Shell Charcoal is an important product obtained from coconut shell. Shell charcoal is used widely as domestic and industrial fuel. It is also used by blacksmiths and goldsmiths and in laundries. Shell Charcoal is also used to produce activated carbon. Activated Carbon produced from coconut shell has certain specific advantages as the raw material can adsorb certain molecular species. Shell is carbonized by using methods like pit method, drum method, destructive distillation etc. The shell charcoal is the raw material required for the manufacture of activated carbon. The shell charcoal is manufactured by burning shells of fully matured nuts in the limited supply of air sufficient only for carbonization, but not for complete destruction. The output of charcoal in the traditional path method is just below 30 percent of the weight of the original shells. In India, the average output in the traditional method has been found to be 35kg of charcoal from 1000 whole shells or about 30,000 whole shells yield 1 ton of charcoal. Sometimes, especially when the processing is defective, the output is still lower and nearly 50,000 shells are required to produce one ton of charcoal. To obtain good quality charcoal, fully dried, clean, mature shells should be used. Now several modern methods are in vogue for the production of charcoal. In the modern waste heat recovery unit the heat generated by the burning of coconut shells is used for drying copra and shell charcoal is obtained as the by-product. A simple and efficient method adopted for the production of charcoal on cottage scale is given below.
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