Gas-Generator Motor Vehicle

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gas-Generator Motor Vehicle


a motor vehicle whose engine operates on gas produced from solid fuel in a gas generator mounted on its chassis. In the USSR work on the gas-generator motor vehicle was begun in 1923, and serial production of the ZIS-13 gas-generator motor vehicle was organized in 1938. Wood blocks (mainly hardwood, with a moisture content of 20-25 percent) or lignite are used as fuel. It is also possible to use charcoal, peat, semicoke, anthracite, and other materials. Gas-generator motor vehicles are designed to be used in areas far from the centers of liquid-fuel production. Gas-generator motor vehicles were widely used during the Great Patriotic War (1941-45) when there was an acute shortage of liquid fuel for motor transportation.

The gas-producing unit of the motor vehicle consists of a gas generator, a cleaning and cooling device, and a gas-mixing device. The power of an engine operating on generator gas is considerably less than that of a gasoline-powered engine because the heat of combustion of a gas-air mixture (2.4-2.5 kilojoules per cu m, or 580-600 calories per cu m) is less than that of a gasoline-air mixture (3.5-3.6 kilojoules per cu m, or 830-850 calories per cu m). An increase in the ratio may partially compensate for these power losses, since generator gas is less inclined to predetonate, and an increase in the performance qualities of the motor vehicle can be achieved by changing the final drive ratio.

The relatively great weight of a generator unit (approximately 350 kg) decreases the usable load-carrying capacity of gas-generator motor vehicles. The gas-generator motor vehicle based on the ZIL-164 motor vehicle (load-carrying capacity, 3,500 kg; engine power, 47 kilowatts) consumes 100-140 kg of birch chips with a moisture content of 25 percent per 100 km of use.


Tokarev, G. G. Gazogeneratornye avtomobili. Moscow, 1955.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.