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biochar kiln report at biochar industries. Kunghur NSW

biochar kiln adam retort holly cow pat

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



{ 8 comments… add one }
  • kent August 5, 2011, 2:29 am

    not a scientist, but I am a professional fire fighter with 18 years experience. Are you sure it didn’t really “blow the lid off”? By that I mean a smoke explosion. Carbon monoxide is explosive (think internal combustion engines running off of wood smoke) Steel expands at 9oo degrees Fahrenheit and loses strength at 1100 degrees. It becomes like taffy and usually sags, that makes the upturned corners look suspicious. The fire would have been secondary with free burning occurring after the box was vented

  • Charmaster August 5, 2011, 5:03 pm

    Hello Kent, I did not hear an explosion and I sleep about 100 meters away from it. Also the lid was not straped down at that point in time. But thankyou for your view point one I will keep in mind during further contact with this kiln. Charmaster Dolph Cooke

  • James August 6, 2011, 11:14 pm

    Looks like it just got too hot underneath relative to on top. That made the ribs underneath expand more than the metal on top, causing it to buckle upwards. I have seen the same sort of things when prototype testing with steel equipment and combustion temperatures.
    You probably reached over 550 deg C under the lid. To do that it had to be getting air in from below first. Charcoal will readily exceed 900 deg C if is can get access to air. I’d be checking for air leaks.

  • Chris ADAM September 1, 2011, 12:01 am

    the wood chamber with the wood or biomass CAN NOT GET (more) HOT, once both chimneys are closed and the lid on the top of the wood chamber is tightly sealed with sand!!!
    Its like a cup you put over a burning candle. Something else must have gone wrong!? Like a wind blowing off the lid of the chimney, or, or..?

  • Charmaster September 1, 2011, 3:21 pm

    Hello Chris, Thanks for the experts opinion on this. The part where the lid is tightly sealed with sand is most probably the problem. This kiln lid did not have sand incorporated into the design. It was basically a flat lid with two thin peices of insulating material around the rim. And yes by the way the lid buckled then this is I think one of the areas that let this project down. Also I have many other photos that are in limbo at the moment showing smoke coming from every crack and orifice. Not sure what I am going to try next but will document it here. Thanks so much Charmaster Dolph

  • Mark Richard Miller October 27, 2011, 3:33 pm

    Hi Dolph – It’s Mark – the ” Rider of the Blue Light.”

    Finding time at the Caldera Centre, to begin to enjoy your efforts and journey.

    I have asked others who came in, and will continue to ask others about the biodynamic aspects to nutrition.

    I remember the older days of packing cow manure into cows horns – and bury them for a certain time to develop and activate the culture that can resonate with the land you are to be using – along with certain moon / sun / stardust aspects or recipes / times / gestation.

    I am not sure who uses the older and more simpler methods any more, but whatever works for you is good.

    The truth is a LIE – yet to be told !

    Keep in touch Dolph and lots of great good luck.

    All the best – Mark.

  • Ampomah Obed May 3, 2017, 2:32 pm

    Hello Am Obed from Ghana and I want to bio a biochar kiln any help with diagrams please.

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