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Wood tar

 
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Location: Thames Valley, UK
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I'm thinking about condensing out wood tar from retort production of biochar, if for nothing else, as a liquid fuel. The question is, how toxic/carcinogenic is the stuff. Are tars=bad- if they are, why do they love the stuff so much in Finland- they seem to put it in everything. What can I do with a bucket of wood tar?
 
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I made some pine tar last year to use as a wood finish. Mixed 50/50 with boiled linseed oil it makes an excellent weather proof finish. I showed how to do it on my blog www.dirtybillyoffgrid.com You need a ton of wood for a little bit of tar. A paint can full of pine will produce an ounce or so. You can do all sorts of things with the stuff, soap is common. Logcabinlooms on youtube loves the stuff and puts it on anything that's made of wood. The same process with birchbark will produce a tar that thickens as it cools. The natives used to seal their birchbark canoes with it, and on the documentary A Happy People they use birch tar as a mosquito repellent.
 
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