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DIY wood smoke filter concepts - queries


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I have a DIY query regarding the bubbling/filtering of smoke though water. No, it's not regarding weed or tobacco - it's regarding wood smoke.

Take a look at the following image, just as a start guide:


If a set-up was made using steel (iron) pipes similar to what's shown, where the left-hand vertical pipe was sealed and filled with wood chips, but instead of using an external air-blowing source (shown as an aquarium air pump) - an external heat source was applied to the bottom of the vertical pipe on the left (e.g. burner, or hot coals)....would enough "smoke pressure" be built up so that the smoke would be forced to bubble it's way out through the water? If so, would the water have any effect at trapping some of the tar and creosote bubbling through it?


But overall, the main issue is whether or not enough pressure would be built up by the external heat source, where they only way out for the smoke is through the water. I can gurantee that a high degree of heat and smoke would be built up within the left-hand pipe.

The other query is the same filtering concept, but instead of water....having the secondary vertical pipe (on the right, with the opening at the bottom) filled with some sort of steel wool - either fine steel wool or coarse stainless steel wool. Would this have any filtering effect at all?

My apologies if I was clumsy and confusing at explaining this. I don't know if anyone can help me here, but I'm hoping somene might be able to help.


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How much air can that sort of pump shift? It looks to me that the pressure is going to depend on the efficiency of the air inlet pump, for the fire will cause pressure to develop in all directions so the pump has to drive the smoke through the water.


If you were burning sawdust to have a smoldering fire over the entire surface would seem to require a strong flow of air, for air will be rising up through the whole volume of fuel material not just to the part that is smoldering.

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Thanks for the reply.

That image - not something I've done myself (yet). Just something I found that best illustrates what I have in mind. I wasn't intending to use a valve & air pump. I was querying whether or not applying an external heat source to the sealed base of the "wood chip pipe" would generate enough heat-induced pressure to force the smoke through the water? But as I said, no air pump.

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Could you just blow the smoke over water? It would be hard to imagine a thermal strong enough to blow through a submerged pipe.


I thought of this, but 99.99% sure it wouldn't work. It might cool the smoke a tad, but not filter it.

If the container holding the wood is sealed and only can vent via tube submerged in the water I think there will be an exit of smoke, but there won't be flame or fire as such in the chamber.


Not having any fire/flame in the chamber is not at all an issue. It's just a question of whether or not the heat would generate enough pressure to force the smoke through several centimetres of water. The principle of what I'm trying to achieve is shown here:




I've seen that sorta thing done many times in a Lab, but whether or not it would work with wood chips is another matter. The other thing I was thinking of is making the secondary pipe narrower than the first - this would increase the pressure. What I can say is that the heat in the first pipe containing the wood chips would be intense. The outside of the first pipe would likely be glowing hot.

Edited by gasbag
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start with something simple like that lab equipment. You might just have to give it a go.


Totally understood. But hoping that someone may have already tried....or have some knowledge of this sorta rig.

Irrespective of the design concept - does water have any effect at filtering creosote and other smoke compounds?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Get one of these http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41wo1%2B8TAcL._SY300_.jpg

I will post a pic over the weekend how to set it up with a box and pc fan to control the flow of mist. then have the smoke lead into another tube from the bottom, the feed from the mister is fed into the top of that tube on one side, the other side at the top has the feed out of the tube into you smoker tube where you put whatever it is your smoking. The fine mist will filter the smoke, make sure you have a hole at the bottom of the mixer tube to let out the small amount of water and gunk that will form.

If I get a min I will draw it at the weekend

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  • 3 years later...

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