Tag Archives: biochar making


Biochar hands on training weekend 11th – 12th April 2015

Biochar hands on training is back on folks. Quite possibly this will be the last one in this location. So do not miss out.

biochar hands on trainingHope to see you there.

Biochar hands on training weekend. Biochar Industries Kunghur NSW.

Please RSVP. to dolph@biocharproject.org

Last training we had an abundance of great learning opportunities. We had all the forest harvesting of downed wood.
We had pre-processing with chainsaws and the wood splitter. 4×4 driver training with trailer. Cooking with the TLUD stumpy.

Worm farm and how to make one for yourself. Passionate talks about permaculture and self sufficiency. All night biochar burn taking shifts. Everyone got hands on with all aspects of biochar making. We planted a trial plot for large doses of biochar.

Biochar hands on training is a must. It is for anyone serious about helping relieve the strain our environment is under. You will also do very well to understand its powers for farming yields if your studying agriculture.


big biochar bash

big biochar bash.

big biochar bash Biology of biochar how to make it charmaster dolph's way

Well folks its on again the BiG Biochar Bash. You might notice the punctuation of Big this year as our special guest is going to be Dr James Joyce PhD and his company BiG (Black is Green).

We are going to do a marathon 2 day burn with up to 5 Moxham’s to produce 4 tonnes of char and grind it grade it and bag it.

Are you up for it ?
Can your Brain handle a 2 day charring fest of information etc ?
Camping available, Bring enough food to share and keep your self fed.

Wet weather wear a good idea so too is a good sleeping bag as it gets cold.

If raining track access is by 4×4 only so make sure you tee up a lift with me.


We will be gathering scientific data and experimenting with new biochar ideas. This is the BiG Biochar Bash and will be a great weekend out.

To RSVP email Charmaster Dolph.

The split wood pile before

Farm scale biochar. Taking on farm biochar making to a new level.

Farm scale biochar ? How about low tech farm scale biochar ? Better still low cost low tech easy to use farm scale biochar ?

The Moxham farm scale biochar maker

Well folks you read it here first. Biochar Industries charmaster Dolph Cooke has created yet another low cost low tech farm scaled setup and here is a pictorial to ease you into your own biochar adventure.

Loading the Moxham biochar maker

Biochar Industries was initially setup to create benchmarks of sustainability in this new and exciting industry that is emerging. However I have come to realise something that my mentor used to preach.  Biochar for everyone for free now that’s a tall order.

Showing the Menshed Men Biochar

Biochar has been referred to as a mitigating factor in climate change, It has also been hailed as a miracle soil amendment now that its becoming a household word greedy folks want to get rich off of it and this is just driving the price out of the reach for most farmers. Here is where we step in –

Telling the Menshed men Biochar secrets for farm scale biochar

Farm scale biochar low cost low tech.

I have called this simple method “The Moxham” after my late mentor Geoff Moxham who set my soul ablaze with Biochar in 2009 at the castle on the hill UKI Australia.

Half Full and blazing- the moxham by Biochar Industries

Lets look at the pictures and match a commentary to the captions. Right at the top of the page we have photo 1. Simple low tech and relatively affordable the “Moxham” a carbon steel pipe.
20mm thick a diameter of 190 centermeters and standing on its end a height of 165cm.

Price $800.00 delivered from Brisbane.

Picture 2 Many friends make light work. The men of the menshed rally around to help me fill the “Moxham” Farm scale biochar unit. Its fun as well as beneficial to those with a heavy heart.

The gap between the earth and the Moxham

Picture Number 3
Break time a technique we use to allow the fire to fully engulf the loaded wood and rise-up and burn all escaping volatiles. We also use it to eat drink and be merry.

Picture 4
Charmaster Dolph imparting trade secrets to wise old school men of the menshed.

SMoke declares the Moxham is choking so we stopped adding wood

Picture 5.
Half full and blazing with some extra long wood on top to be burnt in half and put in shows the versatility of the farm scale biochar unit.

Picture 6.
A shot of the “Moxham” meeting the earth this has to be smothered with sand during the close down stage.

Smokeless opperation of the Moxham-

Picture 7.
Show what happens when you overload the unit with wood. Smoke everyone soon notices they have over done it. Charmaster Dolph then used advanced fire techniques to quickly remove excess smoke and make the fire roar clean again within minutes.

Picture 8.
This is how we roll Smokeless High temp big flames the awesomeness of nature.

Night time bonfire pleasure with the moxham-

Picture 9.
Above the Moxham biochar farm scale unit was lit at 11am and extinguished at 11pm.
During the night it was so pleasant to be able to watch the flames and ponder our existence.

Picture 10.
This is how we know exactly how much wood to put into the “Moxham”  easy effective and low cost. Simplicity at its best.


The split wood pile before

Another awesome day in Biochar paradise.


I wish you all the best over the holiday period. Drop in I will be working my little cake off.

Charmaster Dolph Cooke


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 making 60L drum and paint can full of wood to turn into biochar

biochar making on a budget with charmaster dolph

Biochar Making with Charmaster Dolph

Biochar making on a budget. Welcome to my first episode : ) Right here is where you will learn some great ideas to help you get started making your own biochar.

Biochar making on a budget of $5

You will need –

1. An empty 205 litre drum ( I got for free)

2. An empty 60 litre drum ( I got for free)

3. An old paint tin with lid ( I got for free)

4. A packet of matches $0.50

5. Wood to biochar ( I got for free)

6. Wood to burn ( I got for free)

7. Cold chisel to cut lids of drums and punch ventilation holes around the 205 litre drum. $4.50

Lets get started I will let my pictures tell the Story.

biochar making 60L drum and paint can full of wood to turn into biochar
biochar making 60L drum and paint can full of wood to turn into biochar

Biochar is good for the soil. When a soil is well balanced then it is good for your food. When your food is well balanced it is good for you. When you are well balanced you are good for the earth. When the earth is well balanced then I am happy.

biochar making 60L inside 44 Gallon upsidedown biochar project

biochar making 60L drum upsidedown inside 205 litre drum biochar project

Next we need to fill her up with wood.

biochar making stacking 44 Gallon with wood

biochar making stacking 44 Gallon with wood

And fill her some more : ) after all we want the best biochar so we need to make the fire HOT.

 biochar making Stacking drum to burn from the top down

biochar making Stacking drum to burn from the top down

Now we can light her up : )

biochar making Safety first light her up

biochar making Safety first light her up

Lets look closer at the setup.

biochar making Closeup of primary air inlet

biochar making Closeup of primary air inlet

Let her cook until the fire goes out. Then you can upend the big drum and retrieve the little drum that is 1/4 full of biochar. Look the little paint can is lit up as well.

biochar making paint can gases lit up - making biochar

biochar making paint can gases lit up – making biochar

So now you have seen the photos I will run through the details with you. Cut lid off 205 litre drum then at the other end make holes around the bottom this will be our primary air to allow the fire to burn. Now cut lid of the 60 litre drum and fill it with wood that you want to biochar. Note if you pack it with fine wood saw dust it will take a long time to pyrolize the same as if you packed it with big lumps of wood so rule here is to fill it with various size wood. Open your paint tin fill it with wood put the lid on and punch a hole in the lid. Now lay the 205 litre drum on its side and do the same with the 60 litre drum then push the 60 inside the 205 then lift the 205 upright again. Stack around the 60 litre lots of wood to burn and then make a kindling stack at the top for easy lighting. Light her up and enjoy the attraction, warmth and experience.

Happy Biochar Making

Charmaster Dolph Cooke

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