Matt R's Charcoal Retort V1

quite possibly. :slight_smile: or possibly just solving similar problems in different ways. I’m not really aiming for a shop heater. But either way, the material size is the main issue for me so I have other work to do before it is even a real issue.

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I decided to lay some heavy duty black plastic down on the ground with a tarp on top of that. Make sure it is on higher ground. Pile the Charcoal on top clover it with a tarp and more black plastic. This will be for my main larger stock pile. Rolling the edges up with a 2×4 and weighting the sides down should keep the critters out and keep the Charcoal dry. KISS.

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So split up the first load from that oak at my parrents. Yeah I didnt see full tree the first time. I only saw the top half of it looking at it from the back yard. Yeah that thing is pretty big, probably around 6 loads maybe more. I probably put around 800 to 1000 lbs in the truck and the S-10 is like " Good Grief!! "

So today after I put the Predator 9500 back together today. I used it to run the WEN spliter and spit it all up.

I ran some green wood last night and yeah no issue at all. I over cooked Im pretty sure its a 1:1 retort.

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Yeah I bought a second batt for the Greenworks saw. I ran out of juice yestureday so my step Dad had to break out the Husky’s lol. You know; if my saw was as sharp as his saws though, that Greenworks would have no problem keeping up. When I ran the smaller one that is more comparable in power I noticed no real difference. The only issue is not having enough kW/hours to get the job done. So ordered another 2.5 amp battery as that is what came with my saw and it has decent run time. So now as long I have a charger available I can put one on the charger while running the other battery and can do clean up and load the truck. Ill probably get a third one later and that will be plenty of juice to get thru a day.

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The new battery took 20 minutes from completly dead to full charge. I wonder if I had too, if a 600 / 800 watt inverter ran off the battery of my truck would work. Might just run the engine to drive it off the alternator.

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Whew! Thinking about old line shaft tech in mills… Maybe just find a small engine, run it on charcoal, and repower your saw? Maybe generally useful for other machines you have also?
Rindert

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I do that here. Yeah If I had to I could do that and have done that with a corded saw. I had a little green Sports Man genny from tractor supply. I ran a lot of wood gas through that little thing. It saved my butt a lot in the early days too.

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Oh yeah I already have one to run the Ametek blowers off a 12 Volt battery. This is in the event I let my off grid system completely die. So I always have a few back up lead acids around that are charged.

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Unfortunatly this didnt show up on camera very well. However once I got this process going you could see a solid beam of fire shooting out the center tube.

I had the flash on and that was HOT so I didnt want to be fiddling around there too long. Im going to try and get a short video of this in the future. But its really cool to see when its gasifying like that.



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Matt, I’ve shared this video before, well, this guy is cooking charcoal for fertilizer, here you can see the gas burning coming out below, my stove works the same way.

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When it goes into that mode. Do you find that the gas is released in a short amount of time. Ive only ran this four times now. But am noticing when it goes into that mode it dumps that gas out failry quick and then its done.

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What is interesting about that design, is that he doesn’t have a pipe and just vents out the bottom. Which means if you fill up the barrel with wet wood, you can probably get it to air dry in the sun first and not have to refill the barrel. You just move it to the cooker.

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Yes Matt your observations are correct. In my 3 cubic yard kiln its all over in less thain an hour.

The carbonisation is a exothermic process so when you hit the right point, wood starts to pirolise its self, with no need from external heat sorce. As a matter of fact, in this stage, too much aditional heat can cause a chain reaction l call “supernova” when you get to meltdown temps.
3 ways to prevent this.

  • have ununiform size wood. Thick peaces are still “cold” inside while the thin ones carbonise. This will strech the burn time but lower the intensity.
  • mix a few raw, green peaces in. Similar to the first one plus the extra steam dilutes the gas some.
    Both of these can be hit and miss thugh, sometime the thick or green peaces dont char, but are a hands off aproach.
    Nowdays I find it best to just damp the air somehow, let the gas burn but burn extra rich and cooler. You have to babysit it to be there when this needs to be done thugh…
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LOL Yup its about a perfect explenation.

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I think The Allmighty One must have been watching over me when I started experimenting with coffee can camp stoves. I’ve never had a TLUD go out of control, overheat, explode… Sometimes they can make a lot of smoke, if you screw it up. I even made coke once by mixing coal and wood chunks. It stank extremely. But that was all.
Rindert

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Super Nova mode

https://youtu.be/eWn-mdGPSe8?list=TLPQMjgwMjIwMjSxFyscFlEf0Q&t=426

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You can tell how efficient it is just from how clean the inside of the retort is. There’s not even a chance for creosote to stick to the walls.

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Yeah that thing is kinda scary at times. When it starts roaring and trembling like the space shuttle, one of these times its going to launch. lol

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I’m going to be modifying the 55 gallon retort I built, I wonder if the hot water heater pipe will be too big and let too much oxygen in, it’s 3.5" I think.

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