top of page

Episode 100 S3-19

Aternate Energy: The Gasifier


Special Guest:

The Walls of Freedom Ch 19

Johnny Jacks

Exhausted from their northern trek, the Moore family receives a ride from a friend in a gasifier as The Walls of Freedom adventure continues. Here to talk to us today about the gasifier and it's applications, among other topics is Johnny Jacks author of Absolute Anarchy.

Play the Podcast

Audio Drama Slide end a (YouTube Display Ad) (1800 x 720 px) (2600 x 720 px)(3).png

Download Day After Disaster for FREE!

One week commercial-free access to the audio drama, access to the Changing Earth Archives, behind-the-scenes clips, and more!

A gasifier requires some mechanical aptitude to build. It is a device that you can build yourself but there are some companies that offer a build kit. is one of the companies offering a full setup for purchase. 


A gasifier takes wood and extracts gasses from the wood to use to power an engine. The engine could be gasoline or diesel powered. The gasifier works similarly to a steam engine but instead of using steam you use the gasses that the combustion of the wood produces.


Imagine sitting around a campfire, you put a log on the fire and it heats until it begins to sizzle and pop. When this begins to happen the wood has reached a temperature where the internal gasses begin to release. A gasifier can capture and control these gasses. Then they are inserted into the engine to power it. The engines can be used to power vehicles, tractors, generators, etc.


Technical details from Wikipedia:

" In a gasifier, the carbonaceous material undergoes several different processes:

  1. The dehydration or drying process occurs at around 100 °C. Typically the resulting steam is mixed into the gas flow and may be involved with subsequent chemical reactions, notably the water-gas reaction if the temperature is sufficiently high (see step #5).

  2. The pyrolysis (or devolatilization) process occurs at around 200–300 °C. Volatiles are released and char is produced, resulting in up to 70% weight loss for coal. The process is dependent on the properties of the carbonaceous material and determines the structure and composition of the char, which will then undergo gasification reactions.

  3. The combustion process occurs as the volatile products and some of the char react with oxygen to primarily form carbon dioxide and small amounts of carbon monoxide, which provides heat for the subsequent gasification reactions. Letting C represent a carbon-containing organic compound, the basic reaction here is

  4. The gasification process occurs as the char reacts with steam to produce carbon monoxide and hydrogen, via the reaction

  5. In addition, the reversible gas phase water-gas shift reaction reaches equilibrium very fast at the temperatures in a gasifier. This balances the concentrations of carbon monoxide, steam, carbon dioxide and hydrogen. "  read more...

The technology for the gasifier has been around since the creation of the internal combustion engine. Europe used the gasifier extensively during the great depression to power vehicles.


Volvo had a gasifier powered vehicle in commercial production at one time.

Where you locate the gasifier in relation to the engine is only limited by your imagination. Folks have installed them in truck beds, bumpers, trailers, etc.


In a grid down situation you will need to grow a very big garden to sustain your group. Without gasoline your tractor will be useless. However with a gasifier to power it you are back in business.

You do not need huge logs to power your gasifier. Wood chips and forest debris work just fine. However, you will need to make some engine modifications. The fuel from the gasifier can't be put into your gas tank. The gas needs to be fed directly into the engine.


There is an element of danger as well. You are dealing with volatile gasses. The system needs to stay sealed. If you develop a leak and have a spark nearby it will result in an explosion. You do not want to breath the gasses from a leaky gasifier either. If you use the gasifier to power a generator you may consider building a berm between your home and the gasifier system.


The gasifier can also be used in tandem with water pipes to create a hot water system for your home.


In a SHTF situation the gasifier is quiet but the engine it runs will not be. This may be a red flag for refugees during the "die off," the first 60-90 days. After that you could use it to effectively power all kinds of machines.


The gasifier is one of the practical exercises Johnny presents in his book, a prepper guide called Absolute Anarchy. It is written based on just that, a state of absolute anarchy. He has written the book in five parts: 1. What can happen 2. How to prepare - prepper questions, survival needs, bartering, etc. to get you trained with 49 practical exercises to accomplish that goal 3. Group survival considerations 4. Militia organization and operations 5. Supplemental reading with much more information on how the executive branch of government got so out of control and overpowered the rest of the government. Johnny also provides fact checks, additional exercises and additional information for each chapter at

Additional Topics Discussed in the Interview:

  • National Debt

  • New threats since Absolute Anarchy was completed

  • Community survival

  • Maintaining Judeo-Christian beliefs after the fall

  • How did the US get to the social safety policies it enforces today

  • Current teachings about the history of the US to today's youthful citizens

  • How the federal government uses social programs to control states.


Sara's Survival Tip

Raise your kids to exhibit:

  • Courtesy 

  • Integrity

  • Perseverance

  • Self-Control

  • Indomitable Spirit

Print picture available for purchase at:
Print picture available for purchase at:
Picture from:

Sharing is Caring!

Please Subscribe, Like and Share

Follow us on social media to discuss the novels, audio drama, and latest podcast takeaways.

  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
The Walls of Freedom Ch 19

Johnny Jacks

Johnny Jacks is a product of WWII. Born in Alabama in 1944 five months before D-Day to semi-literate sharecropper parents. In the 1940s and early 1950s, he lived self-reliantly, off-grid, off city water, without indoor plumbing, and without assistance from a welfare state, which, of course, didn’t exist in those days.


On his seventeenth birthday, Johnny enlisted in the Air Force, later transferring to the Army, where he became a Special Forces soldier, a Green Beret, and began a career serving on Special Forces A-teams in Europe, Asia, and Central America, including an assignment to Special Forces A-team 102 in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968. He has lived or spent extended amounts of time in third world areas in Asia, Central and South America, and Africa, interfacing with people who live on the edge of survival.


After retiring from the Army in 1982, he worked for several government agencies over the next twenty-five years in significant positions involving high-level national security and emergency preparedness programs. These positions provided him with knowledge of continuity of government and continuity of operations at the senior level of national leadership.


This combination of off-grid, self-reliant living; guerrilla warfare expertise; and national security policy, which gives him a unique insight into today’s individual and group prepper survival needs and requirements.


Johnny wrote Absolute Anarchy, The Preppers Guide to Surviving the Coming Collapse. Absolute Anarchy is available on Amazon, in paper and Kindle versions, and is the most comprehensive prepper information resource available today.


The books website,, contains a gateway to a large set of web links related to each chapter that vastly expands upon the book’s instructional information. The first four chapters and the supplemental reading are posted on the website.


Johnny is currently making the final editions to Saving Shannon, the first in a series of dystopian novel that he will release in the spring of 2017.

bottom of page