Charcoal pellets / briquettes

You got that right, I’ve taken to draining the carbs on anything that sits thru the winter with no use to save having to unplug the things in the spring.

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I have just read this conversation with interest. Wood pellets can be pyrolyzed to make good fuel for a charcoal gasifier. I have used them in a Kalle style and in Gary’s SimpleFier. My first gasifier vehicle (1987 Toyota pick up) ran on charcoal pellets that I made in an Anila style retort. I chose wood pellet charcoal because I wanted a very consistent fuel source to establish a baseline before experimenting with other size and type of charcoal fuels. I now use scrapwood to make charcoal in an outdoor retort, but I still make some pellet charcoal by putting in a can full of pellets when I load up my wood fired domestic heat boiler. As an aside, to prevent moisture decomposition consider torrefying pellets since torrefied wood is hydrophobic.

Charcoal is a great thing it self. It can power just about anything. I personaly have run a 2t moped and small car on charcoal, so simple and reliable. Many peopld here have run much more. Actualy, when l see a engine, l start thinking how wuld l gasify it :smile: be it wood or charcoal. lts a disease indeed.

Bruce, pellet charcoal is a premium fuel. Love that stuff… but its costy… €€€


Yeah they are getting pricy. I’ve been heating my old house with wood pellets for the last 12 years, they were 6.00 for a 40 lb bag this year, and my old farm house usually eats 200-250 bags per winter.

I think a densified fuel like a wood pellet would be great for driving as you could nearly double the range over wood chunks in the same size hopper. Charing them up is a good idea too, but at 6.00 a bag, the only way that’ll happen is if I own the mill and have access to huge amounts of free sawdust :blush: I was hoping I could get the best of all worlds with pelletized charcoal, but after Gary’s post, looks like that would not be the case.

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It looks like these guys claim that pellets can be made from charcoal without a binder:

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I have 1 experienced answer to that;
The better quality charcoal: the more binder you need…

Lets say: Tar is glue :grin:


We need a place to keep classic one liners like that one. :heart_eyes:

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I hope to build a vehicle version to run on pellets: the range is the driving factor and also the gasifier plant could be built smaller. Along with that would be a simple ram rod type pellet mill id like to try to develop. Id go with a larger diameter to 1/2". If you have wood shops in your area then you have a lifetime of free fuel with binder already in the dust in most cases. I happen to be right next door to a wood products manufacture and he has to pay to get rid of the dust. I can get mountains of the stuff from him.

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Strawman, what you say is true. I double my range if useing pellets instead of chunks.

Matt, l know how a matrix disc pelletmill works, l hava seen meople DIY it, but what is a ramrod press? How does it operate?

Sawdust isnt free here, but its not so pricey either. I wuld love to have a press my self.

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Im sure there is name for this type of mill, but I dont know what they would be called. But basically its just a hardened steal rod tha reciprocates in a diy its a bit slower of a process vs the disc type. Ill see if I cant find a video.

Well once again I think this may turn into a new topic for discussion. But I can certainly build this pellet mill. How thick do you think that plate needs to be. I know the good mills are hardened steel but his looks like he has a fairly thin die plate?

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Not sure on the thickness, all l know is the holes are first conical then stright thain conical again. Once the plate wears out on one side it can be fliped around.
A company sells these matrix discs, at about 100$ a peace, but p dont remember the name of it anymore.
If you get to it, plese post your findings :slight_smile:

The rolers need to have a rough surface to them and thats about it.

I wuld love to have this press, one machine for wood pellets, charcoal pellets and animal feed.

As for charcoal pellets with binder, they might run good in a crosdraft on downdraft gasifier…


Yeah Ive been racking my brain and watching more videos and already come up with a design. For the roller you can use “gear belt pulleys” already grooved. For the disc I can order the stock and what Ill do is cut out a template on the plasma CNC to locate my hole pattern on the plate. Most others I found look like they have very thick plates, so im going to go with a 1" thick plate. Yeah I sean the good ones have a counter bore on the holes. To keep it cheap Im just going to use brass bushings with a grease system. If it really needs solid bearings Ill upgrade it later.

Here is a good DIY build.

For a slow rpm mill brass bushings with enough lubrications shuld work just fine.
I think l read ball bearings on the rolers have a quite short service life (150h?)


Yup I can see that, bearings do not fare well when shocked. I cant imagine that is a smooth ride inside there.

Good video! Pellets look wery nice!

I wonder thugh isnt a stationary matrix with rotateing rolers easyer to make?

I would think spinning the plate instead and having the rollers stationary on the shaft would be stronger. Setting up the rollers on a spinning shaft might be more challenging to make strong.


I allso wonder if the feedstock needs to be aded slowly to the press or is it dumped in all at once and the roller takes all they can handle.

We have one of these Gemco pellet mills , we bought it new with a 22hp diesel engine about a year and a half ago , and didn’t have much luck at getting the charcoal to stay together without a binder , will have to have another play when we get the time .