Category Archives: Biochar Kilns

The Micro Moxham biochar maker

Micro Moxham biochar maker by Gibbo. Permaculture

Micro Moxham biochar maker by Gibbo.

I went along to the Djanbung permaculture expo to give Gibbo a hand presenting his annual biochar workshop. What a blast the sun was shinning we had 12 or so enthusiastic biochar apprentices and then Gibbo brought out the wow factor.

YouTube Preview Image

He calls it the Micro Moxham. Yep a simple and cheap DIY biochar maker that has all the same characteristics of the Moxham at 100th of the price. This little modification to a 44 gallon drum is priceless. Here is a you tube video of gibbo telling me about it.

Gibbo is a fantastic biochar presenter and he has a great way to get the points across with drawings and diagrams.

Micro Moxham biochar maker by Gibbo teaching BiocharWe went through how to make biochar at home and also what to look out for when making it. Then we had a big session on enriching biochar and how to use it in a permaculture setting. Every one was totally enjoying this great workshop.

The food was great with the magical permaculture veggies in everything tasting so fresh.

Gibbo and a few of the apprentices talking about biochar units

The theory then bled into the practical and out came the fire. Oh yeah you cant have a workshop without the fire.

Here is Gibbo chilling out behind the Micro Moxham which we all loaded with Bamboo for fun and a big finale.

It was such a pleasure. We all got to create our own style of biochar in the Milo tins that Geoff Moxham came up with in the old days. So we found thing to pyrolyze, put them in the Milo tins dropped them in the Micro Moxham then tried to fish them out once they were done. Nothing like a skill tester with consequences.


The Micro Moxham biochar maker

Barefoot biochar is what we call ourselves and it was fitting for me to get everyone into bare-feet and stomp on the char once we tipped over the Micro Moxham biochar maker. Some folks were scared but after they saw me easily walking on the coals their bravery bolstered and they gave it a shot. NO H and S but no one was injured in the making of this real good time.

Whats left behind is great biochar

Hope you enjoyed

Charmaster Dolph Cooke

Explaining the stumpy-800

Menshed Men take up the challenge of biochar.

Menshed men are the next big thing in the front line of spreading the word about Biochar.
Everyone remembers how I first got involved with the menshed right ? If not read here.

Well on the 6th of April 2014 I traveled up to Nunda in Queensland to bring the men of the menshed first hand appreciation of biochar and how it will be a big player in planetary repair and sustainable living. Below I have some photo’s taken by various parties at Nunda Menshed meeting that day.


 MENSHED Stumpy tlud / rocket stove can be purchased at


Menshed stumpy biochar and menshed-800


Menshed Stumpy parts list-800




I met with Dr Paul Wildman  for a quick breakfast and a debrief of what they expected from the visit. Then we headed to the  Nunda Activity Centre.

We were show around the facilities and then we were lead into a presentation area where I begun to weave my magic. I spoke about the problems of today and every problem had at least 2 or more Biochar solutions. The atmosphere built into a knowing that we can surmount any obstacle facing us today with Biochar as out tool.

Menshed Spick n span stumpy-800 Biochar

I explained how the Stumpy Tlud / Rocket stove works and its many benefits to the world who use wood to cook on. I reminded them that it was the kindness of Nunda Lions club and the comradeship of Labrador Menshed who gave birth to the stumpy Idea in the first place. The conversation was quickly becoming exciting. I then took it from the class room to the great outdoors and demonstrated the stumpy in the park. Gathering up all the old sticks that had fell on the park I had a loaded stumpy in no time.

Menshed biochar Loading the stumpy-800The demo was very cool and the stumpy preformed awesomely. No smoke high flame excitement oozed from the spectacle. Even some local Indian boys who had just alighted the train used their phones to video it and commented they could use this back home. This was the point where it came full circle for the men of Nunda Menshed.

The president was chuffed and was now speaking with tones of excitement as he waved over other management team member to gain an understanding. He also declared it their next project. We discussed the link with Zimbabwe that the Men had forged and started auctioning what to do next.

Menshed Explaining the stumpy to el presedente

Needless to say the day was a great success.

Here is some of the feedback I received from some of the participants.

Dear Dolph and Gillian,
Many thanks for one of the most informative and enjoyable mornings that I’ve had in a long time. Wonderful to meet you both. The retort is a real goer; and the Toyota (What can I say?) fantastic; brilliant. Just love the biodiesel. You’re (plural) among the most generous and interesting people that I’ve ever met. 
Very best wishes.,

And then I received this which is how I knew my job here was Done.

Dear Dolph,

We applied for a Grant to further the Biochar project and we are pleased to say we were successful. Thank you for your inspiration.


Let us see the successful collaboration of Australians pave the way for Biochar Industries all over the world.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke

P.s If you have a local group that wants to help spread the word Biochar I am available to come and Ignite the passion : )




Organic farmer uses mini Moxham to turn waste into biochar

Organic farmer uses mini Moxham to turn waste into biochar

Organic farmer plus mini moxham equals Biochar. (OF+mM=C). How is that for a headline ? Yeah Yeah I know.. Enjoy the adventure.

organic farmer uses mini moxham biochar unit

Once upon a time in that mystical evergreen country side known as Northern Rivers of New South Wales Australia. I was having a hard earned rest and cup of chai after a particularly grueling lemon myrtle distillation. My conversation was directed to Farmer Paul’s big stack of lemon myrtle twigs of what he called an unused resource.

Organic Farmer uses biochar in Nimbin


“Charmaster Dolph do you believe I could easily turn this mountain of twigs into Biochar ?”

Without even thinking I blurted out “Shit yeah Dawg” to the crew who had gathered close to hear my Professional opinion. I guess it wasn’t what they were expecting as everyone seemed to be either spitting out their chai / rolling around laughing or wiping there noses that the freshly sipped chia was now dribbling out of.

Organic farmer uses mini Moxham to turn waste into biochar

Talk about having fun… Above Organic Farmer Paul and Charmaster Dolph.

So we decided to hook up some time later and give it a shot with the Mini Moxham.

Organic Farmer Paul was enthusiastically loading the mini moxham biochar unit as fast as he possibly could. The mini Moxham was gobbling up the lemon myrtle twigs as if they were lollies. We had a super fun time and got a lot of great photos.

Organic farmer full load of biochar

This one shows the ash coated top layer of biochar and if you look closely enough you can still see the red hot areas.
The ash forms quickly on the smaller twigs and this is why we had to continuously load the mini moxham on this particular feed stock.

No rest for the wicked.

Red hot char mini moxham styleHere is a close up of the red hot biochar.


Organic Farmer uses Mini Moxham to make Biochar.

Life aint nothing but a funny funny riddle Biochar

Most organic farmers will rather make the biochar on farm as it is already a resource they have to work with. So the mini moxham is a perfect size for a afternoons clean up. It is safe on hot days and works like a charm. All you have to do is feed observe and quench.

Organic farmer Gillian
Organic Farmer Gillian is quenching the biochar with a garden hose to make sure it does not flare up and turn to ash while we are not looking.

500 litres of biochar

Pretty good day had by all. We learned a few things about the mini moxham and made heaps of biochar. Organic farmer Paul decide to keep the mini moxham so he can cover his entire lemon myrtle plantation with biochar.

well over 500 litres of Biochar

Five hundred litres of Biochar was made in just under 4 hours from a resource that was burnt in a burn pile previously.
You can make your own Biochar or Buy Biochar from Biochar Project kunghur NSW Australia.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke.

Kunghur NSW Australia.

biochar kiln adam retort holly cow pat

biochar kiln report at biochar industries. Kunghur NSW

Biochar kiln report is a continuation from this story. So if your new to this website read it first to give you some background.

Once upon a time their was a charmaster who liked to experiment with fire. He found himself settled in an idyllic situation where he could work with fire and create biochar. One day however things went pear shaped.

yesterday we ignited the Adam retort biochar kiln and took some temperature samples below is a table showing how it was going.

TimePlugChimney 2Chimney 1Lidfirebox

Well the trouble began when the First shift went for dinner. The second shift started getting false readings from the IR temp scanner and by the time the first shift came back the scanner was no longer being coherent.

Aha it was a flat battery oh well we will seal up the

Adam Retort biochar kiln

and try again tomorrow no biggie. So we set about putting out the fire and sealing the firebox then we sealed each chimney and went of to bed.

biochar kiln adam retort holly cow pat

biochar kiln adam retort look at the lid holly cow pat

The next morning I awoke in horror to the sound of “Holy Cow Pats” look at the kiln lid it is WRONG. I ran down to see what was going on and nearly fell over.

The kiln had ignited all by itself sometime during the night and the intense heat had bent the lid open so it could continue to operate as a big pit fire. Holy cow pats batman.

So the team was assembled and we went to work on battening down the hatches and trying to work out what had went wrong.

biochar kiln battening down the hatches

biochar kiln battening down the hatches

Check out these pictures of the Adams retort biochar kiln blowing its lid fellow scientists and send me your thoughts or comment on this post and together we can work out a fix.

Bending the lid

Bending the lid

I will continue this report on the adam retort biochar kiln in the next post as I like to keep them short and sweet so I don’t loose your attention.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke



Biochar production started today at Kunghur

Biochar production as promised 1st August 2011. Adam retort.

Biochar production started today at Kunghur

Biochar production started today at Kunghur

Biochar production

started today on schedule (just like I told everyone). If you have not guessed as yet here is a quick rundown.

1. We are removing the dead fallen trees and the left behind stumps from the 1960’s sawmilling hey days

2. We are removing weeds and the thinnings from plantation forests.

3. We are turning the lot into biochar through biochar production.

4. We are creating an education centre

5. We are creating a Sustainable Biochar Industry Pilot.

6. We are doing  all sorts of scientific trials and plots

7. We are creating sustainable living systems.

Here are the photos to give you a feel for what we are doing. Lots of Photos so enjoy. Biochar production now a reality in Kunghur.

Started to do some results until the batteries went flat in the IR scanner so we called it a night. Results will be added next post.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke

This image is a Tlud Biochar Cooking Stove with Biochar Industries forest in the back ground

Tlud biochar stove for sale at Biochar Industries

Tlud biochar stove for sale…. What is it I hear you say.

T l u d

is an acronym for Top Lit Up Draught meaning you lite it at the top and the air is sucked up through the fire. Fantastic device that is light and will work with all woods great survival tool . The best feature of this Tlud is when the flames go out you then have biochar. All you have to do is drop the embers on the ground and spray some water on them so they don’t continue to burn.

This particular model was imported from India and has a very nice finish and somehow I ended up with some to sell so I wanted to let my readers know first before I start selling them at stores and markets.

I have made video instructions and uploaded it to youtube so you can see how easy it is.

This image is a Tlud Biochar Cooking Stove with Biochar Industries forest in the back ground

Here she is a good looking unit biochar stove on tripod

I will point out the various pieces to it  so you can have a better idea of this stove.

If you would like to own one of these great stoves please click here

You can come and see this stove in action at :

my workshop in Byangum

World Environment day 2011 Murwillumbah

Woodford Folk Festival


Charmaster Dolph Cooke