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“Clean Cookstove Updates” Imperial College London, June 2013 Paul H. Riley. Department of Electrical And Electronic Engineering. Current cooking habits. 3 Billion people cook on open fire. Photo courtesy Practical Action. Sub Saharan Africa Cambodia…. the World. Indian Sub continent.

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Clean cookstove updates imperial college london june 2013 paul h riley

“Clean Cookstove Updates”Imperial College London, June 2013Paul H. Riley

Department of Electrical And Electronic Engineering

Current cooking habits
Current cooking habits

3 Billion people cook on open fire

Photo courtesy Practical Action

Sub Saharan Africa Cambodia…. the World

Indian Sub continent

Smoke inhalation causes many health problems. Wood burning is only one source of smoke. Kerosene for lighting also contributes.

Clean cookstove updates imperial college london june 2013 paul h riley

The Global Alliance for Clean Cook stoves

Started by Hillary Clinton in 2010

Aim to prevent the estimated 4 million people that die prematurely from household smoke pollution

amongst the 3 billion, mostly poor people that cook on an open fire.

Goal is for 200 million clean cookstoves to be installed by 2020.

Grown from 19 partners in 2010 to 650 in March 2013

Raised > $114M towards goal of $250M

GACC Cambodian conference [1] held at the Phnom Penh Hotel was a major affair with around 600 people in attendance from the world wide community.

Although world-wide representatives present, very US centred.(Only 2 from UK as far as I could tell)

The case for improvement
The case for improvement

GACC highly influenced by the work of Professor Kirk R. Smith, University of California, Berkeley.

Smith proposes using PM2.5 as the best single indicator of household pollution.

Using the PM2.5 indicator (24 Hr mean)[2]

14 Jan 2013. 316 μg/m3 in Delhi, 195 μg/m3 Rural India

25 -30% of primary particle pollution from households

In 2010, 41% of households cook with solid fuels

Typical wood fire = 400 cigarettes an hour!

Financial world bank perspective
Financial: World Bank perspective

Subramaniam V. Iyer, Director, Sustainable Energy Department, The World Bank. [3]

“ do we scale up the finance, the entrepreneurship and the capacity to go from 1 million to 100 million to a billion?..”

“..solid fuel dependence is not going away.. the number of people using solid fuel.. will.. increase to 3.4 billion by 2020.

“.. The challenge is how to develop this market..”

“.. how do we foster innovation, best practice, knowledge across communities, cities and countries? ..”

Sources of household air pollution
Sources of Household Air Pollution

Many people at the conference assumed that reducing cooking smoke will save many of the 4 million premature lives lost.


Early indications in NW India, and Kenya [4] are not supportive of this view.

Many people use old and clean cookstoves depending on what they cook

Cooking not the only source of HAP

Smoke can be a disinfectant, (hence can improve health under certain circumstance) little work done in this area

Social acceptance as important as the technology

Kerosene lamp pollution
Kerosene Lamp pollution

Tami Bond, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.pdf

Historical cooking situation

Historical cooking situation

Homo Sapiens cooking is over 70,000 years old

“The earliest convincing evidence of fire use for cooking appears at the 780,000-400,000 year old late Homo erectus site at Zhoukoudiannear Beijing, China “ [5]

Change is not easy.

World bank 5 2011
World Bank [5] 2011

“Research on improved cookstoves dates back to the 1950s; the ensuing decades witnessed large-scale field programs centered on increasing the efficiency of certain stove designs. Over the past 30 years, the focus of the international community has gradually shifted toward the socio-cultural contexts in which the stoves operate. While the stoves themselves may have been simple, their effects on household and regional health and economics have often been complex and far-reaching. In short, many approaches to introducing improved stoves have been tried, with some successes and many failures…”

“From 1980 until about 2002, hundreds or even thousands of artisan-produced cookstove models were developed…”

Uptake in rural areas 6
Uptake in Rural Areas [6]


Mobile Phones

Clean cookstoves

8% outside China.[2]




Alone, clean cookstoves are boring. Phones are wanted .. Why?

Uptake conclusion
Uptake conclusion

May not be the design preventing uptake

Nor the funding

See Probec work in Southern Africa [6], [7].

We must take cognisance of the social context and the techno-social interactions

Social context
Social context

To improve health need to remove smoke inhalation from stove and kerosene

Used for lighting

How to make clean cookstoves more like mobile phones? To generate the want?

What are the :



Example of inhibitors
Example of Inhibitors

If the still won’t fit

No alcohol made

Not accepted

Stove had hot spot

One woman burnt hand

Other 32 stoves were not used

Remove the smoke

Insects have a party

People get ill

Stove bring the demons

House eaten by termites

Conclusion: If you remove the smoke, solve the associated problems

Improved stoves inhibitors
Improved Stoves inhibitors

Wood collected too big for stove page 28

Broader based inhibitors
Broader based Inhibitors

At household level convince change is beneficial to the





Positive “grape vine” communication is essential

Cooperative and village hierarchy have to be supportive

Potential disadvantaged need addressing

Manufacturing logistics

If it breaks, it will not get used..

Unless it can easily be fixed

Country (government)

Balance of payments

Profit flows to benefit country not foreigners

Reduction of corruption



Adding packaged solutions although adding cost can make the solution more affordable and generates the want.Stoves that generate electricity are highly motivating for all the family

Particularly lights and mobile phone charging

Technology options
Technology options

  • There is little doubt that a reliable smoke-free cooking stove that generates electricity, reduces fuel consumption and is affordable, will sell in the 100’s millions and give great benefit.

  • What technologies can meet these requirements?

    • Erikson cycle

    • Stirling engine

    • Steam engine

    • Solar plus clean cooking stove

    • Thermo-Acoustic (eg Score-Stove™ [8])

    • Thermo-Electric (Thermopile)

Generating stove goals
Generating stove goals

  • Reduce

    • Wood consumption

    • Smoke inhalation

  • Improve

    • Health

      • Reduced cooking smoke, but with ability to disinfect with smoke

      • improved understanding of modern medicine

      • Preservation of prescription drugs (cooling)

    • Education, by means of electricity

      • light at night

      • access to knowledge through mobile phone and computer

      • Radio and TV

    • Wealth

      • Better education

      • Access to improved farming methods and commodity prices

      • Business opportunities (sales and maintenance, selling electricity)

More importantly this has the potential to significantly increase affordability


  • Cheapest solution is not the most affordable

    • The right packaged solution makes it more attractive.

  • Stop using kerosene for lighting.

    • Typical kerosene cost = £15 to £30 pa

    • Torches etc. mean kerosene use > zero

  • Use of LED lights, low maintenance

  • Need easy-to-use way to monitor electricity

    • So that carbon credits can be claimed.

  • Low cost entry point uses low capacity battery.

    • Many devices (mobile phones) can be charged during cooking

  • Total Package aimed at £100, with micro finance

Initiatives wider than gacc
Initiatives wider than GACC

  • GACC as an initiative only 3 years old

  • Heavy dependence on American research.

  • GIZ (German development agency)

    • are probably the real technical leaders

    • Were a large sponsor of the Cambodian event, but kept low profile

    • Are setting up a European arm of GACC

  • China has large successes in this area

  • What is our view on UK research in this area?


GACC is attracting very large funders.

Although, in my view, GACC is behind the rest of the world in terms of research, it is accelerating rapidly

Anyone not involved likely to be left behind

Combination of low smoke, and electrical generating has a much better chance of success and if affordable will improve health and wealth

UK research organisations have much to offer the GACC initiative


“Household Cookstoves Environment, Health, and Climate Change”


Thanks to the EPSRC (The UK Science council)


My Score colleagues

Practical Action

You for listening


“Since its launch in 2010 by the then secretary of state Hillary Clinton, The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC) has increased from 10 to 650 world-wide organisations with the goal of implementing 100 million clean cookstoves by 2020. This paper will give highlights of GACC progress towards this goal from the conference held in Cambodia in March 2013 as well as discussions of the research challenges ahead. Estimates of premature deaths due to household pollution have been revised upwards to 4 million per year. However, early indications from North West India and Kenya show that just distributing clean cookstoves is not having the desired effect on health improvement.  Social and other interactions are thought to have a much greater influence on health than the technical specification of the stove itself. With a larger involvement in GACC, the UK research establishments could gain more recognition for their work. Particularly understanding and solving the underlying issues, which is currently mainly US research centred. GIZ (the German development agency) are taking a European lead in GACC with a proposed conference from the 26 to 29 June to be held in Bonn. “

Probec giz initiative
Probec (GIZ initiative)

The Programme for Basic Energy and Conservation (ProBEC) aims to ensure that low-income population groups satisfy their energy requirements in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner. It targets rural and urban households, as well as small business and institutions using biomass energy (woodfuel, agricultural residues) for thermal processes.[2]

ProBEC was established in 1998 after inception missions to six SADC member countries marked the end of the orientation phase. The first implementation phase took place between 1998 and 2001 and was co-financed by the European Union. The main activities during this phase was the establishment of the national steering committees, regional workshops, and a series of demonstration projects in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Namibia, as well as the development of national biomass strategy in Namibia.

The second implementation phase was from 2002-2005. It was during this time, that Biomass Energy Conservation (BEC) strategies were further developed and promoted at a national level. Importantly, the growth of future ProBEC activities took place and specific BEC measures began to be promoted. This included the selection and adaptation of improved BEC technologies, improved BEC options, training of BEC technology producers on technical and business skills and monitoring and evaluation of projects. In addition BEC expertise in the region increased, including assessment of experiences through national and regional workshops, exchanging and further development of expertise through training on project management and building knowledge and awareness of HIV/AIDS and other important issues that significantly effect the socio-economic status of the people involved.

Concepts for the long-term promotion of BEC in the SADC region were developed, including the analysis of options for a sustainable model for regional networking, organisational structures and infrastructure, and the preparation and organisation of ways and means to secure sustainability of BEC interventions in the SADC region.

The expansion of ProBEC to include Tanzania and Zambia also took place in this time but was only completed in 2006. A separate component was established and called the ProBEC SADC North, which included Malawi and the two new incorporated countries. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-funded this expansion and GTZ was commissioned to act as the implementation partner.

We are currently in the third implementation phase and it is in this phase that ProBEC has overhauled its deliverables and its approach. This has dramatically broadened ProBEC's scope with regard to basic energy conservation, and has resulted in the increase of its influence in the SADC region.

Vision Lower income population groups satisfy their energy requirements in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner.

Thus, quality of life of lower income population in selected SADC countries will be improved.

Mission Biomass energy related institutions and private sector in the SADC region have the expertise, resources and commitment to ensure that affordable energy-efficient technologies and techniques are commercially available and widely used in the region.

Probec in brief 3
Probec in brief [3]

Financing and implement-ing Agency ProBEC Phase II is financed by the Ministry of Economic Co-operation, Germany, and implemented by the Deutsche Ge-sellschaft fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH (German Technical Cooperation)

Past phases and achievements Orientation phase (1997-1998): Inception missions to 6 SADC coun-tries, national workshops, development of proposal for implementation

1st Implementation Phase (1998-2001, co-financed by EU): Set-up and functioning of national steering committees; Realisation of regional workshops (planning, training, information exchange/networking); dem-onstration projects in full implementation in Malawi (2), Zimbabwe (2), Mozambique and Namibia; demo-projects in preparation in Lesotho and South Africa; Development of National Biomass Energy Strategy in Namibia.

Probec 2010 3
Probec 2010 [3]

84% of the schools were exclusively using rocket stoves when cooking, while 16% were using both

rocket stoves and three‐stone fire. The three‐stone fire was used for a number of reasons: in some

2010 Impact Assessment for Institutional Rocket stoves Malawi


schools, users claimed they did not have enough stoves and so resorted to using the three‐stone fire so

that they can cook enough food. In some schools, the users said that they use the three‐stone fire on

days when wood is wet because such wood does not burn well in the stoves while the fire dries it out.

Only one school, in Zomba district, people use the three‐stone fire instead of the IRS because they do

not want to carry the stove to and from the kitchen, due to its heavy weight, even though the store

room is less than ten meters from the kitchen.

Probec 3
Probec [3]

Table 1: Advantages of institutional rocket stoves




Yes No

1. Fuel saving 49 1

2. Clean Kitchen 21 29

3. Cook fast (saves time) 38 12

4. Less smoke 42 8

5. Less burns, accidents 35 15

6. Better taste of food 32 18

7. Less respiratory and eye


26 24

8. More comfort 37 13

9. Saves money 3 47