inverted downdraft gasifier
I made a few small batches of low-temp charcoal with a retort fashioned from a cracker tin. It produced impressive volumes of smoke, so I got on a track of finding out how that smoke might be put to good use.

Thomas B. Reed, Biomass Energy Foundation president and CREST gasification list moderator, has been working on a better understanding of inverted downdraft gasification. He is passionate about improving the efficiency of cook stove fuel use in third world countries. Thus his perennial effort to perfect a household-size inverted downdraft gasifier. Of interest to soil scientists, some of his designs have the capacity to produce charcoal.

Tom Reed designs have inspired others. In 2003 Ray Garlington produced a simplified design. I modified Ray's design to be able to shut it down and hold the charcoal. I used it to boil a cup of water with only a small handful of cedar. It was 2 deg F outside but not a problem. I even produced a fair bit of charcoal.

See transectpoints.blogspot.com/2007/02/pyrolysis.html.
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