Until the beginning of the twentieth century practically all the charcoal was produced by traditional methods. The wood was placed into the earthen pits excavated in the shape of a boat, lit and covered with earth. During the combustion of the wood temperature rises for coking the residue.
According to the other method, a pile of wood was covered with earth and turf and then it was ignited through the holes in the earthen cover. These openings can be either open or closed, and new ones were made in order to control the circulation of air. This method allows better control over the combustion and carbonization than the method with pits.
Both methods of charcoal production still exist today in many developing countries, mainly because they are cheap. However, according to these methods, only a small amount of charcoal is produced, approximately 1 kg of charcoal from 8 to 12 kg of the wood, the quality is impermanent (because it is difficult to maintain uniform carbonization) and environmental pollution occurs through the release of tars and poisonous gases.
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