Miras Absar

Burning Powdered Charcoal

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I'm relatively new to melting metal, though I have built 3 foundries up till now so I have the basics and safety down pretty well. Just a few weeks ago I got my hands on some Hard Firebrick (rated for up to 2700°F / 1482°C) and built my third foundry (all of mine burn charcoal though I have been taking a look into propane). The foundry burns fairly hot and I can melt copper easily in it. I noticed though that after some burns (and after the foundry cools down) that there are some small charcoal fragments left at the bottom of the foundry, so I took those small fragments and crushed them into a fine powder.

 

Now my question: is there any way to burn that charcoal powder?

I've attached a few pictures of my foundry setup and the powdered charcoal so you have an idea of what I'm dealing with. What I've been considering is drilling a small hole in the copper pipe that delivers air into the foundry, and then dropping some powdered charcoal into it (via a funnel). The current of air would carry the powdered charcoal into the forge where it would then ignite, somewhat like a Pulverized Charcoal Burner.

Would that pose any risks, or are there any better suggestions?

EDIT: And yes, the foundry is sitting on cement, not concrete so it won't spall.

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If you mix a bit of flour with a bit of water you can mix it with the dust(use minimal water), form into lumps and leave in the sun to dry- then use as charcoal.

 

Ian

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Making your own briquettes takes a lot less precise control than injecting and burning it like gas in a gun burner system.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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If you don't need to make many, egg boxes make good moulds.

Ian

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I have a few empty candle jars (they're like cylinders) that I'll probably use as molds, though egg boxes will definitely let me make more at a time. I'll try both and see how each turn out. I'll post pictures once done. Thanks again =)

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I have a few empty candle jars (they're like cylinders) that I'll probably use as molds, though egg boxes will definitely let me make more at a time. I'll try both and see how each turn out. I'll post pictures once done. Thanks again =)

 

Plastic ice cube tray. <wink>

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Put the charcoal paste on newspaper and roll it up tightly.Think pepperoni roll or something about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inch in diameter. Let it dry and break off what you need.  The paper burns also.

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Has anyone tried using coal dust mixed with the four/water mixture as above?

If you have a retort you will regularly get a bit of charcoal dust, I keep mine and make small brickets in egg trays(we still get the cardboard type. It works well! Its small scale but it makes good use of what would otherwise be a waste product.(I cheat a bit and dry them on the retort)

Using flour as the adhesive means that you can use it to barbeque as well.

 

Ian

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So I went ahead and made the charcoals today. I used a mixture of 60% charcoal powder and 40% flour by mass (grams). I mixed the two dry and then added water (I may have added too much as it resulted in a paste. I think the optimal consistency would be something along the lines of casting sand). I scooped the paste into an egg carton and left it in the sun to dry. I checked every few hours, and after ~5 hours the charcoals were dry (it's 100°F in Phoenix today). I went ahead and burned one to see how it performs and it burned nicely. I would attach pictures but I can't seem to find the attach button =(

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You need lessthan 5% flour it is mixed with the water first to make a glue(this is whatwas origionally used as wall paper paste)

 

Ian

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"carbo coke?" I thought all  Coke was carbonated :rolleyes: An how do you get it to LOOK like gold? 
 

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also known as petro-coke, residue from the oil refining, fairly cheap 7$ a 100 pounds but too fine to use in a cupola.

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"carbo coke?" I thought all  Coke was carbonated :rolleyes: An how do you get it to LOOK like gold? 
 

 

That was just a flat fizzle Ian. You can do better, work it work it.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I don't bother to make briquettes of powdered coal.  I store it in a bucket of water and slap it on the fire drained but wet and it cokes into chunks---no need for intermediate steps.

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I don't bother to make briquettes of powdered coal.  I store it in a bucket of water and slap it on the fire drained but wet and it cokes into chunks---no need for intermediate steps.

Thomas if you Slap it in that foundry wet when its up and running  and it's gonna  slap you something silly!. :)

As always said with reverence!

Ian

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Ian beat me to it with the pulp paper egg cartons but that would be a dandy use of them for making brickets, sometimes you can scrounge up the big egg flats that hold 2 dozen eggs. And yeah that much flour and it would smell like you were burning the toast. I think you should switch over to propane, hotter fire and faster too. Nice little furnace you got there but go bigger and go round if you switch to propane. PM me and maybe we can get together sometime as I live in the Phoenix metro area too.

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You can mix the coal dust with the charcoal and make briquettes. thats what kingsford is. Well at least thats what one episode of "How its Made" says. Don't remember what they used for binder but may have been just pressure.

 

Fred

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