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April 13, 2023

There’s Still Room for the Fireman, 1940

Wartime scarcity of gasoline, or “petrol” if you’re English, has caused Britain’s inventors to work overtime perfecting cars which will run on other substances. This car, seen in Worcester has been adopted to run on anthracite. The car is first started with petrol, and after about two minutes running is switched over to the anthracite. Consumption, it is claimed, is about 120 miles to a bag of anthracite.

The gas generator was an airtight vessel into which was introduced a charge of wood, charcoal, or anthracite coal. Heat was applied to the fuel either internally or externally to initiate a self-sustaining gassification of the fuel in an oxygen deprived environment. The resulting “woodgas” was piped to the reservoir, or in the case of small engines, directly to the engine carburetor. Wood-gas modified vehicles were therefore technically a “dual fuel” vehicle in that a self-sustaining gassification of the wood charcoal, or coal required another fuel to start the process.

It also said there was heavy filters so it didn’t trash the engine.


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