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How to crush, grind, pulverise charcoal


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I agree with Philip Small about the electric garden chipper/shredder.

I purchased a small electric garden chipper/shredder i have found using this very affective at breaking up charcoal,i put through contents of a 40 liter bin filtered it through an onion sack which has a coarse weave and cheap, largest bits are 2.5-3mm,50-60% of the 40 liter bin passed through the filter i then reground the larger bits filtered again about 45% went through filter reground remaining what didn't go through the filter was very small in size and quantity so i just added it to the garden.

If i had been pounding the charcoal it would have taken about 1-1.5 hours to get the same result that took 20 minutes.

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  • 4 weeks later...

UPDATE

 

I agree with Philip Small about the electric garden chipper/shredder.

I purchased a small electric garden chipper/shredder i have found using this very affective at breaking up charcoal,i put through contents of a 40 liter bin filtered it through an onion sack which has a coarse weave and cheap, largest bits are 2.5-3mm,50-60% of the 40 liter bin passed through the filter i then reground the larger bits filtered again about 45% went through filter reground remaining what didn't go through the filter was very small in size and quantity so i just added it to the garden.

If i had been pounding the charcoal it would have taken about 1-1.5 hours to get the same result that took 20 minutes.

 

UPDATED

 

The shredder is a Ryobi rgs 2100.

Using to much water to control dust can cause clogging.

After the first filtering the oversize charcoal i process 3 times through shredder before filtering again this increases the amount that goes through the filter saves my back.

Using this method i processed the contents of 2.5 x 44 gallon drums or 520 liters in 4 hours.

 

You should use a dust mask or respirator when crushing filtering charcoal even with water to control dust its still dusty work.

 

 

Photos : processing charcoal

ImageShack - Image Hosting :: shredderwm7.jpg

ImageShack - Image Hosting :: oversizegj0.jpg

ImageShack - Image Hosting :: oversizeingardenex9.jpg

ImageShack - Image Hosting :: onionsackfiltervv8.jpg

ImageShack - Image Hosting :: finalproductlightvk0.jpg

ImageShack - Image Hosting :: finalproductinshadowcv1.jpg

ImageShack - Image Hosting :: filteredgi2.jpg

ImageShack - Image Hosting :: filtersy5.jpg

ImageShack - Image Hosting :: dustcontrolpw5.jpg

 

Cheers

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  • 9 months later...

This is a great thread. I recently have been using a coffee grinder. First I mash up the bigger chunks of charcoal (Cowboy brand) with the end of a baseball bat in a big yogurt container. Then I just pour in as much as I can fit in the coffee grinder, it never takes more than 6-8 seconds for everything to be turned into powder. With this method I can produce about 1 gallon an hour.

 

I'm wondering though, what is the general consensus on the final size of the charcoal? Should I go for small pieces, powder or a mix of the two?

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Hi Roaldgold

 

I overcame the problem of crushing charcoal by a chance locating a company that import and grade charcoal for BBQ's, restaurants etc. They have to have scrubbers on their extractor fans to collect any dust produced by the process and I have free access to this dust. I have also started adding Nutrimate to my compost. This is minerals that were locked up in high altitude lakes. Lots of humus from an age of plants and algae settling on the bottom. It is very high in Fulvic and Humic acids. Fulvic has a small molicular string that links to the N. P. K. molecules making it easy for plants to use every bit of fertiliser added.

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Flapjack, I just checked out that Nutrimate. Looks like some good stuff. Have you thought of maybe just adding some of that right into your charcoal along with a fertilizer. I am currently making a batch of charcoal that is treated with fish emulsion and liquid seaweed solution. I'm thinking maybe I should get some of that Nutrimate and add that into the solution.

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Hi Maikeru

 

I was not too popular when I used kitchen appliances to grind and crush charcoal. The wife just would not believe me that coffee grinders without blades were a new fashion. The she found the other appliances had no blades either, she took me to the hardware store to exercise my plastic.

 

In this I do not think that size matters. I think it is more that you have a relative even spread throughout the compost. If your using it for crop purposes than just pot it where you are planting. Continual cropping and soil turning will give the even spread.

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Hi Maikeru

 

I was not too popular when I used kitchen appliances to grind and crush charcoal. The wife just would not believe me that coffee grinders without blades were a new fashion. The she found the other appliances had no blades either, she took me to the hardware store to exercise my plastic.

 

In this I do not think that size matters. I think it is more that you have a relative even spread throughout the compost. If your using it for crop purposes than just pot it where you are planting. Continual cropping and soil turning will give the even spread.

 

Hah. I have no wife yet, so I might avoid that problem for now. Thanks for the tips. :beer-fresh:

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I only use tiny amounts at once. To this effect I find grinding far more effective than pounding.

 

Wet it all in bucket, use piece of lumber, lean weight on it and corkscrew down into the char. Busts up really fine. When I pound on it it makes a layer and the stuff underneath is protected by surrounding mass.

 

Another trick is to char small sticks. Then just lay them out and smash them up as they get dug in.

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