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Or if you're rural, an external combustion engine of some sort, so you can keep the lights on with firewood.

If you actually are rural, there are substantially better ways to do this. Most people who live in a rural area have 500+ gallon fuel tanks, either heating oil or propane. Even my mom has one and she's not a "prepper" or technically sophisticated or anything. With a properly set up standby generator (The diesel ones are super quiet) you could be rocking a month long power outage and not even know that the power was out.

Extract gas out of firewood to fuel the combustion engine? Doable but nothing without consideravle knowledge and welding tools. Unless you are prepared. A nice stock of heating oil (doesn't contain degradeavle components as regular diesel now at least in Europe) will also get you through for some time.

You must mean steam engine.

Sterling engine, peltier chip...

You can find peltier chip phone chargers that work by being placed in or near a campfire.

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