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Charcoal Kiln

The Charcoal Industry of Matang - started in 1930's. Until today the same method of production continues. A Kiln shaped like an igloo is used. Each kiln has a standard size of 6.7m in diameter and a height of about 7m. It requires about 22,000 pieces of red bricks plastered with a mixture of clay and very fine sand to build a kiln. The kiln has six openings and a door in the front. The approximate life span of a kiln varies from 3 years to as long as 10 years, depending on the foundation. Each kiln has a capacity of 40 tonne of raw wood.

Charcoal - raw wood

The production of charcoal takes three main stages:
First, the wood are stacked vertically inside the kiln and - it's called The Big Fire is started. This process is burnt continuously non-stop for 5 to 7 days. Then, the second stage called The Small Fire begins. This is also burnt non-stop for 7 to 10 days. This is the most important period of burning. An expert worker will be able to determine the completion of burning just by the smell and the colour of the vapour from the kiln.

Charcoal - The door & raw wood inside kiln

Hence, once this is ready, all the openings and the door are completely sealed and the kiln is allowed to cool down. This is known as The Cooling Stage, this will take 10 to 13 days. The complete processes of charcoal production will take approximately 30 days. Each kiln yields about 1 tonne of charcoal.

Charcoal - burning

Charcoal Kiln at Kuala Sepetang, location map