Agriculture Making bio-char in batches using old drums

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by DKR, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    This video shows making biochar using waste (wood chips) and a top-burning kiln made from 55 gal drums and other, small drums.

    These kilns seem to be easy to make with minimum tools and will produce a decent amount of char per session.

    You will need to soak the char in water and mix with compost before putting on the garden. I now have access to massive amounts of wood chips here locally, so will follow up with a local school to see if there is any interest for making bio-char for the school gardens.
    SB21, Zimmy, chelloveck and 1 other person like this.
  2. Wildbilly

    Wildbilly Monkey++

    You might want to look into making wood gas, or at least having that option. It can be used to fuel any gasoline engine (generators, cars, tractors, etc.).
    SB21, Zimmy, chelloveck and 2 others like this.
  3. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    The top down kiln burns the wood gas from the waste to increase the heat in the kiln.

    This setup is looking for high heat - vs lower heat used in making charcoal.

    this shows how to make either bio char or regular charcoal (for cooking) using a brick kiln that is a top burner.
    SB21, Zimmy, chelloveck and 2 others like this.
  4. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    The process is pretty much how I cook when I'm traveling and staying in either firewood or fire restricted campsites. Top-Lit Up-Draft (T-LUD) is the style of stove. Strategically punctured gallon paint can full of wood pellets (horse bedding) is enough to cook three or more meals plus popcorn if I snuff it right after cooking. Has produced enough heat to melt the bottom right off a set of Kelly Kettle aluminum pot stands. (They sent me stainless steel replacements)

    What's left after snuffing is mostly biochar with some unburned bits remaining on the bottom. I never really thought about it for the garden. Good stuff!
    SB21, oldawg and Zimmy like this.
  5. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    You now owe the board a photo set and instructions for said pint can stove...

    I would really like one if it works as you say....better than rocket stove.

    l’ll even add a pretty please

    If you want to send me some basic notes I’ll write it up after building one...
    SB21, oldawg and Zimmy like this.
  6. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    I now have a new paint can - a full juice can and a #10 can.
    will build one like the one described earlier with a #10 can "afterburner"

    and one related ^^ with almost the same materials. Be fun to see which one burns cleaner

    Will need to drain the juice can and cut it and the other 2 cans. Hope to have something to shop before my weekend is out. Need to find my aviation snips to cut the metal...

    Should be fun and give me some biochar to get in the ground before a solid freeze.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
    Zimmy likes this.
  7. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

  8. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    Composting bio-char is a whole new idea for me.

    I guess it makes sense for pyrodegradation of the materials to basic minerals but something I can't quite get on my tongue seems off about the theory in direct application.

    Could it be ph? Concentration of mineral salts? Potential toxicity to the fungal biome in the garden? I dunno.....
  9. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    A small amount of biochar = 100 Cu in of space/surface to hold water, nutrients and the like...
  10. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    That's how I set up my fire barrel . On top of 4 cinder blocks , 2 upright , 2 sideways so the air flows thru ,, burns all trash and stuff down to ash . Good info here. I'm going to have to give this a try . Thanks.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Wood ash is EXCELLENT for lawn and garden, tho' I think treated lumber might be contra indicated.. Normal trash, no, stuff that might be toxic to your fave plants is very possible.
  12. RightHand

    RightHand Maslow's Contradiction Moderator Founding Member

    Wood ash is also a great free application to moderate ice and snow. I also use Urea on ice. Caution: Wipe boots before entering the house or the one who washes the floors will make you wish you had
    BTPost likes this.
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    We always used coal ash on the walks and drives until the coal stove was replace with an oil burner. Shoveling became more prevalent --- (Boots did NOT advance from the mud room, or else.)
    BTPost and RightHand like this.
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