Suzanne Cornell wrote:Dale,
Where are you located? I'd love to see your experiments.
Anna Demb wrote:Hello Dale,
Have you come across this wine cellar with biochar/clay plaster walls? Thought you might be interested. I am!
Dale Hodgins wrote:This same gabion system could be adapted to contain softwood charcoal which is one of nature's best insulators. Charcoal is a very poor conductor of heat and it reflects radiant heat. If plenty of fine ground material were added, it should also be good at preventing convective air currents within the insulation.
Charcoal burns. Wood also burns, so nothing new there with plant derived insulation. It would all be encased under a layer of stucco, so, much like a straw bale wall, there would not be enough air for a fire to take off.
Here's the biggie. Unlike almost every other plant derived insulating material, charcoal is highly resistant to rot. Charcoal has been found in archeological excavations from Roman times even at damp sites in England and Germany. We still want to protect this insulation from water, since accumulated moisture could rot out stucco wire and adjacent wood and the R value would drop hugely for wet material. But the charcoal is not an item that is likely to break down any time soon.
Cellulose insulation which is derived from recycled newsprint is one of the best plant based insulating materials but it is highly susceptible to water damage and rot. Charcoal is less conductive to heat than is wood or paper and it reflects infrared(Heat). Expensive, high tech foam insulating boards incorporate charcoal for this reason. Therefore, charcoal could be used in situations where a high R value per inch plus radiant barrier are desired.
This will be tested along with cob/pumice, sawdust clay, wood chip clay and other insulating materials in small domes of the given material, formed over a huge metal bowl that I'm using so that results may be compared.
I began exploring the idea of charcoal insulation at the beginning of the thread entitled "Dale's Marvellous Inventions and Adaptations." Here's the link. https://permies.com/t/19303/green-building/Dale-Marvellous-Inventions-Adaptations
Check out the thread entitled "Green Building - Materials Testing and Longevity Study Facility - Facades,Roofing,Plasters, Flooring" https://permies.com/t/13262/green-building/Green-Building-Materials-Testing-Longevity – to learn of my plan to run semi scientific short term and long term performance and durability test on various green building products. Others from different regions need to join in this effort if it is to be of value to the majority of natural builders. I'm willing to provide space for those who would like to test certain systems and products on my walls, floors etc...
Dale Hodgins wrote:I poked around a dozen sites concerning spontaneous combustion. I'm pretty satisfied that it's a myth. Here's one --- http://www.nakedwhiz.com/wetcharcoal.htm