Much Wood is Need to Run a Wood-Burning Truck?


| 8/22/2012 11:04:00 PM



So... How much wood could a wood-truck chuck if a wood-truck could chuck wood? Let's find out.

Wood chunks 

Quoting Wayne Keith:

"Most people want to know, how much wood does it burn? In controlled studies we did at Auburn University, my Dodge Dakota got about 1.25 miles per pound of dry wood. It turns out that the truck is 37% more efficient on woodgas than gasoline, so it works out to 16 lbs per gallon equivalent."

"Sometimes people jokingly ask how many miles I get per log. When I tell them that my truck goes 5,200 miles per cord they stop laughing. Firewood in most rural areas sells for around $50 per cord. So if I were to buy wood, I could travel for less than a penny per mile. However I have never had to buy firewood or cut a live tree to feed my trucks. I get all the scrap wood I can use from my homemade sawmill. Wood gas is a great fit for me since I have scrap wood laying right in my way."



(Read more about Wayne's wood gas trucks in this feature article: Wood Gas Wizard! - MOTHER EARTH NEWS)

Chris Saenz
8/28/2012 1:21:13 PM

Check out this Mother Earth article on growing 5-10 cords of hybrid poplar per acre! http://www.motherearthnews.com/renewable-energy/hybrid-poplars-zmaz80jazraw.aspx Granted that's half the BTUs of hardwoods. On a weight basis, they claim to produce 36 dry tons per acre every 4 years. At 9 tons/acre annually, a 3 acre woodlot could keep 5 drivers supplied with fuel. Now the ethanol farmland could fuel up to 55 million drivers, versus the 16 million it does now.


Chris Saenz
8/28/2012 12:40:01 PM

Hi T brandt, I know it's conservative, that's the idea. I can't find any studies showing average yields per acre in different management systems. National forests won't be managed for yields, but for maximum forest health. Also don't forget the energy used to harvest the wood and process it. I feel confident there's at least a cord per acre left over. For the farms I think the number is really conservative, I bet a determined farmer could have yields of 2-3 cords per acre easily, far surpassing the fuel output of the cornfields. Should be less work overall and soil enhanced instead of depleted.


Chromie1
8/28/2012 12:35:38 PM

Hi T brandt, I know it's conservative, that's the idea. I can't find any studies showing average yields per acre in different management systems. National forests won't be managed for yields, but for maximum forest health. Also don't forget the energy used to harvest the wood and process it. I feel confident there's at least a cord per acre left over. For the farms I think the number is really conservative, I bet a determined farmer could have yields of 2-3 cords per acre easily, far surpassing the fuel output of the cornfields. Should be less work overall and soil enhanced instead of depleted.




Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard