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D -L
Corncob Charcoal
Preparing the Kiln

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A 55-gallon oil drum can be used as a kiln to make charcoal. In order to allow air to flow through the drum, cut
several small holes in the bottom [1]. In the other end, cut a large square opening for filling the kiln with cobs
[2]. You will also need a lid or a piece of sheet metal to cover the hole on the top [3].

Filling the Drum

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Place a thin layer (about 5 cm) of corn husks in the bottom of the oil drum, holding a big stick in the center of
the drum [1]. Add a thicker layer (about 25 cm) of corn cobs [2]. Alternate layers until the drum is full then
carefully remove the stick, leaving a hole that goes to the bottom of the drum [3].

For more information e.mail charcoal@mit.edu or visit our website at: web.mit.edu/d-lab/charcoal

let the fire burn longer before covering. brush the sand off of the top of the drum and remove the lid [1]. place the drum on top of three stones. Removing the Charcoal 1 2 3 4 After 2 hours. Light the drum at the bottom of the hole that was formed by removing the stick [1 & 2]. . Sealing the Drum 1 2 3 4 Cover the drum with the metal lid [1]. supporting the drum with a stick while moving the stones [2]. 3 & 4]. Wait about 2 minutes. next time. After 10 minutes. If they are not fully carbonized. then carefully remove the stones from under the drum.Lighting the Fire 1 2 3 4 Before starting the burn. Seal the bottom edges and the top with sand [3 & 4]. The cobs inside should be carbonized and ready to use [2. so that air can flow in through the holes in the bot- tom. ignite the smoke to make the fire burn more cleanly [3 & 4]. Let the fire burn for another 10 minutes before covering.

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