Making Biochar and Charcoal with a Brick Chimney Kiln — 5 Comments

  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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