Carbon or Charcoal

A bottle of 50gms activated charcoal with 180g...
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Purest form of carbon is diamond….

Carbon is the 15th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust and the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass.

All known form of life has carbon.

 

Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of impure carbon obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances.

Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen. The resulting soft, brittle, lightweight, black, porous material resembles coal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charcoal

 

Activated carbon is a form of carbon that has been processed to make it extremely porous and thus to have a very large surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions.

Activation/Oxidation: Raw material or carbonized material is exposed to oxidizing atmospheres (carbon monoxide, oxygen, or steam) at temperatures above 250 °C, usually in the temperature range of 600–1200 °C.

Chemical activation: Prior to carbonization, the raw material is impregnated with certain chemicals. The chemical is typically an acid, strong base, or a salt (phosphoric acid, potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, zinc chloride, respectively).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Activated_carbon

Transport Regulations – Dangerous Goods

Listed in IMDG Code Index as below

Activated Carbon, see     – 4.2 1362
Activated Charcoal, see     – 4.2 1362
Non-activated Carbon, see     – 4.2 1361
Non-activated Charcoal, see    – 4.2 1361
CARBON, ACTIVATED – 4.2 1362
CARBON animal origin – 4.2 1361
CARBON vegetable origin – 4.2 1361

Highlighted in BOLD are the assigned proper shipping names for Charcoal or Carbon vegetable or animal origin

Assigned to Division 4.2 – Spontaneous Combustion.

 

Self-heating substances, which are substances, which, in contact with air without energy supply, are liable to self-heating. These substances will ignite only when in large amounts (kilograms) and after long periods of time (hours or days). If the rate of heat production exceeds the rate of heat loss, then the temperature of the substance will rise which, after an induction time, may lead to self-ignition and combustion.

A substance shall be classified as a self-heating substance of class 4.2 as per tests performed in accordance with the test method given in the United Nations Manual of Tests and Criteria, part III, 33.3.1.6

CARBON animal or vegetable origin           – 4.2 1361

CARBON, ACTIVATED                                        – 4.2 1362

1361 PG II & III / SP 925 and 223 for PG III

1362 PG III / SP 223 & 925

SP 925 states

The provisions of this Code do not apply to:

–          non-activated carbon blacks of mineral origin;

– a consignment of carbon if it passes the tests for self-heating substances as reflected in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria (see 33.3.1.3.3), and is accompanied by a certificate from a laboratory accredited by the competent authority, stating that the product to be loaded has been correctly sampled by trained staff from that laboratory and that the sample was correctly tested and has passed the test; and

– carbons made by a steam activation process.

When Charcoal/ Carbon is considered as non Hazardous?

a) Either it is non-activated carbon blacks of mineral origin; or

b) Passed the UN test as per SP 925; or

c) carbons made by a steam activation process

MSDS must contain either of the information in ‘a’ or ‘c’

Or

Shipment must be supported/accompanied by test report in ‘b’

Shipping lines may have individual house rules with varying conditions for acceptance of hazardous and non-hazardous carbon.

 

 

 

 

43 comments

  1. Good and Informative for Exporter Like me… Thanks, Also please confirm once again that Activated carbon can be declared Non Hazardous if it is Steam Activated.

    Thanks
    Laningiri Neelagiri
    +91 90030 35377

  2. hi shashi,

    thanks for the informative article!Seeking your assistance on my inquiry.What If the commodity is granulated charcoal (from Coconut shell)? Will these be acceptable as non-hazardous?

    MSDS indicates that comoodity is under UN no. 1361
    Self heating test reports are as follows:
    Self heating test, 140 C @ 100 mm cube: positive
    Self heating test, 140 C @ 25-mm cube: negative
    Self heating test, 120 C @ 100 mm cube: negative

    1. Dear Nessa,

      If MSDS shows the commodity as UN 1361 why do you consider to transport as Non-hazardous ?

      Charcoal need to be tested as indicated in United Nations Manual of Tests and Criteria, part III, 33.3.1.6 and depending on the result it may not be classified as Class 4.2.

      Regards/Shashi

  3. Dear Mr. Shashi, I am working actually for a worldwide shipping line, thanks for your good article, but talking about vegetal burnt shell, it remains to me one doubt that SP925 does not mentions at all,

    all and every lot of goods must be subject to the self-heating evaluation according SP925 or just a minimum sample of a, let´s say, 200 tons of product to be shipped in different maritime containers, is enough?
    In other words, is the validity of the self-heating evaluation for a specific period and one product or just a unique use.

    Thanks beforehand

    1. Dear Javier,

      Apologies for delay in replying.
      Test shall be conducted by randomly picked up samples by a laboratory accredited by the competent authority. Even though IMDG Code does not say about validity period for this test we should proactively re test the product if we suspect the properties may have changed due to exposure to humidity, wet weather etc.
      Laboratory personnel shall be the best people to advise you on this regard.

      Regards/Shashi

      1. Dear Mr. Shashi,

        Thanks for your reply.
        As you say, IMDG nothing says regarding the validity period for a specific product, but this would not be a excuse for a manufacturer for keep shipping his stuff using just one test issued let´s say two or three years ago.
        To avoid problems I saw that some countries ( Argentina ) legally speaking standardizes this fact forcing to pass one SP925evaluation to samples of every lot to be shipped.

        Most of the vegetal burnt shell are manufactured and exported from Indonesia. Is there some specific regulation in respect of the frequency of the self-heating evaluation there? Are you maybe mindful of that or where to find this regulation?

        Thanks a lot

        1. Dear Javier,

          I am not aware of any specific regulations or frequency requirement for self heating test imposed by Indonesian Competent Authority.
          If you represent a line you may look upon to revise your own in house restriction with such or similar requirement to ensure correctness of classification and stability of such products.

          You must be more alert when carrying “so called” non-hazardous charcoal.

          Regards/Shashi

          1. Dear Mr. Shashi,

            thanks for your kind reply. It is quite useful for me.

            Last, why did you say that about the “so called” non-hazardous charcoal?

            regards

          2. In some cases charcoal offered as non-hazardous has run into self ignition. Coconut shell and other charcoal being offered as non-haz must be thoroughly vetted by scrutinizing lab test report, report results against UN test criteria, whether lab is authorized by competent aithoruty etc.

            further shipping line may ask shipper for indemnity and include such provisions in B/L to safeguard line’s interest.

            regards

          3. Many times charcoal offered as non-hazardous had run into self ignition which is the reason for me to state that one must be cautious about charcoal offered as non-hazardous if same is not supported by test reports.

            Regards/Shashi

  4. Dear Mr Shashi
    Our company produces Activated Carbon as a by-product when Ilmenite and Coal is heated in a kiln to a temperature of approximately 1100C. The coal is used as a heat source and reductant for the Iron Oxide on the Ilmenite.The carbon produced is activated but can we claim that it is “steam activated” it is certainly not “chemically activated”. Can you explain how Gas phase activated carbon is produced ?

    1. Good Day,
      Ideally to call “steam activated” we need presence of steam in activation process. Your carbon is neither chemically activated. Hence self do not think you can get exemption to ship it as non-hazardous unless tested and proved.

      Regards/Shashi

  5. Hi Shashi,

    I work as a FF, and recently I received an enquiry to ship charcoal in a 40FT. But none of the carriers I approached, want to handle the shipment because it is a dangerous and will dirty the container.

    Any advise on who I can approach to help me ship?

    Thank you

  6. Hello sir
    We planned export coconut shell charcoal which is produced fromfrom pit method .whether it comes under hazardous. Some people claims steam activated coconut shell charcoal what is the differences between steam activated coconut shell charcoal and non activated one.
    Which is the lab in south India which carry test the coconut shell charcoal and issue certificate of non hazardous.
    Is MSDS support by lab certificate
    Since we are manufturer cum merchant trader ,can we issue MSDS For manufactured and traded (produce from pit method by small farmers)material.
    With out non hazardous certificate ,what is the procedure for export.
    Regards
    Prasad

  7. Hello sir
    We planned export coconut shell charcoal which is produced fromfrom pit method .whether it comes under hazardous. Some people claims steam activated coconut shell charcoal what is the differences between steam activated coconut shell charcoal and non activated one.
    Which is the lab in south India which carry test on coconut shell charcoal and issue certificate of non hazardous.
    Is MSDS support by lab certificate
    Since we are manufturer cum merchant trader ,can we issue MSDS For manufactured and traded (produce from pit method by small farmers)material.
    With out non hazardous certificate ,what is the procedure for export.
    Regards
    Prasad

  8. Hello sir
    We planned export coconut shell charcoal which is produced from pit method .whether it comes under hazardous. Some people claims steam activated coconut shell charcoal what is the differences between steam activated coconut shell charcoal and non activated one.
    Which is the lab in south India which carry test on coconut shell charcoal and issue certificate of non hazardous.
    Is MSDS support by lab certificate
    Since we are manufturer cum merchant trader ,can we issue MSDS For manufactured and traded (produce from pit method by small farmers)material.
    With out non hazardous certificate ,what is the procedure for export.
    Regards
    Prasad

  9. Dear Sir, Kindly give me Address Charcoal test certificate Competent Authority Lab Address

    Am exporter from charcoal wood but liner asked to we require heat test certificate -IMCO /UN / CLASS

    pls give us details Asap….

    1. You may contact Directorate General of Shipping , Government of India, 9th Floor Beta Building, i-Think Techno Campus, Kanjurmarg East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400042, phone 022 2575 2041 for guidance

      Regards/

  10. Dear sir,

    We are ready to export ” wood based granular steam activated carbon ” .

    It is DG or NON DG.

    Pls confirm the same.

    Regards/ Sabari

  11. Dear Mr. Shashi,
    Thanks for your Q&A discussion on the Charcoal, which is fall in to IMO Class 4.2 UN NO.1361 or 1362.
    Relate to Indonesia CA , yes there is a regulation to be fulfilled for every shipment of charcoal, Indonesian Government Rectified the SOLAS 1974 / amdt, therefore all DG Shipment should meet the requirement stated in the IMDG Code , for year 2016 – is IMDG Code amdt 37-14.
    Anyway, the CA sofar not yet issued or accredited surveyor company nor laboratory test, the lab is base on the ISO/KAN certification and doing testing for Self Heating Test base on UN Manual Test N4 -33.3.1.6, and a hot discussion not only finish cargo test, but also Factory Processing Audit and Pre-Shipment Inspection Program intruduced in the country.
    All aiming for safety of transport..
    Hope the above sharing can be used as reference..
    B rgds/
    Capt.Supriyanto.

    1. Dear Capt. Supriyanto,
      do you know of any container carrier which accept CCB (Coconut Charcoal Briquettes) for export from Indonesia to Europe in 20’/40′ Container?

      Transport Information as per MSDS:
      Domestic :Proper Shipping Name : Charcoal Identification Number : NA1361 Class : 4.2
      P.G. : III
      Label Class : 4.2
      International :
      Proper Shipping Name : Charcoal UN Number : 1361 – Class : 4.2 – P.G. : III – Label Code : 4.2
      IMO : Carbon, not activated. Not restricted. Passes self-heating carbon test.

      Best regards
      Bastian

  12. Hi sir,

    We are from survey company. One of my client going to export charcoal to Sweden. Since we are from survey line they inquiry to us to whether our company can provide the below certificate.
    – selfheating certificate by accreditated laboratory
    – official accreditation letter of laboratory
    – weathering certificate
    – vanning certificate

    1. Hello Jayaveta,

      All four points you raised about test and surveys have unique requirements.
      1.Self heating test and official accreditation is combined for test of charcoal
      2. Weathering certificate is statement that the cargo as packed was weathered
      3.Vanning Certificate is container stuffing survey report

      Point no. 3 can be provided by you if shipper has appointed you as third party surveyor.
      Point no. 2 has to be issued by the shipper
      Point no. 1 has to be from a laboratory authorized for this specific work from Malaysian Competent Authority.

      Regards/Shashi

      Regards/Shashi

  13. I need your advice on the weathering certificate and how it does look like because we have not issue the cert before or who actually will release the cert shipper or surveyor?

    I seek you advice on the matter.

    Thank you.

    Regards,
    Veta.

    1. Hello Jayveta,

      weathering certificate is a statement by shipper how he has weathered the cargo offered to load. There is no standard format. what is the cargo involved in this ?

      Regards/Shashi

  14. Dear Sir,

    We are into Freight forwarding , could you please help us in intimating which are the liners accept charcoal Briquettes for export to Jeddah.

  15. When you say :
    MSDS ( Material Safety Data Sheet ) must contain either of the information in ‘a’ or ‘b’
    or Shipment must be supported/accompanied by test report in ‘b’
    I suppose that you intended to say instead :
    MSDS ( Material Safety Data Sheet ) must contain either of the information in ‘a’ or ‘C’
    or Shipment must be supported/accompanied by test report in ‘b’

    This because you need information that Charcoal is either of mineral origin or steam process ( A and C ) or otherwise test report ( B ) is needed .

    Correct ? If not appreciate your explanation/
    Thanks
    Claudio B

    1. Hello Claudio,
      Yes, you are right. SDS must either contain information in “a” or C or supported by test results in “B”
      I make a typo and now corrected it. Thank you for pointing out this error, much appreciate.
      Hope this article is informative.

      Regards/Shashi

  16. Hi i need your advice to how find out what is this self heating certificate for charcoal Briquettes from export malaysia?

    1. Charcoal to be transported as non dangerous goods need to pass the tests for self-heating substances as reflected in the United Nations Manual of Tests and Criteria (see 33.3.1.3.3), and is accompanied by a certificate from a laboratory accredited by the competent authority, stating that the product
      to be loaded has been correctly sampled by trained staff from that laboratory and that the sample was correctly tested and has passed the test.

      Above is not applicable to carbons made by a steam activation process and non-activated carbon blacks of mineral origin.

      You may check with Indonesian Competent Authority to find out which laboratory is authorized by them to carryout above test.
      Contact Details of Indonesian Competent Authority is as below.

      Director of Marine Safety
      Directorate-General of Sea Communication
      (Department Perhubungan)
      Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No. 8
      Jakarta Pusat
      INDONESIA
      Telephone: +62 381 3269
      Fax: +62 384 0788

      Regards/Shashi

  17. Hello Mr Shashi,

    I have plenty of carbon black and planning to produce briquettes and we are trying our best to recycle this waste but still no avail, our samples doesnt even catch fire do you have any idea about the chemicals we need to mix with carbon black powder to make it flamable? we are using starch as a binder and we are able to produce durable solid briquettes but not successful of making it burnt.

      1. First Thanks for giving time to reply, its not burning at all, some company in china and india are doing it already but i dont know if they mixed it with other chemicals by the way thank you for youre time sir regards

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