Diy retort kiln

The simplicity of the design of the version 1 retort allowed us to start making charcoal very quickly, but the toll of high heat on the components, the inefficient use of fuel, and the inconsistency of the finished batches left much to be desired. The two areas of weakness in the first design were the loss of heat and the inclusion of oxygen into the retort.

The heat loss was mainly out the single side walls of the retort chamber and up the chimney due to combustion occurring too late in the flow. The increasing oxygen problem was due to heat damage to the lower lid and support bars that opened larger gaps into the retort chamber each time the unit was fired.

Heat damage was worse than expected because so much forced air was required to get the retort up to temperature due to the heat loss issues. Version 2 is a slightly more sophisticated design partly inspired by the work of Baja Rob and Biochar Costa Ricathough they focus more on controlled low temperature burns and extraction of other by-products for small-scale farm applications.

The design uses three nested cylinders, the central to contain the charcoal wood, the second as a combustion chamber, and the outside to add an insulating air layer. The central cylinder is fairly well sealed except for a pipe out the bottom with a valve to direct the wood gas into the combustion chamber. The major improvements are that the retort chamber has a tighter seal and a much larger surface area exposed to the heat.

Another addition is a simple heat shield to protect the bottom of the retort chamber from direct flame. The retort chamber was made from two 16 gal. The valve fabricated for a forge blower by Lester of Dragonfly Iron was intended to control the steam output near the beginning of the cycle but is more useful in sealing off oxygen during cooling. The first run used some reclaimed scraps of old growth fir that had already been reclaimed for another project via Demxx and provided by Peter and Denise.

The finished charcoal was very clean without any white ash which indicates reasonable isolation from oxygen and the inside of the retort chamber was very sooty and free of tar which indicates a reduction environment with high burn temperatures.

Thanks, Dave and Doug! Retort chamber loaded with wood:. Sealed for firing:. Combustion chamber and insulating jacket added:. Chimney and lid:. Wood gas valve and output:. Lid doubles as drying rack for fuel wood:.

Running on wood gas, near the end of the cycle:. The finished batch of charcoal:. Second run with a batch of cedar scraps:. Before and after comparison:. A better compact charcoal kiln design: Charcoal Kiln V.I make charcoal to sell at the local farmers market.

I use two steel drums, retort method, which produces high quality charcoal. Charcoal has many uses. It used for cooking and heat without flames, water filtration, making pyrotechnics and has some medicinal uses.

This is hot, hard work but simple to do. With a little imagination all components can be changed or modified as long as age-old principles are followed. It comes out naturally pitted so there is no need for enhancements for water filtration.

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Concept: Small pieces of quality hardwood are placed in a small steel drum. The small drum is placed into a larger steel drum. Scrap wood is then stacked in the gap between the two and burned. Furnace — 55 gallon steel drum with removable lid. The lid is held on with a quick lever closure ring preferable or the nut and bolt closure ring. Both can be purchased new from and oil distributor or obtained used from trucking companies or large farms etc.

First burn out any residual contents of used drums with an open fire. Any quality hardwood makes great charcoal. I prefer red oak. It comes out very pitted with large cracks. It is easy to light and produces a very even burn when used for cooking. Great for water filtration without enhancements. For pyrotechnics use muscadine or grape vine. Perfect scenario — Cut red oak logs and allow it to dry for nine months or so.

For making a batch cut pieces, 5 inches long, off the end of logs. Quarter it, and split it into 1.

Make Your Own Retort Style Charcoal, by Dan in Alabama

Use a hand axe and cut the bricks into pieces 1. If the pieces are larger then it just adds unnecessary cooking time. Tip on tree selection — Pick a red oak inside a stand of timber that grew at least yards from any open area among older trees.By Vuthisa. Herewith a step-by-step guide to making charcoal from yard waste in your own backyard.

This specific design has been used extensively since to clear Namibian encroachment bush. Having tested this system recently we see no reason why this technique cannot be applied to clear yard waste or any other biomass, including corn cobs. For more information on how this charcoal can sequester CO2 back into the soil instead of being vented into the atmosphere visit our Biochar page.

Even though this is a direct method of making charcoal, it does NOT require complicated opening and closing of air vents or chimneys, due to the vertical stack effect of the narrow drum.

See more on that here. Due to the steepness of the terrain we decided to construct the kiln in sections to be assembled on site, but more on that later. See this new video slideshow outlining the production process:. A single burn will produce between kg to kg lb of charcoal from 0. Colder, wetter climates yield less charcoal.

Instead of increasing your carbon footprint by transporting large amounts of timber to the kiln as with large industrial kilns the kiln is simply rolled by one person to the already prepared and air-dried brush-piles.

What you will need:. You need to construct this kiln with the help of your local light engineering works. Otherwise consider having the kiln built in three sectionswhich is simply bolted together, no welding required and it is easier to transport. Click here to download the plans. Also included in the manual is the specification sheet of a wooden Sieve Chute to screen your own charcoal.

Join our participatory discussion group called the Portable Kiln Google Group. Just print out the plans and hand it over to your local engineering works. We have also launched a new manual. The 3-drum Biochar Retort is more clean burning with the added lid and chimney and the burn is more controlled, and the user has an option to create either Biochar or conventional charcoal.

Click here to view the development of this kiln and how the Design Challenge helped to draw in biochar experts around the world. For more inf ormation on licensing fees, made-to-order options or simply wanting to do backyard trials without paying the license fee, kindly visit our Order page. The plans will outline the exact dimensions- and type of materials to use as well as the guidelines set out below.

How to Make Some Charcoal

The kiln basically consists of a:. The lid sits loosely on top of a cylindrical drum. A length of mild steel sheet, rolled into a drum shape and welded on the seam. Please note: an ordinary litre 55 gal oil drum will not work — or last! This drum has a litre gal capacity and weighs 37kg 81 lb. The larger pieces tend to not pyrolyze completely in the center.

Organize the waste into a separate pile. The volume of waste is not important, although you have to try and fill the drum up with as much yard waste as possible, but typically one should have more than 1 m3 35 ft3 of waste ready. The kiln can accept 0.Moderator, Treatment Free Beekeepers group on Facebook. Xisca - pics! Dry subtropical Mediterranean - My project However loud I tell it, this is never a truth, only my experience Forums: rocket stoves biochar.

Biochar retort kiln - best material to use around heat riser. Mike Daniel. Hello all, I do appreciate the feedback in regards to my last post.

"adam-retort" Vs.1, Charcoal Retort, Terra Preta, Biochar, Briquettes,

I have decided I will probably scrap the cinderblock plan. Now I do have other questions. I am also leaning toward putting this kiln inside of my greenhouse as opposed to right outside which I do have plenty of space forthis way instead of trying to capture the waste heat, the waste heat should just radiate off the kiln directly into the greenhouse.

With this, should I go with a 55 gallon drum around the heat riser, or should I go with firebricks around the heat riser instead? I do have a budget that will allow me to go with either design. I hope my question makes sense, any input would be great.

I am sure you all have seen these designs but I wanted to post a picture as well for further illustration. Michael Cox. I like Interesting, i've made a fair bit of biochar but not used a system quite like that.

diy retort kiln

It looks like the pyrolysis gases as directed back through the burn chamber - as i understand it this is good for getting a clean burn, but not necessary to complete the charing process. At the point that the gases are flammable the pyrolysis is self sustaining in the retort anyway.

As far as building one of these inside a greenhouse goes, i'd be exceptionally wary. My experience of all biochar systems is that they get ferociously hot not something to be messing with in a confined space or near precious plants. I'd be leaning towards brick construction for the thermal mass and see if you can duct the exhaust gases through a bench in the greenhouse - gentle sustained heat seems to be the order of the day.

If you have sufficient mass that your exhaust gases are cool you could even vent some directly into the green house to temporarily raise co2 levels there are serious safety implications here though as you don't want to breath that or lead to a carbon monoxide build up Mike.Adam Retort is a charcoal making kiln designed by Dr.

diy retort kiln

Update on 30th, may : Dr. Chris Adam. Please dont start building the Adam retort Kiln yourslef without buying lecense because without detailed techs specs from Dr. Chris Adam, the kiln will fail for sure and loosing alot of money bricks, labour, steel.

Thanks Chris Adam who Design this Kiln and all other people help me to finish this post. Please let me know if you want me to take down and parts, pictures … of this Post. If you managed running an Adam Retort, Please post comments here to let us know how it works, any problems … Thanks You. Please can you advise me as to how do I get hold of the plans. Any advise or information will be greatly appreciated. Dear sir, Thank you so much for your Adams retort kilm. I saw one of the chimney vented from the top of the kilm to the bottom of the interior part of the kilm ,now 2 questions 1.

Are the two chimneys the same? If so are they lined with steel pipes. Lastly is the roof of the kilm sealed with only a small part left for discharging the product from the kilm?

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Or is it fitted with an isolated metal door which can be opened and close at will? Please advice, Best regards, Karl Maxwell. Chris ADAM.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Adam Retort Bio Char system. The effective carbonization of the biomass takes only 10 hours. Compared to a traditional earth-mount kiln.

This is an adapted Japanese technology to produce high quality and strong charcoal. Previous How to make White charcoal or Japanese Binchotan.

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Next Activated carbon water filters — Drinking Water Treatment. Obed, Have you been able to replicate the Adam Retort in Ghana.I am far away from my hometown in Rockwell, North Carolina, but my experiences here have been very positive so far. The staff here at NCAT has been very welcoming as well as the people around town.

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In the short time I have been here I have learned about some agricultural challenges in the state of Montana, one being a short growing season.

I am also eager to learn about other subjects such as agriculture in the state of Montana, rain water catchment systems,cultivation, planting, and harvesting. That being said, we really want to create a retort kiln that can serve as a demonstration model to local farmers. We will teach these farmers how to create this product in a sustainable and affordable manner, ideally using materials that are readily available and inexpensive.

Measuring a 55 gallon drum to be used to build the oxygen limited retort. Very often, retort kilns will include two main components: a chamber for which pyrolysis will take place, as well as a chamber for which combustion will take place.

According to Merriam-Webster pyrolysis is defined as: chemical change brought about by the action of heat. Generally pyrolysis will also take place in an environment with limited to no oxygen. In our case a 55 gallon drum will be filled with biomass and sealed off to limit the flow of oxygen. For our combustion chamber we will be building a rocket stove composed of mostly firewood. Rocket stoves are very efficient and burn very cleanly. With these types of stoves you can also get creative in the different types of ways you can capture excess heat.

In our case we will be reclaiming as much excess heat as we can to help keep water warm in an aquaponics system, which will be located inside the greenhouse next to where the kiln will be constructed. I am excited to get started on this project, as well as all the other projects I am going to incorporate during my term of service! I am also eager to learn more about this beautiful state!

He has experience in building greenhouses and working at a wind power demonstration site on Beech Mountain, NC. During his Energy Corps term, Mike is developing infrastructure and growing systems on a demonstration farm in addition to providing renewable energy education to local schools.

His work also consist of researching, designing, and installing of renewable energy systems to service green houses. Energy Corps.

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A small demonstration model rocket stove. Why Sustainability Education Starts with Butterflies. Search for:. Recent Posts. Adapting Our Service April 14, Envisioning an Uncertain Future April 6, Here is the World April 2, Changing Seasons and Expectations April 1, Tags Arkansas Pennsylvania.I have moved to other methods but there is room for improvement here. But it is not something you want to do in your backyard except in small quantities.

Basically, wood is placed in a container and cooked. This is exactly the method used be the wood chemical industry before petrochemicals superseded it. Almost like pulling yourself of by your bootstraps but not quite. Start a fire under the container. Begin driving off the gases. Route these gases back under the container.

Ignite the gases with the fire already burning under the container. Use these gases to drive of more gas and ignite without adding any other fuel to the fire. When the gas is all driven off the fire dies. View this video to see how it burn. It burns hot and clean with virtually no ash. It also burns fast. I also have a hard time getting it to welding heat. Small blades such as knives were fine, but I could not seem to generate the heat I needed for the large hunks of steel I forge and weld.

I get my raw material from construction sites. I have never had anybody tell me no when I ask to pick up their cutoff scrap. For me this is ideal raw material. It is scrap that would go in a land fill.

diy retort kiln

It is already the right size for efficient cooking and it has already been dried.