Sugarcane is an important cash crop grown across the globe in countries with warm and wet climates. Sugarcane is used extensively to produce food products, cosmetics and many other important products. It is the sugary juices that are extracted from the cane that are used extensively, but the fibrous byproduct, or sugarcane bagasse can be transformed into a potent fuel for a variety of uses.
Making charcoal from sugarcane is actually a fairly straightforward process that can be accomplished with the most rudimentary tools. The following article will explain how to create charcoal briquettes from sugarcane bagasse inside a simple 50-gallon metal drum.
A Simple Sugarcane Bagasse Charcoal Manufacturing Plant
The following instructions will illustrate the best practice for making charcoal from sugarcane bagasse. You will need the following items before beginning.
— 1 50 Gallon metal drum
— 4 to 8 bricks to keep the barrel off the ground and still level.
— Drill and ? inch bit
— 1 lid for the barrel fitted with a chimney.
— Thermal work gloves for handling hot metals.
You will need to prepare the barrel to become a kiln. To do this imagine there are three sections of drum: top, middle and bottom. Each section will need around 6 air intake holes which can be opened and shut to control the amount of air allowed into the waste carbonization furnace.
Once the drum has been prepared, you can fill the first bottom section with raw material. The sugarcane bagasse will need to dried to about 18% humidity or the energy required to make this transformation will be to great to justify the effort.
Leave a small section in the center of your bottom section of drum to begin a small fire with some dry sugarcane bagasse. Once the fire begins to spread and rise you can fill the remaining sections of the drum with more sugarcane bagasse. Don’t pack this down too tightly. Once the fire can be seen rising from the bagasse place the lid on the top of the drum and close all air vents except those at the bottom of the bagasse charcoal kiln.
As the carbonization begins to take effect the quantity of bagasse will diminish, you will need to add more raw material to the kiln to keep the air intake low and make the most quality carbon possible.
The carbonization will begin in the base of the barrel and work its way upward. It is important to be aware of what is happening so you can properly administer air intake as needed till the process has been completed.
Once the bagasse in the bottom section has been properly carbonized, the air vents will need to be shut in the first section and opened in the upper two sections. This will allow the fire to remain low and the bagasse in the upper two sections to begin turning to charcoal. You will continue adding more raw material as needed to keep the kiln full.
Once the middle section has become pure charcoal you can close the vents in this section and reopen those at the bottom section. When the top section has become carbonized, go ahead and close all vents and leave the kiln to cool for the next 8 hours.
The final product can then be shaped in top quality sugarcane bagasse briquettes.