Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



Biomass gasification, the thermal process of exracting combustible gasses from organic matter, is an established procedure that has been used for many years to provide fuel in various applications. It is a potential source of renewable fuel and has proven useful as a crisis energy source. This thesis investigates the primary engineering science principles involved in gasifier-engine system design. It arises from and supplements a WKU mechanical engineering senior project. The senior project has developed a wood gasification system designed to power a riding lawn mower. The thesis reiews theory-based design and separates it from informal hit and miss approaches—rule of thumb design. It presents an overview of gasifier-engine systems and a discussion of accepted data and scientific theory that contribute to their design. The process of fuel generation, the cleaning and cooling of the fuel, and the engine interface are all investigated. Various concerns involved in designing a gasifier-engine system are addressed. This thesis will assist the creation of gasifier-engine systems via systematic engineering design by consolidating and categorizing some of the existing information on biomass gasification.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Chris Byrne


Biomaterials | Heat Transfer, Combustion | Mechanical Engineering