Hi bsoutherland and any others that want to chime in, I really like your style of smokeless furnace set-up, and I’m going to do my best to make something to make charcoal.
Now that you have a bit of experiment time, I’ve curious if you are condensing the white smoke given off thru both of your retorts while your waiting for them to begin their own pyrolisis, or is it just allowed to vent to the atmosphere? I’m trying to determine by asking, how much tar can be accumulated from a single batch? I noticed Keon Vanlooken’s drums in this thread were obviously condensating some major tar, at the pipe, that he seemed to direct into the fire. And there was a video of condensing the white smoke thru a pipe submerged in a water trough…but I have no idea how much tar accumulates from a typical batch. I haven’t noticed any kind of condenser in use on your charcoal maker & I was curious if you were going in that direction at all? Even if your not intending to condense the white vapors, have you an update of how your rig has been processing charcoal?
I am still interested in going smokeless, and as others here at DOW have properly pointed out to me, water vapor & venting of it is a consideration in making charcoal. So I think I’ve got the water removal figured out, I’m hoping to ‘kiln dry in my woodshed’ my firewood, to condition the firewood before loading into the retort. I’m expecting that if I can remove the bulk of the water vapor before loading the retort, while confining huge amounts of heat into a fairly small woodshed/work area, I will be quicker into making charcoal by loading [hopefully very dry] batches, as well as generating kiln dried firewood outright [not necessarily all of it needs used in charcoal making], created by waste heat from the charcoal making process. I too would eventually like to daisychain one batch to the next. So am I on the right track with the ‘kiln dried’ approach? bytheway, I googled ‘kiln dried firewood’…nothing popping up, but solar drying–somewhat different approach.
The thing is, I live in a heavily wooded forest [not a lot of solar available], and these TLUDS & others that have these huge flames, flying embers & intense radiant heat surrounding the work area…well fire breathing smoke stacks… just isn’t realistic for me. I want to make charcoal in the shade! hahahaha