Making Biochar and Charcoal with a Brick Chimney Kiln

“Here is a full tutorial by O. J. Romo on making Charcoal and Biochar using a Brick Chimney Kiln.” The charcoal can be used for numerous things such water filters and building soil in gardens.

The topics covered in this video:
– How to build the chimney and materials needed
– How to use the chimney
– Wood stock and cans
– Firebricks vs. Clay bricks
– Different results

Here are the recommended tutorials mentioned in the introduction:
* Peter Hurst – New England Biochar; he does a good job at showing how a retort system works

* John Rogers – Biochar for the small farm; he has access to lots of woodchips, and has a burn method showing the process.

* Kelpie Wilson – Flame Cap Kilns – showing three different methods of an open burn


5 thoughts on “Making Biochar and Charcoal with a Brick Chimney Kiln”

  1. Hi Owen, thanks for the blogging. As I’ve been digesting the mountain of information you’ve posted, I’ve had a question form…
    First the background. You have been very clear that regular earth bag construction does not provide meaningful insulation. It also seems clear that getting fill material that provides insulation is difficult, expensive, or introduces materials that can decompose or attract termites or are environmentally suspect.
    So my question is… Could biochar be added to the fill material to provide insulation? Is it strong enough? Does it provide significant r-value? On the face of it, biomass is available practically everywhere and the charcoal can be diy’ed as shown in this post.

    • This probably won’t work. Ideally you want more stable materials. It depends on where you live and what materials are available. The standard approach is earthbags with rigid foam board insulation on the outside covered with plaster. This is how adobe houses are built and it’s very effective.

  2. I would have liked to see the thing in operation. It is REALLY important that the gasses he spoke about are BURNED, not just offgassed, or else he is releasing toxic gasses such as methane into the air, and that’s the sort of thing that leads to laws banning anything that burns wood.

    Burning plastic is also highly polluting, so was astonished that he recommended that to start the fire.


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