Monday, June 25, 2007

Charcoal loaded in Gunny bags after making ready for sale. The people who have prepared charcoal get Rs. 100 per gunny bag load (weighing about 50 to 60 kgs) of charcoal, it includes the work of cutting the wood and making charcoal.

A bigger mound after preparation of the charcoal.

Demonstration of Charcoal Making

The sticks should be placed inclined, creating a mound.
Here for demonstration sake, the partially charred sticks from a recent charcoal preparation are used. Usually the partially charred sticks will be very less say, 1% to 2% of the whole charcoal preparation mound. They can be reduced if proper monitoring is done during the charcoal preparation. For partially charred sticks, the time taken for charcoal preparation will be less. For any wood, the procedure is same.

A larger mound is created, we can create any size mound, I have seen mounds of 5 meters height too.

Mixing the earth and preparing the paddy straw for laying over the sticks mound. Here the earth and straw is made wet as this mound is smaller in size.

Posted by Picasa

First stage coverup the mound with straw

Posted by Picasa

Light the mound at the top, using easily straw / small sticks

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Making holes at the bottom, by removing some part of the straw and the earth, these holes are important, for release of tar / moisture, etc.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Makeshift houses of the charcoal makers a precaution against, snakes and other harmul insects. It is said snakes and scorpions like the charcoal making places ?! As these people are migrant labourers they make temporary shelters only. Each family makes about Rs. 10,000 to Rs 20,000 in 3 to 4 months time and return to their native places.

A training on Charcoal Making

Recently, I got the opportunity to learn the traditional charcoal making process, which is practiced in India since centuries. I had the interest, because we are also producing charcoal as byproduct, using the woodgas / smoke burner stoves. Their claim is they are able to produce about 30 % charcoal in weight from the quantity of Prosopis Juliflora wood used. The time taken for each mound of charcoal process ranges from 4 days to 10 days based on the size, quantity and dryness of the wood used.

The material required is sticks of specific size in length, dry straw (very less) and the earth.

The method of preparation is easy.

Personal remark: I don't recomend using charcoal as a primary source for energy.