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The important facts about charcoal

In addition to all the well-known properties of charcoal, it has a distinctive ability to absorb and retain about 40% of its weight of moisture. During the wood pyrolysis the structure of its conducting tissues is almost completely kept, so the obtained charcoal has a large number of capillaries and pores having a large total surface that contributes to its high adsorption capacity. At ordinary temperatures charcoal can adsorb various substances from their solutions and various gases including inert. At that, the lighter the liquefied gas is, the better charcoal adsorbs it. When heating the charcoal which has adsorbed substance allocates them, again gaining the ability to adsorb. To increase the adsorption capacity of charcoal, it is activated.

Firewood charcoal

However, charcoal which is well calcinated also has little activity, approximately 30% of WAC (wood activated carbon). Considering the above written, freezing of wet coal is categorically inadmissible in order to avoid its rupture to small pieces. You also need to remember that charcoal cannot be stored both in open and in closed, but wet areas. When a small amount of moisture is absorbed, self-heating occurs due to the surface activity. In case of slightest draft, this process may proceed to ignition. In the thirties of the previous century ignorance of these charcoal properties led to the execution of engineers and workers, accused of wrecking because charcoal, which was loaded into open platforms, lits up during the movement and as a result all wagon burned down. The reason for the latest was damp air and wind inevitable at the movement of waggonage. In those far years people did not think of it as charcoal was made directly near consumption places, and only with the development of railway communication it was transported to long distances.

Professor Nogin was one of the first who paid attention to this, he checked the guesses experimentally and started spreading this information. And as a result nearly got under repressions as the defender of people’s enemies. When charcoal was covered with tarpaulin on platforms, the number of ignitions decreased. But it was not stopped completely, there are cracks even at the closed wagons, especially in those dashing years, and it was enough for ignition. Such charcoal property should be noted: if in the course of cooling coal receives a small portion of air, or on the contrary it is a subject to intensive cooling with a powerful air pressure, it (charcoal) is less inclined to self-ignition. A simple example: fire inflames at the wind, a splinter extinguishes. It depends on intensity of heat transfer. Thus charcoal which is blown in a thin layer will not light up, but will cool down.


Scientist Burmistrov from Nizhny Novgorod studied this phenomenon and made the extinguisher – a thin layer of heated charcoal on the mesh conveyor moved and was blown with a strong air stream. The inclined conveyor with transverse scrapers had a a casing. A casing pipe with a diameter of about one and a half meter is inclined. Air gets to the top part and, having passed a layer of coal is sucked from below. The tests of professor Butakov’s kiln were also successful, in particular the kiln Ogon Batareya 5 was tested. After this charcoal was stabilized and did not light up.


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