How we make our Activated Bamboo Charcoal
How it all started
Although our passion for bamboo comes from way back before we started with Bali Boo, we soon realized we didn’t know as much about the plant as we initially thought. We had to go out and about, talking to as many experts as we could find. We had to know as much as we could about the material that would become the cornerstone of our business and our philosophy.
One of those people was Georges, a French expat that had been living in Asia for over 15 years. Georges was presented to us through Fred’s family, and he had definitely done his homework when it comes to Bamboo.
Georges and his team had started developing Activated Bamboo Charcoal in Bali through traditional Japanese techniques. He even flew in an expert in Bamboo Charcoal from Japan just to get the whole production process running. This guy was clearly not kidding.
Georges spoke to us about the medicinal benefits of Activated Bamboo Charcoal, which serves as a natural antibacterial. Activated Bamboo Charcoal can also serve as a teeth whitener, as an air and water purificator, and can help remove toxins from the body after food poisoning. Like this article shows, this stuff is what miracles are made of!
We soon realized that what Georges had in his hands was definitely something worth showing to the rest of the world, and that’s how we decided we had to begin offering the Activated Bamboo Charcoal, both in powder and in sticks.
How to make Activated Bamboo Charcoal – The Bali Boo Style!
In Bali, the best type of bamboo to make Activated Bamboo Charcoal is Petung Bamboo. The bamboo used for our activated bamboo charcoal comes from a small village in the foothills of the famous Batur and Agung volcanoes, in central Bali. This village, which basically survives thanks to the production of bamboo, takes great care of their forests. They maintain them in a traditional way, never cutting more than is needed. Therefore, always letting the plants grow as much as they can.
The place is incredible, definitely worth a visit. If you’d like to grasp what the place looks like, we really urge you to visit the surrounding and sacred Penglipuran Bamboo Forest, very close to where our bamboo is sourced from.
Once the bamboo stalks have been carefully select and cut. George’s team cuts them into small sections, for ease of travel and maneuvrability. Keep in mind one of these stalks can measure up to 20-30 meters, so cutting them down is the only real way of being able to work with them properly.
Once the bamboo stalks are ready, they go into a special clay oven that reaches a temperature of almost 1000 degrees in around 2/3h. After that, the heat is cut, but the oven remains closed for the next 21-28 days. During this time, the oxidation process takes place, which opens the pores of the charcoal and therefore gives it it’s powerful ‘activation.’
Once the activated bamboo charcoal is ready, we either crush it into powder, or we cut them into smaller pieces and package them into small kraft boxes.