Sciencemadness Discussion Board
Not logged in [Login - Register]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
Author: Subject: Preparation of Charcoal by the Slow Pyrolysis of Wood Scraps
VSEPR_VOID
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 225
Registered: 1-9-2017
Member Is Offline

Mood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0wUXnbMg6g&t=277s

[*] posted on 19-4-2018 at 18:31
Preparation of Charcoal by the Slow Pyrolysis of Wood Scraps


Charcoal is composed elemental carbon, in the amorphous form, with organic residue throughout. Its primary use application is in its use as a fuel. Charcoal is free of water, in stark contrast to wood, and burns at a great temperature (2700 degrees celsius). It also finds a place in fluid filtration, being able to remove asphyxiating and poisonous gases from air and pollutants from water when activated. It is manufactured by the heating of wood in a low oxygen environment. This is performed often on the industrial scale by charging large metallic retorts with sawdust. The advantage of this method being that the byproducts (spirits, tars, and organic acids) can also be collected and purified. The intention of this publication is to detail how the amatuer may prepare small amounts of charcoal for use in chemistry and pyrotechnics. The following procedure is meant to be general and not specific to the volume of charcoal wished to be produced or type of wood starting material.

The condition of the charcoal is dependent upon the temperature at which the vessel containing the wood is fired. Well the minute and specific properties of charcoal will change with the type of wood used they all are carbonized by the same methods. Sawdust, hardwood, and wood scraps may all be converted for general use. Wood becomes a brown hue at 220 degrees celsius, brown-black at 300, easy powdered at 310, and readily inflames at 380 degrees celsius. At temperatures any higher the product of pyrolysis is hard and brittle and will not fire until 700 degrees celsius.
J. Percy

A. Reagents
Wood scraps cut to fit in reaction vessel: may also be sawdust

B. Apparatus
Metal can with a matching lid. Said lid must contain a hole for venting purposes
Fire pit
Hot air gun (a hair dryer may be used but care must be taken to prevent it from melting)
Mortar and pestle

C. Optional Apparatus

250ml vacuum flask
Büchner funnel and stopper
Hand operated vacuum pump
Filter paper
Vacuum desiccator

D. Procedure

The wood material to be used is trimmed to fit in typical soup can, which when charged is to be no more than ¾ the way full. The metal can is placed within a suitable fire pit and wood stacked around it. Enough fuel must be placed on the fire to allow it to burn for one hour. The lid is placed over the head of the can and secured. The fire is started and as soon as mature is intensified by the air of a hot air gun set the maximum air flow and minimum temperature. This will act as a simple bellows. The air is best directed when a suitable pile of coals is maneuvered around the reaction vessel. The amount of time the can is left in the fire is not essential but one hour is advised to allow full pyrolysis. During heating the vent of the can may catch fire due to the emission wood glasses. Once the one hour has passed the reaction vessel is removed by means of tongs and allowed to cool. Once cool the charcoal is removed and pulverised by means of a mortar and pestle.

E. Optional Procedure to Reduce Organic Residues Present

Using vacuum filtration, the pulverised charcoal is washed with 500ml of water and 100 ml of alcohol per 100g of charcoal. The charcoal is placed into a vacuum desiccator until dry.

D. Discussion

The final product smelt slightly of gasoline (which was used to start the fire in the pit). Washing helped remove this.



I did not feel this was good enough to go in publications. It is a first attempt at writing and I under took this to practice my scientific writing.

[Edited on 20-4-2018 by VSEPR_VOID]




https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AoI2VA5L4bmFw2HwXS2OVYTV...

A List of Chemicals and Materials Made by Sciencemadness.org Users

“Keep a goverment poor and weak and it's your servant; when it is rich and powerful it becomes your master.”
―H. Beam Piper

"Well thats funny" is the most important phrase in science.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
RogueRose
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 870
Registered: 16-6-2014
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 19-4-2018 at 18:49


Are you sure you are drying the filtrate or are you drying the charcoal that remained in the filter? the filtrate would be the water and alcohol and any dust that came through in the filtering process I believe.

[Edited on 4-20-2018 by RogueRose]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
VSEPR_VOID
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 225
Registered: 1-9-2017
Member Is Offline

Mood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0wUXnbMg6g&t=277s

[*] posted on 19-4-2018 at 19:20


My mistake, thank you for spotting the typo.



https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AoI2VA5L4bmFw2HwXS2OVYTV...

A List of Chemicals and Materials Made by Sciencemadness.org Users

“Keep a goverment poor and weak and it's your servant; when it is rich and powerful it becomes your master.”
―H. Beam Piper

"Well thats funny" is the most important phrase in science.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Ubya
Hazard to Self
**




Posts: 69
Registered: 23-11-2017
Location: Rome-Italy
Member Is Online

Mood: Random

[*] posted on 20-4-2018 at 01:17


ashes of charcoal contain soluble and insoluble compounds, just washing the powder won't get rid of silica and other stuff.
for really pure carbon i would treat table sugar as you did for wood.





---------------------------------------------------------------------
feel free to correct my grammar, or any mistakes i make, i want to improve ;D
---------------------------------------------------------------------
View user's profile View All Posts By User
aga
Forum Drunkard
*****




Posts: 6848
Registered: 25-3-2014
Member Is Offline

Mood: Para/Dia-letic

[*] posted on 20-4-2018 at 01:19


Pretty good write up, especially for a first attempt.

Critique:

The "J Percy" reference should be given in full so readers could find it easily - some authors have hundreds of papers.

Also good to put quotes around the sections copy-n-pasted from other publications.

Putting the section titles in Bold and adding more white space/paragraphing would make it look better and read more easily.

e.g.
https://www.sciencemadness.org/whisper/viewthread.php?tid=15...




Madness is thinking i'm not drunk.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
j_sum1
Super Moderator
*******




Posts: 3650
Registered: 4-10-2014
Location: Oz
Member Is Offline

Mood: Maintaining a semblance of equilibrium

[*] posted on 20-4-2018 at 01:52


Concur with what others have said.
Nice work VSEPR.
I have never had occasion to make charcoal myself and I think I would get there if all I had to follow was this.




A little shameless self-promotion: New stuff on the YT channel. Or you can tour my lab.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
VSEPR_VOID
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 225
Registered: 1-9-2017
Member Is Offline

Mood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0wUXnbMg6g&t=277s

[*] posted on 20-4-2018 at 02:01


Quote: Originally posted by Ubya  
ashes of charcoal contain soluble and insoluble compounds, just washing the powder won't get rid of silica and other stuff.
for really pure carbon i would treat table sugar as you did for wood.


You are right. Thus why I wrote that it was only reducing the amount of residues, not completely removing all impurities.




https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AoI2VA5L4bmFw2HwXS2OVYTV...

A List of Chemicals and Materials Made by Sciencemadness.org Users

“Keep a goverment poor and weak and it's your servant; when it is rich and powerful it becomes your master.”
―H. Beam Piper

"Well thats funny" is the most important phrase in science.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Ubya
Hazard to Self
**




Posts: 69
Registered: 23-11-2017
Location: Rome-Italy
Member Is Online

Mood: Random

[*] posted on 20-4-2018 at 02:27


Quote: Originally posted by VSEPR_VOID  
Quote: Originally posted by Ubya  
ashes of charcoal contain soluble and insoluble compounds, just washing the powder won't get rid of silica and other stuff.
for really pure carbon i would treat table sugar as you did for wood.


You are right. Thus why I wrote that it was only reducing the amount of residues, not completely removing all impurities.


charcoal made this way is more than enough for the majority of experiment, so it's a useful guide.





---------------------------------------------------------------------
feel free to correct my grammar, or any mistakes i make, i want to improve ;D
---------------------------------------------------------------------
View user's profile View All Posts By User

  Go To Top