ECHOcommunity Conversations

Sustainable woodlot, charcoal, and wood vinegar system

I would like to get feedback from the network as to appropriate woodlot and charcoal systems that would best serve our network. I am eager to hear from you!

We have a woodlot and are about to harvest it. Without a need for construction poles here, I thought about turning the wood into char and collecting the wood vinegar. I know that charcoal production traditionally has been going out into the forest, chopping wherever and then making a mound there. It seems good to me to demonstrate a pairing of the woodlot and charcoal production to get a more sustainable charcoal making system as well as one that does not take as much, set up, tear down, and monitoring.

Up to this point, we have implemented more temporary, small-scale methods of char production including TLUD (Top Lit Up-Draft), Horizontal barrel kiln, and a modified mound style. Now, we are planning to install a more permanent method that does not have the risk of caving in, is more efficient, holds more and saves time in the long run. Our proposed design would be made out of concrete block and could hold one cord of wood.

We have so far heard from a couple of people in the network that mentioned their people using woodlots specifically for charcoal production. A kiln/woodlot system could be something for a farmer to have on his own land or it could be started as an industry in itself to supply charcoal and wood vinegar to the surrounding area.

What are your thoughts and suggestions on if we should trial this or anything else that we could trial and implement in regards to woodlots, char production, and wood vinegar collection? Anything that you are curious about in regards to this topic? Would something like this be applicable in your areas?

1 Like


Here is a picture of the design.

Found your reference, always worth posting for lazy people: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/CAES/DOCUMENTS/Publications/Bulletins/B494pdf.pdf

The brick they used is not available in modern times (Philippines). Modern “hollow blocks” are not thermal resistant and will disappoint.
Screen Shot 2022-01-16 at 6.54.46 AM

We may have similar experience - here’s some of my research: 4.biochar3.5