Primitive Technology: Iron prills
Primitive Technology Iron prills

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Primitive Technology: Iron prills - Creating Iron prills from scratch Subscribe: | Never miss a video! Enable ‘ALL’ Notifications! More videos, watch me make wood ash cement from scratch: Follow Primitive Technology: Wordpress: Patreon: Watch More Primitive Technology: Latest Uploads: Pyrotechnology: Shelter: Weapons: Popular Videos: About This Video: I smelted iron bacteria in a short furnace and produced a small quantity of iron prills (small iron spheres). In my ongoing quest to reach the iron age, further experiments were conducted concerning furnace design and the treatment of ore. I began by making a very short furnace. A pit 25 cm wide and 25 cm deep was dug and the tuyere of the forge blower placed in a 15 degree downward angle into the pit. Onto this, a furnace stack made of mud and grass was built 25 cm above ground level. The furnace was fired at various stages to help dry it. It took less than a day to build. Eucalyptus wood was collected dead off the ground and stacked into a re-useable charcoal mound I had made previously. The top was sealed with mud and the mound lit. It took about 2 hours 30 minutes for fire to reach the air entries, at which time the holes were sealed and the top closed with mud. Iron bacteria from the creek was gathered and brought to the smelting hut for processing. Charcoal was ground into a powder and mixed with the ore and water in the proportions of 1:1 char to ore by volume. This mixture was formed into 59 pellets 2.5 cm in diameter and then dried on top of the furnace. To make the smelt, a wood fire was made in the furnace and allowed to burn for about an hour by natural draft and blowing. When the wood burnt down to the tuyere the furnace was filled with charcoal and 10 pellets were added to the top and the blower was engaged. Three handfuls of charcoal and 10 pellets were added at about 7 minute intervals totaling about 42 minutes. Charcoal was then continuously added after the last charge until the basket was empty. It took a total of about 3 hours working the blower until the operation ended. The mass of slag and iron prills was prized out of the furnace using a log and wooden tongs. It was hammered flat while hot but no large bloom was made. Instead many small iron prills were found. These mostly seemed to be cast iron. So far this is the largest amount of iron I've made in the wild and it used less charcoal than previous attempts, so I consider it a success of sorts. The ore must be mixed with carbon to ensure the correct reduction chemistry normally provided by carbon monoxide in a taller bloomery furnace. The fact that cast iron was produced suggests that next time less charcoal powder be added to the ore pellets or perhaps none at all considering that dead iron bacteria may also contribute some carbon to the ore. Alternatively, cast iron can be re-melted in a "finery" furnace, a small highly oxidizing furnace, to remove excess carbon, producing steel or iron. Alternatively cast iron can be converted into malleable cast iron by heating it in an enclosed container at 800-1000 c for long periods. Further experiments will be conducted. About Primitive Technology: Primitive technology is a hobby where you build things in the wild completely from scratch using no modern tools or materials. These are the strict rules: If you want a fire, use a fire stick - An axe, pick up a stone and shape it - A hut, build one from trees, mud, rocks etc. The challenge is seeing how far you can go without utilizing modern technology. I do not live in the wild, but enjoy building shelter, tools, and more, only utilizing natural materials. To find specific videos, visit my playlist tab for building videos focused on pyrotechnology, shelter, weapons, food & agriculture, tools & machines, and weaving & fiber.


Micah : We have entered the Iron Age.

Adrian Jenkins : Literally the only good bit of YouTube rewind

Alex Chan : the metallic sound from him hammering the molten slag is just music to my ears

Certified Wumbologist : Primitive technology year 2030: combustion engine

Glorious leader Gulag : Achievement unlocked: IRON AGE

Stuart W : Thank you for not talking. Thank you for not playing dumb-ass royalty free music. Thank you for not being flashy. Your videos are very entertaining and thought provoking.

Gabe Price : The only good part about YouTube rewind was you at the end

didgets forays : I wanna see this dude go on like survivor or something, everyone else is eating snails and starving while he's making a fricken sword

Mark Pava : 3 hour of blowing and no reaction Mi wife complains after 5 minutes

Daniel Nunya Bidnezz : I had an idea. 1) Take that glassy slag, smash and grind it to powder and fine chips. 2) Make a filter mesh out of natural fibers, with holes just wide enough to alow fine clay slurry to filter through, but large particulate, like sticks and leaf matter will not. 3) Get a bunch of clay, filter out everything not clay. Clay, real clay, is a VERY fine particualte. 4) Filter and wash the clay until you have really pure clay, like modeling clay grade clay. 5) Mix clay with water and the finely powdered glassy slag. 6) Form into a crucible. 7) Make at least 3 crucibles, one made of JUST clay, one of clay and slag powder, and one... made with clay and slag powder mixed, and then coated in a coating of the slag CHIPS. Perhaps even glazed in a slurry of chips and powder. 8) Make a long handled clay ladle for (hopefully) dipping out molten slag from your crucible. Fire the ladle ann then all three crucibles, and then see which one can take the heat of this furnace better. See if any of them survive having that iron clay powder and some limestone, quick lime, or slaked lime (limestone was used as flux in ancient wrought iron smelting) melting in it. Of course, knowing how hot iron acts, you may have to essentially build a kind of blast furnace to get an appreciable amount of iron out. It looks though, as you are getting prills, that your process is working for the most part. I am sure it is just the material you are having to work with that is the limiting factor here. That iron dirt does not have a lot of iron in it, so it is really awesome you are able to get as much out as you are! Not because of your process mind you, but because of what raw material you are having to work with; truly amazing you got that many prills out of that amount of raw material! That kind of dirt is usually NOT that rich! That area must have a REALLY rich vein of ore somewhere very nearby, possibly pretty close to the surface. I'd bet you could even dig into that hillside a good bit and mine the ore directly, even with stone tools! :-) Reference Cited:

Big Mike : Jesus, with all the furnace blowing, no wonder your delts are so nice. No homo tho

Tom Charles : Have you thought about writing or selling DIY books with simple explanations and pictures?

Dunx : I really hope that youtube paid you a lot to be in that horrible, cringey video

Zachary Hill : Your videos are incredible, I use them as an educational resource in my history classroom quite frequently. Please keep it up!

Pesterenan : Nowadays there are many copycat channels about primitive technology but rest assured yours is the *BEST* and I'll always watch your uploads, congrats!

Lion Malinconico : what i learned today is that when i fail i just need to use a bigger stick

scrumpti0us : His alive!!!!!! Except hes busy making rewind buttons.

TheEpic Vova : I want to know, from what kind of wood and stone he made his camera?

privacy is key : This guy was the only interesting part of rewind

Reaper : New level unlocked : *The Iron Age*

PureLSD : My condolences for being in youtube rewind.

The Shadowless : Thank you for being one of the people who I actually knew on the Rewind. It’s a shame how bad the rewind was though but your creation is 👌

Max Shavler : I'm gonna say this because no one else will Caveman ASMR

Chris Harris : Ayyy! Congrats for making Youtube Rewind! Your channel BLEW UP over 2018!

Siamzero1994 : Yeah see, the first problem here is you're trying to get to the Iron Age, when you haven't achieved the Bronze Age yet. You can't just skip ages like that, the game won't allow it

Lukas Schauer : This man... smh At 8:21 a glowing bit of that slab hits his arm and he‘s like „yeah no biggie, imma just chuck it back“

TichiWTF : Achievement get! Acquire Hardware.

HyperPhoenix Hyper : Iron Age Greeks - I need more Iron... Server - Primitive Technology has joined the chat!

Buttered Buns : congrats on getting in YouTube Rewind!

Hoang-Viet Tran : so close to the iron age! I love it! update: this comment kinda got big so just wanted to say more. these videos are so fun and interesting to watch. I love how he explains his whole process

XYZ Quak : I decided to Burn Our house Now Im homeless :D

李玉亮 : when will he invent a baby and raise him up??

Chris Jones : i hope her uses lose iron pellets in a sand cast in the shape of a dagger for trumps new baby

Neal Hopkin : Congrats on the 2018 Rewind! Loved seeing your video at the end. Got more time than anyone else probably.

dan gg : These attempts at making iron are by far my favorite you put out. Would love to see more attempts

CuateVolador : You and the animators were the only enjoyabel part of "Youtube Rewind 2018" Great Job I love it

RmX : 8:20 glowing slag just dropped on his arm and he was like "eeh nothing happend" :D

Matthew Schell : Just realized you are suppose to watch these videos with the closed caption on.

pugsys : I'm just waiting for the video named "iron tools"

Asxec : Uhm hey... Im just asking that can u make a pickaxe? I would love it 🙂

Mrs. H. : Not gonna lie, this whole time I misread the title for “iron pills” 💊.

Tetrahedrony : Advancement Made! Acquire Hardware

Joshua Andrade : Primitive technology I can’t believe that you made it to YouTube rewind I’m so proud of you.❤️

Nick Valentini : Congrats on being in the Youtube Rewind 2018!

Willson LeFevers : i died when i saw that you made REWIND CONGRATS!!

shiftyplays : use this formulas: 2Fe2O3+3C=4Fe+3CO2; 2Fe(OH)3+3CO=2Fe+3CO2+3H2O according to them you need 8 times more iron bacteria than charcoal

FunkyGandalfCat : I really want to see you in one of those survivor shows that goes on Discovery

austin smith : Thanks for being the only good things about this years rewind

Short Round : I bet he will get to Mars before Musk.