While many people are likely to buy their charcoal in ‘ready to consume’ form, as you can from our shop page, you can also make it in the comfort of your own backyard. It does take a bit of effort, but if you are going to be using a lot of it, you could save a lot of money by going down this route.
It is probably worth noting that this may not give you ‘pure’ activated charcoal. Unless you can control the environment that you are producing the activated charcoal in, then you can’t be 100% sure of the purity. You should only use this method if you need the charcoal in a hurry.
How To Make Charcoal
You are going to need to start with some charcoal. You can purchase charcoal from your local store or you can make it, but it can be tough. This is because you need to heat your wood up to an exact temperature. The wood will not turn into charcoal until it is heated between 900 and 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be exceedingly tough to heat up wood to this point. This is why you need a controlled environment. You need to know that you have the right temperature.
Powder The Charcoal
The next step is to powder up the charcoal. You need to ensure that it is as fine as you can possibly get it. You can purchase specific grinders for this purpose. Remember; you are likely to be eating this charcoal, so you really do want to ensure that there are no massive chunks which could get stuck in your throat! If you are applying the activated charcoal to your skin, then it is likely that you can get away with slightly larger chunks of it than you normally would. However, still do your best to get it as small as you possibly can.
The Calcium Chloride Solution
To make activated charcoal, you will need calcium chloride. You can buy this easily. Mix one-part calcium chloride with three parts water. This will make a paste.
Mixing the Two Together
You will now need to mix the calcium chloride solution up with your charcoal. The paste should be relatively thick. Not so thick that it is tricky to move, just have a decent amount of thickness to it. Basically, your mixture should not be too watery, otherwise, the next step is not going to work.
Spread the Paste
Now, spread the paste on a baking tray and let it dry out. If you can leave it out in the sun, then the process should be very quick. When it is dry, give the solution a rinse down with some clean water.
Bake the Activated Charcoal
The final stage is to bake the activated charcoal. You can stick it in your oven for 30 minutes at 225F. It is likely that you will need to give your oven a clean down after this. The fumes are not toxic, but it can cause quite a mess in the oven!
Your activated charcoal is now ‘done’.