Charcoal!

I found an easy way to make charcoal assuming you have ready access to wood and like to cook out.

I was grilling out yesterday and had found some wood from a tree at our church. I decided to see what would happen and when the food was done I threw it in the grill.

I use a small Webber which is important because it needs to seal. I let the wood burn and when the flames died down I knew that it was mostly done off gassing. I put the lid on and sealed it up. Then I let it cool.

This was pretty dry wood logs about the size of your fist. I wouldn’t go any bigger. Greener wood would take longer.

I live in the city so wood is a little hard to come by. I do see palates in alleys sometimes, I might experiment with that.

Lump Charcoal is $24 a bag in my area. Assuming that you find the wood, this is a simple method to never run out of charcoal. You can actually make more than you use and get ahead.

@Scruffy_Nerfherder
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53d

recap:

  1. Finish grilling your food.
  2. Fill grill with wood.
  3. Enjoy fire with beer, make smores maybe.
  4. When the wood is blackened and ash has started to form, AND the flames have died down, seal the grill and let it cool.
  5. Step 5 Profit.
@iamtanmay
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23d

Good plan !

@squashkin
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33d

nice to see some practical low tech experiments

Charcoal can also be used to filter water although idk how that all works, it’s very useful to have on hand

@iamtanmay
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23d

Also, if you have nitrite from household chemicals and sulfur from garden supplies, you can grind and mix in 80-15-5 ratio to make gunpowder for fireworks or bullets

@Scruffy_Nerfherder
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23d

You grind up charcoal into small granules. Squirt an acid on it, like lemon juice. IDK how much, prolly just wet it.

@iamtanmay
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23d

Activated charcoal is full of nanoholes. It traps everything that’s not water.

Right way to filter unpolluted water, as I learned in primary school is stack of filter material like pebbles, then smaller rocks, then sand, then activated charcoal top to bottom, with a hole at the bottom of the container to let clean water drip through.

The water can still have microorganisms in it. An easy way to kill those is to put it in any transparent plastic bottle and then leave it in the sun for a day. The UV from the sun will disinfect it.

If you your water is seawater or contains industrial or sewage runoff, such as drugs, chemicals, heavy metals, then this isn’t enough. Those molecules are 100,000 times smaller than virii or bacteria.

In that case, I would recommend collecting the water in a plastic bottle, and leaning the mouth at 45 to 60 degrees into another bottle. Put some rocks or plinths to keep them in place like this and leave in the sun or start a fire under container 1 (then it must be made from heat resistant material). The water evaporating from 1 will collect in 2. Provided 2 was clean, you will have pure H20 even from a polluted source.

sj_zero
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33d

Plus in 1 you get free heavy metals, drugs, and chemicals. Win/win!

@iamtanmay
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13d

Bwahahahahhahahhahahahahahhahaha !!

@SirAleric
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33d

Dang! I know in medieval times they would light a great big fire and heap tons of green wood onto it, then cover it with earth to let it smolder. They would watch it for days to make sure it didn’t flame up and ruin the process.

Sounds like what you’ve done is the same thing on a small scale, with even less maintenance. How long did it take for the process to complete after you sealed the grill?

@Scruffy_Nerfherder
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23d

The wood was really dry. I think I only watched it 1/2 hr to 45 minutes before I put out the fire.

Some of the wood didn’t complete convert, but Its good enough for me.

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