Archive for August, 2010

Distribution of stoves to village ladies

August 29, 2010

The Sampanda and Anila were given to some ladies to test in Whurzel village, approximately 10km from Phaltan, India. Four households were given each stoves, and after three weeks, they will swap to try the other stove. The same methodology as in Cambodia was used, they are asked if they can try out the stove (outdoors or in a well ventilated room), at least once every day. In addition the same questionnaire was translated into Marati, and will be used to gather feedback.

Some initial comments from the ladies (and others who had gathered round to see what was happening while we did the demonstration, and explained about the stoves) were gathered.

Sampanda distribution, India 25.08.2010

Anila distribution, India 25.08.2010

Champion TLUD and EverythingNice in India

August 29, 2010

The stoves were taken to the testing Lab at ARTI’s Rural Development centre, and the initial testing, post construction was undertaken.

The stoves were experimented with, in the case of the EN, more of the holes in the outer chamber were blocked to see if it was possible to reduce the flame. Two out of every three holes were blocked (using mud), however this made the stove more smoky.

Overall the stoves performed well, and charcoal was produced in both stoves.

The picture below shows the flame from the EverythingNice, it is possible to identify individual flames which are emerging as a result of the air stream from the outer holes

The EverythingNice stove, India, August 2010

Champion TLUD stove, India, August 2010

How to light a fire

August 27, 2010

This may not seem the most necessary question to consider, but actually has some implications when testing of the stoves is undertaken, and when new stove types are introduced.

In controlled testing, it is sometimes suggested that some ‘standard paper’ be used (i.e. the same each time), and the fire lit with a match. This also reduces interference from the lighting substance (rubber and kerosene in particular) when doing emissions measurements for air pollution.

Using paper is fine for lighting most fires. Things may become more difficult when dealing with a fire where the traditional method must change due to the way that the fire has to be operated and / or lit.

This is for example the case for the TL (top lit) stoves which have to be lit from the top. Typically with a three stone fire and other commonly used stove types, the lit material is placed at the bottom so fuel above will catch fire. So other methods were observed in Cambodia, including using resin (this is common and is widely purchased), using a piece of tyre, using plastic. In India ARTI have produced wax strips (newspaper covered in wax – menkandi – sold 15 Rupees per pack) and are especially useful for lighting the Sarai cooker.

ARTI advise Sampanda users to adopt the Paul Anderson method of dipping 5-10 sticks (this must be part of the weighed bundle for controlled testing) into a jar of kerosene to begin the fire. This is a fail-safe method, and is also good for testing since starts the fire quickly – which reduces the amount of fuel wasted during the ignition phase.

But whichever method is chosen, it may not work well. A fire may not light or take well due to damp fuel, windy conditions, bad stove design (!), incorrect fuel type, or perhaps an unknown reason – sometimes fire just does not do what you want it to do!

TLUD & EverythingNice production – India

August 22, 2010

In addition to the Anila stove, one test stove of the TLUD and the EverythingNice is being produced.

Stove production, India, 20.08.2010

Testing of the new Anila stove

August 22, 2010

The Anila stove which was fabricated in India was tested 17.08.2010.
The results are available on bioenergylists.

Sugarcane biochar produced - Anila Stove, India, August 2010

The ARTI team were able to make some suggestions, to refine the design. These were:
– Adding a mud seal along the join of the main unit to the base plate, this stopped the gases from the biochar production from escaping. This was simply some mud which is smeared around the join
– Addition of a ‘pot raiser’. The stove was also observed to become smoky once the pot was added, a pot raiser was added to the unit, which reduced the amount of smoke which was.
– Making the holes smaller…After getting the units from the artisan the researcher suggested to increase the size and number of holes in the unit, however after testing, it was found that the flames were high – partly due to excess air flow up through the combustion chamber. (during trials with the smaller holes this did not impede the production of biochar).

The flames from the Anila are derived from the combustion of the wood (in the central combustion chamber), and also the gas (from gasification of the biomass in the outer chamber) which is able to travel out from the holes (in the lower part of the central column) into the combustion chamber.

Even with the adjustments, there was still some smoke produced from this unit, so as in Cambodia, it will be recommended that the testers use the stove in an outside location / or in a well ventilated room.

Generally the stove worked well, and we were able to make biochar from sugarcane trash and tree waste (Casurina equisetifolia).

The next step is testing in the household…

Anila stove produced in India

August 19, 2010

The stove had been fabricated by hand out of galvanised steel, and the only adjustments were to make the holes on the base plate cone as per the directions from the inventor. Despite protests from my ARTI assistant and the metalworker himself, I instructed them to be enlarged and more holes added…. More on this later…
The other task was to find some method of fixing the base of the stove to the main chamber, which was done with some bulldog clips. This was deemed suitable for these prototype (or test) stoves.

Fabrication of Anila Stove, 16.08.2010

In the left of the picture is the cone with the small holes, and the right is with enlarged holes.

Meet the designer: Sampanda stove

August 14, 2010

The Sampanda stove was demonstrated for an in-house film production at Samuchit with designer Dr. Priyadarshini Karve (right of picture).

Sampanda 14.08.2010

Over 300 units which are available at around 26USD have been sold since 2004.

This stove, though a gasifier like the TLUD and EverythingNice (EN), also used in this project is not a top lit stove, and works best if a small amount of wood is put in the bottom of the stove and lit, which heats up the stove, which when wood is added begins gasification quickly. It was observed that this stove can easily accommodate larger pieces of wood, which due to the size of the burning chamber in the TLUD and EN can’t be added.

Meeting, India 16-17.09.2010

August 12, 2010

Workshop on Biochar – Production and Uses

Thursday 16th – Friday 17th September 2010

Location: Appropriate Rural Technology Institute’s Rural Entrepreneurship Development Centre
Ganeshnagar, Phaltan – Banaramati Road, Phaltan 415523 District Satara. M.S.

Please get in touch: sarah.carter [@] to request an application form.

This meeting will discuss the current state of biochar production and use in India, and will explore the potential for development of new technologies – both large and small scale, with a particular focus on gasification cook stoves. Issues for consideration to policy makers, and prototype guidelines for sustainable biochar deployment as an agricultural soil amendment will be discussed. Presentations based on your own work/experience on any of the above areas are welcome, please submit an abstract for consideration. Delegates are encouraged to bring display/demonstration materials and video films based on their work. Demonstrators have to make their own arrangements for demonstration materials. A token remuneration will be offered to presenters.

The workshop venue is in Satara district, 120 km from Pune and about 300 km from Mumbai (the nearest International airport). Pune is well connected by road, rail and air to the rest of India. There are ST buses plying between Pune (Swargate ST stand) and Phaltan and the journey takes about 3 hrs. Alternative railway stations are Baramati, Nira, and Daund, from where ST buses are available for Phaltan.

Travel assistance can be offered to a limited number of participants from within India. Free transport will be made available between Pune and Phaltan for those who can reach Pune by 7 am on 16th September, and for those leaving Phaltan in the afternoon of 17th September, by prior intimation. Transport between Phaltan ST stand and accommodation / workshop venue will be provided on evening of 15th September, morning of 16th September as well as on afternoon of 17th September and morning of 18th September, by prior intimation.

Limited free accommodation can be provided on campus, for the nights of 15th, 16th and 17th September on first come first serve basis. This is a dormitory type accommodation with common bath and toilet facilities. Hotel accommodation can be arranged in Phaltan on request, but the costs will have to be borne by the participants. The hotel charges are generally around Rs.500 (non AC) to Rs.1000 (AC) per room per night.

Please note that delegates must attend the entire workshop in order to avail of free accommodation and/or travel assistance.

As the desired number of participants is limited, not more than two delegates from a single organisation can be accommodated.

This meeting is part of the ‘Enabling Bio-innovations for Poverty Alleviation in Asia Project’, funded through IDRC-CRDI (

Anila stove fabrication commissioned…

August 10, 2010

Since a supplier of the Anila stove could not be found in India, production has been commissioned in Phaltan, Maharashtra ready for trials.

The Anila stove, since it is the only stove which I know of which produces biochar in a secondary chamber (i.e. not as part of the energy production, and not a gasification stove) is the most useful to test in the biochar context.

If anyone knows of a stove which also produces biochar as a ‘secondary’ product, please get in touch!

Stove swap

August 2, 2010

The stoves were swapped between the households (30-31.07.2010) who are testing the cook stoves and the questionnaire about their current stove use and feedback on the improved stove given. Feedback varied from stove to stove, but the students all interested to try out the different stoves, having been discussing their relative performance already with each other! Two more stoves, and 6 weeks of testing to go…

Gathering firewood to use in the stoves - old and new! 31.07.2010