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What Happens When You Pyrolyze Cottonwood Seeds?

hey it’s a beautiful day in May and this
tree right here is shedding these seeds
everywhere that look a lot like cotton
balls now it’s not technically cotton
but it’s very light and fluffy the same
way if you look on the ground here you
can see they are pretty much everywhere
now you can see as you add the seeds
together it makes a nice big ball of
fluff it’s very soft very light and
fluffy see it’s very easy to tear this
stuff should make some pretty good
tinder let’s add it to our batch now of
course the first thing that comes to my
mind is whether or not we could use
these to make some of that improvised
char cloth I used cotton balls for in a
previous project so let’s go fill up a
tuna can full of this stuff and put it
on the burner and see if we can make
some improvised firestarter so I got
quite a bit of this fluffy stuff I also
got a tuna can you can see I poked a
hole in the bottom there and if we shove
all that down in there and put the lid
back on top makes a pretty tight seal
and then we can set that up right on a
fire a flame a stove whatever you want
as long as there’s quite a bit of heat
we want to cook this thing without
letting oxygen get in now when you go to
cook char cloth that’s as light and
fluffy as this cotton type of stuff you
want to make sure that no air can get in
there and this will pop open under
pressure so I’m just using like a rock
just set on top there and it’s really
important not to overcook this we want
to just heat it up until it makes the
flame and when that flame goes down out
of the top we want to stop if we go any
further than that
our char cloths not going to work
there goes we’re done now we just need
to plug that hole of something to make
sure that no error gets in there like
that and let it cool down all right it’s
actually only been about two minutes
here but I’m just going to show you what
would happen if we open this up there we
go oh there you see this one’s
undercooked this got really nicely
charred but this other side is only half
cooked but I’m going to take a piece off
here off the top and we’re going to see
if that will work as a proof-of-concept
now let’s see how many of you guys
remember what this thing is this is one
of the earliest projects I did it was my
fourteenth project video and I made it
transparent so we could actually see
compression starting in action and it
worked with cotton balls so I’m really
curious to see how it’s going to work
with this improvised chart that we made
from this cottonseed now I need to do is
just load the tip with a little bit of
our char you see that clog grabs
everything in there pretty nicely once
that’s all nestled on the set we can go
ahead and get a nice big whack here we
go if we did it right we should have got
a little flash and of course once you
get your tinder smoking you can put in a
bundle give it a little blow that
actually did light on fire that’s cool
just want to drop that down in there
that is getting pretty close to going up
in flames I had to bring this outside so
I didn’t set off the smoke detector in
the house I wrapped another piece of
paper towel around it just to give a
little more fuel but I want to light
this thing up for you and it should only
take a few breaths of fresh air and when
you’re trying to get your tinder to
light it’s best just to let it smolder
at its own pace you don’t want to rush
it you go too fast it’s not gonna like
that you can see this smoke is starting
to get really thick
look here we go higher
well that wasn’t as easy as I thought it
was going to be but at least we got it
to work
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