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Sunday, 9 March 2014


Charcoal is a black, porous form of carbon, produced by heating wood or other organic materials in the absence of air.

Charcoal is made from wood by heating it in airless space in high temperature. The wood will not burn, but instead turn into charcoal.

Charcoal has been used for drawing since prehistoric times when pieces of charred wood would have been used.

The discovery of charcoal by the ancients allowed people to build smokeless fires, and charcoal was used widely in temperate climates. The two-story houses of the Athenians, for instance, were heated only with a brazier, or dish, of burning charcoal.

Charcoal was traditionally produced by burning dried wood in a kiln, a process lasting several days. The kiln was either a simple hole in the ground, or an earth-covered mound.

Charcoal had many uses in earlier centuries. Because of the high temperature at which it burns (2,012°F), it was used in furnaces and blast furnaces before the development of coke.

A secret room under the Medici Chapel is covered in charcoal sketches by Michelangelo, who lived there for three months while in hiding from the Pope.

Henry Ford, father of the automobile, is also father of the charcoal briquette. The motor mogul created the briquette from the wood scraps and sawdust from his car factory. E.G. Kingsford bought the invention and put the charcoal briquette into commercial production.

Activated charcoal made from coconut shells is the odor absorbing agent in odor- eating shoe liners.

One gram of activated charcoal has approximately 1,000 square meters of surface area.

Gunpowder is a mixture of charcoal, sulphur and saltpetre (potassium nitrate).

Source Hutchinson Encyclopedia © RM 2013. Helicon Publishing is division of RM

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