Gasification History via Wikipedia
The process of producing energy using the gasification method has been in use for more than 180 years. During that time coal and peat were used to power these plants. Initially developed to produce town gas for lighting and cooking in the 1800s, this was replaced by electricity and natural gas, it was also used in blast furnaces but the bigger role was played in the production of synthetic chemicals where it has been in use since the 1920s.
During both world wars, especially the World War II, the need of gasification produced fuel reemerged due to the shortage of petroleum. Wood gas generators, called Gasogene or Gazogène, were used to power motor vehicles in Europe. By 1945 there were trucks, buses and agricultural machines that were powered by gasification. It is estimated that there were close to 9,000,000 vehicles running on producer gas all over the world.