Charcoal is being explored as one fuel source because it is relatively less expensive, cleaner, safer and more efficient than most current fuel sources.  Charcoal burns hotter and cleaner than wood.  Unlike coal, it does not release sulfur into the atmosphere.  It can also potentially reduce the number of deaths due to fumes from indoor cooking fires.

Charcoal can be produced from inexpensive and widely available refuse materials such as sugarcane, corncobs, or waste paper.  Corncob is an ideal material to use in the Philippines since it is widely available in farms and other agricultural areas.




What you need:


200-liter-capacity drum

Water sprinkler



1.  Fill the drum one-third of the way with corncobs.  Burn the corncobs until the smoke goes away.  Be careful not to put too much corncobs as they will not burn properly.

2.  Add more corncobs so that the drum is not two-thirds full.  Burn these corncobs until the smoke goes away.

3.  When the smoke has completely dissipated, empty the drum and spread the burnt corncobs.

4.  Sprinkle water on the burnt corncobs.

5.  Leave the corncobs under the sun until completely dried.

6.  Separate the ashes from the charcoal.

7.  Store the charcoal in a clean and dry place.

Use the charcoal for your daily needs or produce them in mass amounts as a source of livelihood.  In either case, you will help yourself and the environment.


Local materials, low cost and good science add up to technology-for developing nations.

Visual source:  howstuffworks