Wood Gasification – How it Works

Wood Gasification Technology

The ORLAN EKO line of wood gasification boilers work by efficiently breaking wood down into superheated gases. These gases are then burned in the second stage of the process to produce heat. The process, known as pyrolytic wood distillation, offers three times the efficiency of traditional wood stoves.

Advantages of Wood Gasification Boilers

Wood is perfectly stored solar energy. The leaves (or needles) of the tree are solar collectors that utilize the sun’s energy to build the cellulosic carbon:carbon bonds that form the body of the tree. When the tree dies, the wood is cut, split and dried and may be stored without energy loss for many years. Our challenge is to extract the maximum amount of this stored solar energy (in the form of heat) while releasing a minimum of harmful pollutants into the environment.


Our two-stage wood gasification boilers feature an extremely high efficiency rating of 91% (three times the efficiency of tradition stoves), and have extremely low emissions of unburned hydrocarbons (smoke) and particulates (soot, tars and ash). This is accomplished by the second stage of combustion in the refractory lined lower chamber where temperatures reach over 2000F in an oxygen-rich, turbulent environment to completely burn all hydrocarbons, tars and creosote, leaving mainly CO2 and water vapor as combustion products. This 2000+ degree exhaust then pass through the boiler heat exchanger tubes that are surrounded by water which extracts most of the available heat, leaving exhaust temperatures of approximately 300F. This ~1700 degree drop in exhaust temperature is transferred directly to the boiler’s water with 100% efficiency, and the now-hot water is pumped into your home’s central heating system.

Very low smoke and emissions make for an environmentally friendly heating alternative. Wood gasification boilers emit almost no vsible smoke, and very small amounts of wood ash particulates, especially when compared to traditional stoves and boilers.

EKO Line Wood Gasification Process

ORLAN boilers are adapted for burning any wood from wood chips to logs.

Wood Gasification – How it Works

Wood is superheated in a gasification chamber to break down the wood chemistry into its component gases. The process uses high amounts of heat, and restricts the air injected into the chamber to first produce charcoal which then breaks down into gas.

The released gases move into a secondary chamber (combustion chamber) to combine with air and burn cleanly at a high temperature (up to 2000 ºF). This stage produces large amounts of desired heat.

In the last stage, the remaining exhaust gases are piped through a heat exchanger to extract the heat and keep efficiency high. A small amount of remaining exhaust gases exit a smoke stack.