I am thinking about using open source wiki designs from allpowerlabs to construct a wood gas generator. The motivation came from experiencing a 10 day power outage after super storm Sandy. The utility company could not provide power due to damaged transformers, power lines, and other grid infrastructure. Most of the gasoline service stations did not have backup power to run the pumps and meters and those that did had huge queues to wait through.
Meanwhile there was tons of biomass available in my 2 acre yard. I used some of the wood in our wood stove for heating and some cooking but did not have a way of getting the energy stored in wood and other biomass to electrical energy.
The solution is a wood gas generator that converts the stored solar energy in wood to a gas that can be combusted in a hacked generator to provide electrical power. Allpowerlabs.com has a turn key solution all ready to go but it is beyond my budget, but they offer the open source build it yourself GEK (Gasifier Electricity Kit), mentioned earlier, that I would like to build.
Instead of using the wood gas to run a hacked Briggs and Stratton generator, I would prefer to route it to a BIY (Build It Yourself) fuel cell. Wood gas consists of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and small amounts of other. For fuel considerations hydrogen(H2) and carbon monoxide(CO) are usable.
While molten carbonate and solid oxide fuel cells can use CO, the operating temperatures are too high to be practical and we want to sequester the carbon instead of releasing to atmosphere. I would like to separate the carbon oxides from the wood gas and use the H2 directly into a fuel cell or store it for later use.
I know that we can remove CO2 from the wood gas or exhaust with low cost or Brew it yourself sodium hydroxide (NaOH), via caustic scrubbing.
My question is: How can we cost effectively separate the CO from the wood gas? I am not sure how NaOH reacts with hydrogen gas and CO.