Char Coal

Charcoal has been made by various methods. The traditional method in Britain used a clamp. This is essentially a pile of wooden logs (e.g. seasoned oak) leaning against a chimney (logs are placed in a circle). The chimney consists of 4 wooden stakes held up by some rope. The logs are completely covered with soil and straw allowing no air to enter. It must be lit by introducing some burning fuel into the chimney; the logs burn very slowly and transform into charcoal in a period of 5 days’ burning. If the soil covering gets torn (cracked) by the fire, additional soil is placed on the cracks. Once the burn is complete, the chimney is plugged to prevent air from entering.[3] The true art of this production method is in managing the sufficient generation of heat (by combusting part of the wood material), and its transfer to wood parts in the process of being carbonised. A strong disadvantage of this production method is the huge amount of emissions that are harmful to human health and the environment (emissions of unburnt methane).[4] As a result of the partial combustion of wood material, the efficiency of the traditional method is low.

Modern methods employ retorting technology, in which process heat is recovered from, and solely provided by, the combustion of gas released during carbonisation. (Illustration:[5]). Yields of retorting are considerably higher than those of kilning, and may reach 35%-40%.

The properties of the charcoal produced depend on the material charred. The charring temperature is also important. Charcoal contains varying amounts of hydrogen and oxygen as well as ash and other impurities that, together with the structure, determine the properties. The approximate composition of charcoal for gunpowders is sometimes empirically described as C7H4O. To obtain a coal with high purity, source material should be free of non-volatile compounds.

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István was born and grew up in the beech forest in Hungary and has been interested from an early age with forests and water systems. He has always felt connected to his surroundings while observing aquaculture while fishing as a small boy.

István studied painting and art in Hungary, he also ran a building company until he started travelling in 2001, where he was introduced to Permaculture in 2003.
He continued travelling and got involved in Permaculture farming projects, living and travelling in communities. Harvesting wild fruits while organic farming along his travels. István has experience working within the European climates from northern cold humid to southern Mediterranean.

Since 2006 he has been based in Ireland where he developed a property service business specializing in sustainable house retrofitting and land management to provide better living spaces for clients and training for employees.

He lived off-grid, providing for his own energy, water & food security - this gave him more connection to the land and to his local community and came to realize the importance of educating people, in particular from a community perspective.

This led him to see the needs of the local community and immersed himself in local voluntary community development projects; waste management, water harvesting, food waste and food rescue, community forestry, fair share, bartering and working with exchange rather than money, He has been involved in helping to set up the community gardens in Clonakilty, and a successful school gardens in the local secondary school, where he has developed an educational curriculum for the teachers and students to follow.
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