Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Rocket stoves

A major development in efficient and way more healthy cooking systems the world over.

This film shows a massive production line of these things which could be great for selling to those that can afford them, or for humanitarian agencies to distribute in emergencies.
But for most communities in low income countries, buying a stove is out of the question. They just wouldn't have that of cash. So it would be better to bring the knowledge of how to make them from local materials, recycled metal from old cans, sand and local earth, etc. Very easy to make in fact.

This next link, shows step by step how it is done. These guys also have films on institutional stoves for camps and schools, etc.

The only problem in this film is that they say you need to make bricks first, in an oven at 900 degrees C. How many people have access to this kind of heat? I suppose anyone baking trees to make charcoal could try a few bricks in there, but the point is it adds a complicating factor, which we should avoid.

Paulo just built one on our land here(photos soon)without any bricks, bust using vermiculite insulation balls on the outside of the chimney (between chimney and outside container). OK, that's available cheaply here in Europe, so what could work in Robertsport, Liberia, for example?


Stephanie said...

These stoves look great, really neat and I know they have their place.
BUT I would love to see more about solar cookers --only £10 each and the heat from the sun costs nothing. It is constantly renewable. All you need is patience. Actually it would be ideal for people to have both a stove and a cooker because in the morning, before the sun comes up, the solar cookers don't work for obvious reasons. So ideally certain meals like breakfast could be cooked for well in advance.

Magnus said...

Solar stoves definately good too, but remember that most people in Africa are used to cooking with wood or biomass, so it quite alien and odd to start using solar ovens. In fact, may trials of them in camps and communities failed, because nobody wanted to cook outside. So, more efficient wood stoves are a good first step.
However, as a friend, Tristan, working in Malawi commented, these stoves should be produce locally, not sold. People don-t have money to buy stoves like these. 10 pounds would be WAY beyond a local budget. So really what we need is local workshops teaching folk how to make these easily with what is available locally.

goncalves said...

Hi, recently found my self in Mozambique deforested country side asking some friends to try rocket-stoves. One couple tried it and loved it. They alone built another. We were using cans with different sizes (3, 5 and 20 liters) with infill some clay mixed with sawdust or biomass to make moveable and light stoves. This would be good as at night they can be used to warm up the bedroom.
Some pics at

Hunter said...

Magnus - have a look at the work that's being done in Malawi and Rwanda under the auspices of East Africa Trust (Tristan's charity). Simple use of rammed earth providing efficient, clean stoves - great! http://www.surreycommunity.info/eastafricatrust/photos/album?album_id=650480