Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

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Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by pr0wlunwoof » September 22nd, 2019, 11:02 am

Been wanting to do this for a while now. Decided the weather had cooled enough to give it a shot. The theory is to burn the wood in a zero oxygen environment to expel all the gas and moisture which is burned outside the environment to help heat the process and when all flames are gone your left with lump charcoal.

In my implementation I use waste motor oil as my fuel to create the heat/fire. I know it's not the cleanest thing in the world, but since the heat pushes out the contents of the inner cylinder I dont have any contaminants from the fire in the charcoal.

It's a dirty process, but hey it was a beautiful weekend to play outside.ImageImageImageImageImageImage

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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by pr0wlunwoof » September 22nd, 2019, 2:16 pm

Made a modification as the 50 gallon barrel was to heavy for a one man operation. Cut it in two at the top of the seam and then cut the seam off the bottom so it fits like a lid. It's now a whole lot easier to put together and take apart.ImageImageImageImage

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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by ajfoxy » September 22nd, 2019, 4:12 pm

Looks like it works well enough. Nice :kewl:


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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by pr0wlunwoof » September 22nd, 2019, 4:33 pm

It works good. I might put a pipe in the top of the inner cylinder and pipe it down to the fire box. From what I have seen it helps burn the off gasses from the wood.

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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by pr0wlunwoof » October 1st, 2019, 8:06 pm

Made a modification. Took an old propane tank and used it to pressurize the oil. Then added a blower. Resulted in a much hotter flame which ignites the wood gas. Also produced the most charcoal this far.

Future modification will include a waste oil burner which will atomize the oil and produce a jet like burn.ImageImage

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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by pr0wlunwoof » October 5th, 2019, 10:40 am

Charcoal is burning fantastically. Very little temperature change and burned about 3/5 of a shoot over 12 hours. Very little ash in the ash pan. Image

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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by ajfoxy » October 5th, 2019, 3:50 pm

Good when a plan comes together... :kewl:


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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by pr0wlunwoof » October 5th, 2019, 6:10 pm

Brisket success.Image

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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by Big T » October 5th, 2019, 7:28 pm

:needfood: :beer:


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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by pr0wlunwoof » October 11th, 2019, 7:56 pm

New waist oil burner makes the steel all nice and red. Didnt burn long as I'm tired will check in the morning g to see if we made any charcoal.ImageImageImage

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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by pr0wlunwoof » October 13th, 2019, 6:34 am

It didn't work with just the gravity feeding of the oil. I couldnt run the compressor high enough to maintain temp to cause the off burning of the volatile gases.

So to remedy theissues one must supply more fuel. So I got a splitter for the air compressor and another regulator and pressurized the oil tank. That with adjusting the oil to fire regulator I got the temp over 1000c which caused volatile gases to escape and even cause them to ignite. I have not checked charcoal yield since it cooled but I expect great results as it was the best burning of volatile gasses I have had this far.Image

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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by pr0wlunwoof » October 13th, 2019, 7:22 am

Prediction was correct 100% conversion to charcoal. Nice big pieces which break up when handled. Glad I got a repeatable process now. Each batch will yield 3 to 5 cooks on the gravity feed depending of course on temps and times. At this point I think I have about $80 in the whole setup so ROI should be good. Especially when everyone gets a bag of coal for christmas.ImageImage

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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by pr0wlunwoof » October 13th, 2019, 6:00 pm

I did another batch today. Played allot with pressures and flow rates. I broke out my bigger air compressor to run different pressures on oil and air. I think I like the oil around 100 psi and the air around 40 psi. Burned for 3 hours today results tomorrow will be the tell.

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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by Dirtytires » October 13th, 2019, 10:02 pm

This is becoming quite the process.....lol



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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by towtruck » October 13th, 2019, 10:17 pm

I have a gas water heater I recently pulled out of my house and my mind is wandering into the abyss making plans to make it into a retort......I had better get that thing to the scrap yard quick or I may start something my wife will finish for me =))



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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by Pete Mazz » October 14th, 2019, 4:07 am

:beer: :beer: :beer:


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Re: Charcoal Retort. AKA homemade lump charcoal.

Post by pr0wlunwoof » Today, 7:36 am

towtruck wrote:I have a gas water heater I recently pulled out of my house and my mind is wandering into the abyss making plans to make it into a retort......I had better get that thing to the scrap yard quick or I may start something my wife will finish for me =))
It's a fairly simple project to make the retort. I kinda complicated everything with the oil burner, but I didnt wanna fuel the retort with wood as that meant I would have to cut and split wood and feed a fire. You can accomplish the same results with a much simpler setup and the free charcoal is pretty cool.

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