How it works

Safety note: your BiocharBBQ operates in a unique way, therefore it is very important that you read the operating and safety instructions carefully, as well as watching the associated video.

When you strike a match, the oxidising agent at the tip generates sufficient heat to gasify the wood it’s attached to. This gas ignites and continues the gasification process along the match. The wood turns to charcoal, which rapidly cools, preventing it from burning away.

This stick of charcoal is mostly carbon that would have been released into the atmosphere and become carbon dioxide, had the match been allowed to decompose as wood. Each kilo of organic carbon released into the atmosphere through decomposition, becomes 3.6 kilos of carbon dioxide, because each carbon atom combines with two atoms of slightly heavier oxygen. So capturing carbon while still in its solid form, by ‘stealing’ it out of the carbon cycle, is more efficient and easier than trying to extract it from the air.

Your artisan stove works in much the same way as the match; turning wood into gas and charcoal. The only real difference being that the charcoal made is prevented from burning, through lack of oxygen, rather than by cooling. 

The picture to the right shows you what is happening inside your stove. As the fire burns back along the stack, the wood left behind is bathed in oxygen-depleted flames, which gasify it through a process called pyrolysis. The gas produced mixes with air as it passes up the chimney, and ignites, to give you a clean flame to cook on. Wood gas is basically smoke that is still hot enough to completely combust. As you push more fuel into the chamber, the charcoal produced collects in the back of the stove, where it cools and stabilises. When you finish your BBQ, you just rake out the combustion chamber into a bucket of water. You then separate the unburnt wood and put it to one side to dry for another time,  leaving you with the charcoal; or to be correct, your high quality biochar.

This video demonstrates how to use the biocharBBQ safely, and how to get the most from it! 

Schematic of the biocharBBQ

We conducted a carbon monoxide safety test on the ‘biocharBBQ’; see the results here.

Join Us

Sign up to become an active part of our project; follow us on social media for frequent updates and get involved by purchasing your own biocharBBQ.