Building A Simple Pyrolyzer

Check out our step-by-step instructional video on how to build a simple pyrolyzer prototype:

Before attempting to build this, be sure to carefully read the safety tips in the previous post:

Pyrolyzer Safety

Materials used:
– A scrap, but new and undamaged, 55 gallon steel barrel, with 2″ and 3/4″ plug holes.
– Two 2-foot sections of six-inch black stove pipe.
– A furnace combustion blower (to simulate a downstream engine).
– A handful of fiberglass insulation
– Some aluminum HVAC tape (for temporary demo use)
– Pop rivets
– Two large, chunky soup cans
– A PC power cord
– Wire nuts
– Some bricks
– Wood chips and chainsaw shavings

Tools used:
– Reciprocating saw with metal blade
– Drill with pop rivet size and 5/8″ size bits
– Pop rivet tool
– Sheet metal shears
– Propane torch for starting

Safety equipment:
– Gloves, again
– Dry fire extinguishers
– Buckets of sand/ash for additional fire safety
– A scrap of wood to cover the stove pipe should the blower fail

In later posts, we’ll show the science and history behind pyrolysis, optimization of your pyrolyzer, and useful things to do with the product gasses.


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6 Comments on "Building A Simple Pyrolyzer"

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[…]   Building A Simple Pyrolyzer […]

Philip Paul
3 years 6 months ago

Excellent work.

I have been looking for a Blog or Website that deals with old school ways to get things done and I am liking what I see here.

Video beats just pictures or drawings. I have been a mechanic for 40 years and can remember my Grandfather, who was a Mill Wright, using all kinds of Old School methods for things. Like using 3 two by fours in a tripod and a come along to lift car engines and such.

I am really looking forward to more so get busy. LOL!!


3 years 6 months ago

I watched your first video on making the pyrolyzer which was pretty cool and a different, much simpler approach than the wood gasifiers we have been building. Though yours is only the first step of the process, it is an interesting step. We have posted some gasifier info on our self-reliance preparedness blog/forum,, now including a link to this new one of yours. This is an admirable project you are undertaking to help folks become more prepared in self-sustainment and self-reliance. Many kudos to you and your team.

3 years 4 months ago

Is this similar to how we’ll hook up the gasifier to the rototiller engine?

2 years 7 months ago

When will part two be posted?

(ed. Hi Pami, great question. We’re trying to knock out a lot of content that is accessible to more people first. This is definitely one of my favorite topics, though, so it hasn’t been lost!)