North Korean Wood Gasification Trucks

Wood Gasification Powered Truck North Korea

Not just for western beatniks and survivalists, trucks utilizing wood gasification technologically are commonly seen in towns and in the countryside outside Pyongyang – photo by Joseph A Ferris III

North Korean guides and authorities frown on tourists taking pictures of the wood powered trucks.  Of the many I have seen I only have three pics in my archives.  The photo above was taken from the open windows of the tea house on the way to Kaesong.

Hamhung City Square, DPRK, North Korea

Wood gas powered truck rumbling through Hamhung’s main square.

Wonsan - Pyongyang Countryside

Passing a wood gas powered truck on the journey from Pyongyang to Wonsan.


UpdateS. Kleine-Ahlbrandt just posted a picture of a North Korean wood gasification truck on her Twitter with the following caption:

“Answer to fuel shortage: “steampunk” wood-burning trucks. They pollute like crazy.”

I have never herd of steampunk; Wikipedia has the following on it:

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Therefore, steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”, in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power. Steampunk perhaps most recognizably features anachronistic technologies or retro-futuristic inventions as people in the 19th century might have envisioned them, and is likewise rooted in the era’s perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, and art. Such technology may include fictional machines like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or the modern authors Philip Pullman, Scott Westerfeld, Stephen Hunt and China Miéville. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of such technology as lighter-than-air airships, analog computers, or such digital mechanical computers as Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine.

Steampunk may also, though not necessarily, incorporate additional elements from the genres of fantasy, horror, historical fiction, alternate history, or other branches of speculative fiction, making it often a hybrid genre. The term steampunk’s first known appearance was in 1987, though it now retroactively refers to many works of fiction created even as far back as the 1950s or 1960s.


2 responses

  1. theflyawayamerican

    I didn’t even know there was such a thing! Love your blog.

    June 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm

  2. Christopher Anderrsen

    This was very common in Europe during WWII because of fuel shortage 🙂

    June 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm

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