Open Source Continuous Charcoal Production Device

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  • Part of the Open Source Fuels Construction Set.
  • Something like this essentially:
  • May be slightly more refined though
  • Use the D3D Ceramic Printer instead of metal barrels to increase core temperature, as well as prevent degredation due to rust.
  • Add automation to the auger via a control circuit, a servo motor, and some sort of sensor
  • Add temperature probes for checking everything is going smoothly + troubleshooting issues
  • Add a feedstock auger system

Progress Map

Industry Standards

  • "Black Carbon" need to see if group is still active?
    • Good large scale goal though.

CSS Lite by Biocoal

Existing Open Source Designs

  • Drive On Wood forum thread - [1]
  • See manually loaded charcoal maker, augered at the bottom. It is started by filling full of charcoal initially, then wood burns at the top and continues the charcoal production -


Hi Marcin,

I am interested in paying you a visit during a workshop. May know of a couple of others interested in attending. Where do you live? I am in the Springfield Missouri area so likely not much more than about 3 hours from you. Also if you are ever in this area I would like to meet you... lunch or garden tour or whatever.

I have not used my charcoal maker in over a year. The only other related development is a grinder to break down the charcoal into a powder after it has come out of the charcoal maker. The grinder is a $90 meat grinder with flywheel and a large $15 AC gear motor out of a junk yard. I am interested in seeing this technology furthered and I believe making it open source is the responsible/right thing to do.

My auger was sourced from a hardware store in Southwest Missouri called Hayspear. I think I paid about $70-$80 for the 4" auger. It did not come with the pipe or sleeve. I picked up a thick walled 4.5" ID galvanized pipe from a scrap metal yard near my house for about $20 and just cut it down to length with a plasma cutter. To prepare the bottom end of the pipe I took a 5" long piece of 1.5" or 2" angle iron and drilled it out to receive a bronze flange bearing in the middle. This angle iron was then welded accost the bottom of the galvanized pipe. The end of the auger would then just slide down the galvanized pipe and fall into the bronze bearing with a little wiggling. A cross section of the end of the pipe was cut out to allow the charcoal to fall into the auger.

Jamming? I have only had it jam once since I built it. It jammed on a piece of half burnt wood. I have 1/4" clearance between the auger and the pipe. The recommended clearance is closer to 1/2 inch on either side of the auger. As long as the only material at the bottom of the auger is charcoal (and therefore easily crushed) jamming is not an issue. Knowing when to turn the auger is the most important part of making sure no wood gets to the auger. Any time the auger is turned before the wood at the air ports is turned to coal you run a risk of jamming. Just make sure the materiel at the air ports is all coal before angering it down and you will be just fine.

FYI: My other related interests are "nutrient dense" or "high brix" food production and permaculture approaches to food production. The majority of my free time in the past couple of years has been in developing about an acre of poor soil in my back yard into high yield orchards and other crops. I have learned amazing things can happen when the poor soil is gradually chalked full of carbon and minerals in the proper ratios. The the bulk of the minerals necessary are usually just a few feet away locked up in sedimentary rock!

Talk to you later, -Joel

  • Think i grabbed everything?

Joel C <> Thu, Mar 24, 2016, 9:37 AM

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