Online workshop – registration open

October 18, 2010

Biochar; the potential in Asia Pacific?
Monday 24th – Friday 29th October 2010

Online workshop hosted by Appropriate Rural Technology Institue – India and the UK Biochar Research Centre, University of Edinburgh.

Please join us for an online discussion on biochar, covering technology, use and policy with a focus on the poverty alleviation potential of gasification cook stoves. Registration is now open (, and registration will close on Friday 22nd October. The workshop is suitable for project developers, cook stove producers and distributors, academics, policy makers and those with climate change / carbon offset interest.

This workshop is funded by the APN – the Asia Pacific Network for Climate Change (

For more information see:


Workshop Cambodia – 22-23.11.2010

October 18, 2010

Workshop to be held in Cambodia –
Some sponsorship for in-country delegates available.
Please get in touch to request a registration form.

For more information see:

Online workshop – coming soon…

October 4, 2010

Online workshop: Biochar; the potential in Asia Pacific?
25-29th October 2010

For more information see the workshop webpage, where the link to sign up will be uploaded shortly

The theme for the workshop will be as follows –
25th October – Biochar in use
26th October – Biochar production techniques 1
27th October – Biochar production techniques 2
28th October – Biochar and poverty alleviation
29th October – Potential for carbon emissions reductions and carbon finance from biochar

Women’s workshop

October 4, 2010

A workshop was held 29.09.2010 at ARTI Rural Development Centre, India.

Women watching stove demonstration - post discussion 29.09.2010

Delegates were sent from women’s groups in 4 rural villages in the surrounding area, and were invited to discuss, using PRA methodologies, issues regarding cooking and fuel use, household activities and farming.

The discussion was lively and the women were open and ready to discuss all the issues.

Group activity output example. Women's discussion. 29.09.2010

Biochar Workshop – Update…

September 9, 2010

The updated programme is now out for the planned workshop which is to take place next week.

For more information, and press requests, please leave a comment.

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…