You can easily make charcoal from wood using the mound method. Charcoal burns hotter than the wood it was made from because there is no water or sap left in it. It also burns at higher temperatures, without smoke and with less flame.
Initially, it was used a lot as a metallurgical fuel. You can use it as carbon fuel for stoves and fossil fuel heating systems. Due to its properties, it is widely used in metalworking.
In order to make charcoal, you’ll need some wood, water and mud. Start by chopping the wood into smaller pieces. Then stack them in a mound. Make sure you place the largest pieces in the center. Then place the smaller sticks and leaves on the outside.
Cover the pile in wet mud, leaving a hole at the top and eight smaller ones closer to the bottom.
Build a fire on top and watch it spread inward. Since the rising flames use up the oxygen, the charcoal that was already made above them is preserved.
Keep an eye on the mound as the fire burns inside. Seal up any smaller accidental holes with mud, leaving only the eight large ones. When the fire passes them, seal them up as well. Once the last hole is sealed, use some mud to seal the top. Now, you’ll wait for the mound to cool.
It will take a day or two for the mound to cool down. Once it’s cool, open it up.
You will probably notice the smaller pieces of wood near the edges burned completely, allowing the larger pieces in the middle to transform into charcoal. Check it for quality. If you can see the ray structure of the wood, or if the coal is hard, it means you did a good job. Bad coal is soft and breaks easily.
You can then use the charcoal to build fires, and they’ll be much hotter than those made using only regular wood. With good quality charcoal you can fuel furnaces to even smelt ore into metal. Charcoal is essential for any metalworking project you might consider. Knowing how to smith your own weapons and tools will be a critical skill in any TEOTWAWKI situation, where commerce had stopped, and society had returned to bartering.
Do you know any other ways of making charcoal? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.