Sweden Adapts 75,000 Motors • to Producer Gas S CARCITY of imported
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liquid motor fuel has prompted an extensive use of producer-gas traction in Sweden. Long before the war Swedish engineers had evolved effective types of plant, so it was easy to change over quickly to producer gas when the war broke out.
To-day, practically all Swedish motor traffic is handled by vehicles operated on gas generated from charcoal or wood. At the end of March, there were 35,000 lorries, 3,400 buses and about 28,500 cars. Before the war, the corresponding figures were about 63,000, 5,100 and 180,000. Limitations have had to be imposed owing to the growing scarcity of lubricants and rubber, which has made it necessary to confine the traffic to strictly utilitarian purposes.
During the past 2,1 years, in which producer gas has been employed on a big scale in Sweden, systems and equipment have probably reached a more advanced degree of efficiency than in any other country. There are suitable sets for every kind of motor vehicle. The time required for lighting the generator and producing the gas has been considerably shortened, the minimum being half a minute. About 60 per cent, of the plants are using charcoal as fuel, whilst about 40 per cent, are burning " uncoaled " wood. The latter has been found especially suitable for heavy vehicles.
Producer gas has also been found serviceable in Sweden for tractors. Of the country's 20,000, over 4,000 had been convtrteci for producer gas—
generally with wood as fuel— at the end of 1941, and during this year the number is expected to rise to about 8,000. The remainder are being run meanwhile mainly on domestic spirit fuel.
It is estimated that the total consumption, including industrial plants, is about 2,500,000 cubic . metres (88,000,000 cubic ft.) of charcoal and over 2,000,000 cubic metres (71,000,000 cubic ft.) of wood a year. To meet this demand, new methods for the production of charcoal have been evolved, which enable the by-products to be recovered as well. It is estimated that there are about 3,000 charcoal furnaces in the country at present. Drivers in Sweden havg to-day just as good a service system as before the war. Practically all the former tank stations are selling solid fuel and repairers have accepted the new conditions.
Thanks to the country's forests and the Swede's natural technical bent, Sweden has succeeded in mastering fairly satisfactorily the transport problem that arose with the severance of the oil supply through the war.