Charcoal in Malaysia

by Azhar73 December. 08, 2009 12443 views

Charcoal in Malaysia
December 8, 2009

Charcoal factory in Kuala Sepetang 280 km about 3 hours 24 mins from Kuala Lumpur is a coastal town located in Perak, Malaysia. The town was formerly known as Port Weld after a former Governor, Frederick Weld. Interestingly, only thirty year old mangroves are harvested for the logs. It is also enlightening to know that to ensure continuity, those trees which were fell for charcoal making are being replanted.The Chemistry and Physics involved are quite elaborate despite the fact that charcoal is mainly used as fuel. As we all know, all living things have carbon as their main chemical component. Carbon dating is used to determine the age of ancient objects based on the half life radioactivity that carbon emits.Therefore, all living things can be turned into charcoal, including human remains! In order to make the charcoal, it is very important that the temperature of the kilns is controlled accordingly. Too high, the logs will turn into ashes, too low, they will not turn into quality charcoal that burn efficiently.During this process, the headman monitors 24 hours the fire, baking and temperature to attain good quality charcoal. If air circulation is block, the quality is affected and so is the pricing.The baking take approximately 20 to 24 days.Totally baked and carbonized charcoal is left to cool down inside the kiln for another 8 more days.Presently, there are over 100 charcoal makers who has 380 kilns in Taiping.

Text by : Mohd Rasfan Mohd Nor

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Photo by :

Azhar A Rahim
+6019 264 2844
[email protected]

Feel free to visit my Fotofolio at : http://azhararahim.wordpress.com [azhararahim.wordpress.com]

(1) The logs are cut to about 1.6 meters in length and in uniform diameter of thirty year old mangrove trunks. Before turning them into charcoal.The name of transportation to carry the logs is “Wheel Barrow”

(2) Workers had to be real fast as the tides comes in, the logs have to be carried and stacked in the boats. Then the boat ply its way back to the factory. I must say I have a lot of respect for these hard and sun tanned healthy working man.

(3) The factory has come up with a practical way of transporting the logs from the mangrove forest. Instead of hauling the logs over uneven terrain, small canals are dug which act transporter when the tide is high. The water is fed from the river mouth.

(4) The logs are cut to about 1.6 meters in length and in uniform diameter of thirty year old mangrove trunks. Before turning them into charcoal, the barks have to be removed. The process is back-breaking, using a heavy, long chisel-like tool.

(5) Bakau minyak log is weighs over 25 kgs per log and he carries to and from the boat and then unload and carries all the way to the igloo-like kiln.

(6) Worker carried bakau minyak log into the kiln, it is stacked by the side of the kiln to dry out.

(7) The workers carried the logs inside the igloo.

(8) The logs are then arranged in the kiln. They are arranged in such a way that the heat inside the kiln is evenly distributed to all the logs. In this case, the logs are arranged vertically upright.

(9) The workers cleaning the baking chamber to slow down the burning.

(10) Approximately 20 to 24 days are baking.The totally baked and carbonized charcoal is left to cool down inside the kiln for another 8 more days

(11) Workers inside the igloo-like kiln carefully carrying the ebony black charcoal out ready for final packing.It is still pretty warm and dark(hotter than a normal day temperature)

(12) Each igloo like kiln can stacked up to 40 tonnes of green wood. The final product after combustion and baking is approximately 10 tonnes. Matang charcoal is priced at RM600 per tonne.

(13) A worker carrying out the black charcoal after 20 to 24 days the logs had beed baked inside the igloo-like kiln

(14) Approximately 20 to 24 days are baking, the totally baked and carbonized charcoal is left to cool down inside the kiln for another 8 more days. Once the 8 days of cooling period is over, the entrance is broken down for the workers to begin carrying the ebonyblack charcoal (Black Gold To Them) out ready for final packing

(15) Charcoals bits and pieces,or broken logs are used for local consumption

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Azhar73 9 years, 10 months ago

Hi, Bro Mahayudin,

Just to be true with you and don??t want to confusing anybody.

Same place and action but different angle, we go to Kuala Sepetang together about last month to photograph about our charcoal industry and knowing Rasfan very well start from Zainal Halim workshop.

But I??m not very good in writing caption and text in English, so I copy and paste the text about charcoal to my WordPress, Photoblog and my own web with his permission.

That??s why I??m not uploading the story to Demotix.com

Thanks bro for comment and visiting my Blog.

Azhar.

9 years, 10 months ago Edited
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