Know why it is crucial to choose the right supplier of raw coconut shells for your charcoal briquettes
The most important part of the production of coconut charcoal briquettes for shisha & hookah is the raw material. Briquettes are 100% made from coconut charcoal shells. Quality and specification of shells influence the ash content and its color, ability to last longer, and crack.
Before you buy coconut charcoal briquettes from the factory pay attention to the quality and source of coconut shells. Good coconut shells will bring you good-quality of briquettes.
What charcoal briquettes do buyers have to know about coconut charcoal shells?
Location of coconut shells trees
Coconut trees are grown all over Indonesia. On each island, you can find lots of coconut trees with coconuts. While most of the coconut trees are from the same spices but the coconut shell properties are very different.
The best coconut charcoal shells are from North Sulawesi, the area of Manado. Actually, most of Sulawesi island produces white color, low ash charcoals.
Good quality shells can be found in Sumatra. But it heavily depends on the region. Usually, Lampung or Jambi produce very thick dark ash.
Coconut shells from Java can be used for the production of coconut charcoal. But very rarely you can find white ash. Usually, it is very dark ash with 7 to 15 % content of ash.
The ash content and color depend on the soil’s properties. It can vary from one place to another. Besides the quality of the shell depends on the season it is harvested. It is the wet season, and the charcoal shells will be a darker color and have higher ash. In the dry season (May – September) it is better quality ash.
The second most important thing that influences the quality of charcoal shells is the burning method. There are two main types of burning (pyrolysis) charcoal: (a) burning in steel drums and, (b) burning in earth pits.
The best is to get charcoal shells burned (pyrolyzed) in steel drums. It is the cleanest process that supports the high value of carbon (up to 85%). Charcoal factories are hunting for the guys who do pyrolyze in steel drums.
Another method is burning in soil/earth pits. It is easy to do and a very common method in Sumatra and Sulawesi. The quality of charcoal shells is less than in steel drums.
The price of these charcoal shells is 1/2 of the steel drum. That is why many charcoal factories are buying it.
How burning are ends
The process of pyrolysis both in steel drums or soil pits can be ended in 3 different ways. The first is a natural ending. The best one is to get high-quality low ash content white ash charcoal shells. But not too many farmers use it. As it requires a longer time to wait until pyrolysis ends.
Most farmers use the second way to end the process – to pour water into the steel drum or soil pit. This method almost instantly ends the process. It is fast but produces less quality. And a lot of half-burned coconut shells. The moisture is very high.
The third method is to sprinkle with water. It is almost the same as pouring water, but it takes a longer time. Quality is the middle but can be used for charcoal production.
While you are buying coconut charcoal shells you always buy a mix of self-ended and poured pyrolysis. Farmers mix those methods together to provide cheap but digestible quality.
Delivery of charcoal shells
Most coconut charcoal briquette factories are located in Central Java. While suppliers of coconut charcoal shells are in Sulawesi & Sumatra. Pyrolysis is also done in villages of Sulawesi & Sumatra.
The delivery of charcoal shells is an important part. There are three ways of delivery. The first is by a truck. Used for Sumatra’s charcoal. Trucking time is 18 -25 hours. It is a relatively cheap way of transportation.
The big threat is that trucks can get under heavy tropical rain. If charcoal shells were not covered well – it can absorb rainwater and get very high moisture content.
The second way to deliver charcoal shells is to use sea containers. this method is used to deliver shells from Sulawesi, Halmahera, and other islands.
20″ feet sea container can get up to 12 tons of coconut charcoal shells. Never buy coconut shells by weight, only by volume. If you buy shells by weight, the seller will pour additional 2-3 tonnes of water into your charcoal without you noticing it. So it will increase weight and reduce quality for you.
Delivery time by sea container is 1-2 weeks. It is more expensive but safe for the quality of charcoal.
The third method is sea delivery by wooden vessels. It is the cheapest, longest, and most dangerous (for the quality) method. Charcoal shells are put inside the wooden vessel. The charcoal will absorb seawater and become very low quality. Please always ask your factory how they do the delivery of charcoal shells.
Charcoal shells storage
The storage of coconut charcoal shells is a crucial part. Many factories just store it under the open sky. It is important to cover charcoal shells both from high temperatures and rain.
While there is no expiration date for the charcoal shells, but it is not recommended to keep charcoal for more than 4 months.
After arriving at your warehouse or factory – it is very important to check the quality of charcoal shells. Samples have to be taken from every 500 – 1000 kg of charcoal.
You have tested it for moisture content (rejection is 12%), ash content (3 to 7 %), and ash color.
Before buying coconut charcoal shells pay attention to the quality and source of the raw material. It is the most important part of charcoal briquettes for hookah.
Ask your supplier where did he get charcoal and from what area. How it was transported and how was pyrolyzes done.