Nathaniel Mulcahy May, 2010

Nat Mulcahy and the World Stove Haiti project was nicely profiled on the web site The Charcoal Project. Read the full article A Man, a Stove, a Mission

From the Charcoal Project article:
"Mulcahy is the founder of WorldStove, a small Italy and U.S.-based company that manufactures a range of energy efficient, biomass-burning cookstoves. The company operates two business lines. One sells pricey cookstoves and barbeque grills for the outdoor/camping crowd in industrialized societies. The other line of stoves, the research of which is funded by the former, helps bring energy efficient cookstoves and locally owned businesses that produce them, to the oceans of energy poor people around the world who don’t have access to modern fuels like LPG and electricity.

"Mulcahy has recently returned from Haiti where he spent two months setting the foundations for a sustained long-term plan to alleviate the country’s heavy dependence on the inefficient combustion of the wood and charcoal. President Bill Clinton, the UN Special Envoy to Haiti, highlighted WorldStove’s remarkable and quick work in Haiti in a recent Earth Day address."

The World Stove has also been profiled (by Kelpie Wilson) on the Huffington Post, read WorldStove: Transforming Haiti and the World

And there are some great videos on YouTube, including this one:

Testing of the EverythingNice in Cambodia 30.04.2010
Sarah Carter and Vichida Tan, UK Biochar Research Centre

See for a similar test on Anderson's TLUD and for tests on the Anila stove.

Nathaniel Mulcahy, March 2010

Over the past weeks several NGOs and individuals have written to ask how it is that we determined how much a family spends each day on charcoal. This is the initial survey we did for IOM over a month ago (pdf). We have since continued each week to do updates but the numbers are unchanging. The three camps I have chosen to include in the excel are good examples of the variation. One is a semi permanent camp that, in part, was there prior to the quake, one is an organized camp that was established through collaboration between the local government and various local and international NGOs, and the third is a spontaneous camp that sprang up post quake in the hopes that aid would arrive. On a happy note, since we did this original survey I am happy to report that the spontaneous camp has received showers and sanitation facilities and a great number of tarps and tents.

It should be noted that there are also ghost camps. These are camps that have no cooking facilities. They are created in the hopes of receiving aid or by people who still worry about sleeping in their houses. In the latter case, the people spend the day at home and sleep in the camps. There is a very nice one in Delmas with about 400 families and a small clinic.

I hope this helps answer the charcoal cost questions that many have been asking.

All the best,

Nat of WorldStove

Lifeline to Haiti is a joint project between International Lifeline Fund (ILF) , WorldStove(WS) http;// , and local partners. The short term goals are to provide high-efficiency low-emission cook stoves to families affected by the recent earthquake. The long term goals are to establish a permanent locally owned and operated stove factory and distribution network in Haiti.

Our recent survey work in the IDP camps has indicated that fuel prices have undergone a 50% price hike since the earthquake. The inefficiency of local stoves, the increased cost of fuel and simultaneous decrease in earning options following the quake make the rapid implementation for the stoves a pressing concern.

International Life Line Fund is a Washington D.C. based nonprofit NGO. With years of experience in the implementation of stove programs in areas where fuel is a critical concern such as Darfur, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. It is vital to have a keen understanding of how critical stoves are to health, economy, and the environment.

WorldStove is an expert in high efficiency cook stoves with projects in numerous countries around the world. . The stove selected for the Lifeline to Haiti Project is the LuciaStove. It specifically designed to eliminate the need of charcoal or wood. It ships flat to keep shipping costs at a minimum (1000 stoves can fit in a little more than a cubic meter) and can be easily assembled b y local skilled and unskilled collaborators creating desperately needed local jobs.

The LuciaStove boasts long life low emissions and the ability to use any waste plant, paper or cardboard as fuel. It does not burn the fuel but instead turns it into a clean (blue flame) burning gas with an energy content comparable to propane.

Local Partners are fundamental to both the short and long term success of the project for they help can identify the places of greatest need and assure that training, distribution and continual evaluation allows the stove program to have the greatest positive impact possible.

We have and continue to conduct survey both formal and in formal in new camps everyday. From Carefour Feuilles, Carefour, Petion Ville, Delmas, Plas Mai Gattes, and the informal camp Terren Aerport, it is clear that increased fuel costs, decreased earning options, a heavy dependence on charcoal and inefficient stoves are creating a severe burden on local households.

Local daily income, for the households that have income, varies between USD 3.12 and USD 5. Charcoal is most often sold by the “Marmit” (a large coffee can) and not by weight. Cost decreases with larger purchases further disadvantaging those with the lowest income. In general the cost of a Marmit is around 25 Goude (0.625 USD assuming an exchange rate of 40 Goude/USD). The increase in fuel cost has forced many families to go from three to one meal per day and a daily fuel expenditure of 62.33 Goude (1.56 USD). Considering that many households have lost all earning options and that this fuel cost is the equivalent of 31% - 50% of the daily income of those fortunate enough to have work, the current situation is clearly unsustainable and is forcing households to make the difficult decision between food and fuel.


Nat Mulcahy, World Stoves, March, 2010

Clearly pellets are the single best fuel option for Haiti right now.


Ethanol stills use coal or wood, coal is not sustainable, and wood is vanishing fast. As for coal it is now being imported because local production and availability of wood is not able to keep up with demand and because much of Haiti is deforested. All fuel options underwent a 50% price hike following the earthquake. In ascending order of use the most common fuels are propane, kerosene, wood and coal.

Common Fuel Options in Quake Affected Regions

Haitian fire startersHaitian fire starters

Port au Prince uses 80% of all the coal consumed by Haiti. Wood, prior to the earthquake, was used mostly in rural areas but in many of the camps that we are working in we’ve noted more and more people using wood in their charcoal stoves. Kerosene is very expensive and used not for meals but for quick things like eggs or reheating precooked food. Following the fuel cost hike, however, I have seen more and more of the kerosene stoves gutted and transformed into small charcoal stoves by removing the tank and burner, pounding holes in some sheet metal for form a sieve to hold the charcoal and placing either a pot on the coals or using the rack or radiator from a refrigerator as a grill. As for propane it is used but the families in top 3% of the economic ranking.

Haitian Kerosene StoveHaitian Kerosene StoveKerosene Stove Converted to CharcoalKerosene Stove Converted to Charcoal

Regarding cost it is important to note that the drop in earning options and the spike in fuel costs now means that most of the displaced families now must spend 40% to 60% of the daily family income just to purchase fuel to cook with. In many cases this has meant that families have gone from eating two or three times a day to once a day even in the areas where WFP/PAM is sending distributing food.

What Other Options do we Have?

We could use fuels directly in the stoves which is one of the reasons I like gasifying stoves (fuel too small to use in a standard stove can be used in gasifying stoves); unfortunately the ability of gasifying stoves to use almost any biomass often creates misconception that all biomasses are the same. Users become disappointed when rice husks are used up faster than oak chunks. To avoid this I see briquettes and pellets as the best options. They are more consistent, clean to handle, low-cost, and perceived as a more modern fuel. This last is particularly important because many people are well invested in the “fuel ladder” and if they have already made the perceived social economic move forward (from wood to coal) they will not like to switch again unless it is to move up another rung. Marketing will be key to show that pellets and briquettes are a newer more modern fuel, it is important that pellets and briquettes not be viewed as taking a step back since they are made with “poor” materials.

Clearly pellets are the single best fuel option for Haiti right now.

1. What is the fuel offset by using the pellets? Is it 50% savings compared with wood?

wood fires here are either three rock stoves or charcoal stoves now being used with wood because many can no longer afford charcoal. efficiency is between 7 and 12 %maybe 20 % with some practice. pellet stoves require some training but then run themselves well and may be as much as four times more efficient. if you consider that 1kgofcharcoal produces here is really 7kg of trees the savings both economically and environmentally could be staggering

2. How much imported charcoal does it offset?

right now just one NGO's food program requires the use of 600,000 kg of charcoal a day, that's 1,800,000kg of CO2 per day give or take, right?and that is only one NGO hot meal program, put all the AID groups together and the numbers get big mighty fast

3. What are the relative costs of imported charcoal compared with pellets?

for now, thanks to Green Circle BioEnergy in FL we are providing free pellets to the people using our stoves. in general charcoal costs between 40% and 60% of a family's daily income. Daily income is about $5 US.

4. What is the benefit in number of meals from donated pellets? How may families could cook more than one meal per day by using donated or subsidized pellets as a transition fuel?

Green Circle Bio Energy's generous donation of 60 tons will provide 145,000 to 148,000 family meals, or feed about 740,000 people each once.
I strongly encourage other pellets producers to follow Green Circle's lead and in the mean time am working with the UN to see about funding regular shipments either weekly or biweekly to Port au Prince for the foreseeable future.
As a happy plus we have teamed up with three local ag and aforestation groups who will use the biochar produced by the stoves to restore soil carbon and help areas at risk of becoming desertified.

What Feed Stock Options are there in Haiti?

Feed stocks vary widely through Haiti but in the interest of simplifying logistics and keeping transport costs to a minimum I recommend that local pellets/briquette production be made using local materials. Clearly this means each small pellet mill or briquette press will have a specific optimal mix. UNDP and the Clinton Foundation have done a fine job with this concept and their briquette plant is now in its third year of operation. The use the Work for Pay model developed by UNDP for the collection of paper and cardboard throughout the city.

PaperPaper cardboardcardboardUNDP PelletsUNDP Pellets

These are then soaked in large drums and pounded in enormous wooden mortars to archive a consistent slurry prior to pressing. I would recommend the additional purchase of a hammer mill or two to accelerate production. We have measured a wide difference in hardness of the briquettes which makes the use of them harder to learn. This could easily be fixed with a grading protocol prior to the sale of the briquettes or controlling the pressing and packing procedure of the press.

Pellets would have the advantages of ease of use, faster production rates, no drying period (during the dry season the briquettes require three days to dry but during the rainy season drying can take as much as a week) and a wider variety of feed stock options to provide a more energy intensive fuel.

Around the quake affected region the feedstocks we have tested over the past five weeks have included, bagass, rice hulls, coffee hulls, bamboo, sawdust (many mills are working overtime to provide wood for shelters), chadek rinds, coconut shells and husks, mango cores, palm fronds, sugar cane, sugar cane shavings, paper, cardboard (personal thought, much waste has been generated during food and aid distribution, it would be nice to be able to use all of it so as not to leave a littered city in our efforts to help). All larger wood was used following the quake either for building shelters or to cook with.

wood chipswood chipsstrawstrawpalm frondpalm frondMangoMangococonut shellcoconut shellcorn cobscorn cobschadek rindschadek rindsfood aid packagingfood aid packaging

My favorite has to be chadek rinds, which by themselves produce a spectacular blue flame in the Luica Stoves. Chadek are large pear-shaped citrus fruits. And the rinds are saved as fire-starters.
Bagass poses some challenges in that the gas it produces often has sugars in it that do not always burn. This was not the case with the denser sugar cane shavings or the full cane chunks. Which leads me to believe that bagass, once pelleted would also function well. This, if verified would be a fantastic feedstock in that it is by far the most abundant in this area with mountains of it just sitting throughout the region.

Out side the quake affected areas there are a great many other feedstocks and the energy balance must be carefully made to see if any of these would make sense. From what I have seen vetiver grasses are clearly the most promising feed stock option followed closely by banana plantain plantation and processing waste.

Where to go from here?

For the short term and immediate future the best solution would be to import pellets. While the thought of importing fuel may cause some reservation it must be noted that current aid programs are importing charcoal to cook the food that is being distributed. Current food distribution of rice alone requires a daily supply of 600,000 kg of charcoal. Larger camps are importing propane. If the aid effort is already importing fuel would it not make sense to import more environmentally compatible fuels which at the same time would help sensitize Haitian stove users about a new fuel which could be sustainably 100% Haitian produced? We have enough pellets for the school feeding programs and some camps for the near future but a steady donor supply would be key as we work with WFP to establish up to 30 local pellet mills throughout the Port au Prince area.
Other askes could be small mills for schools, shipping and logistics help with donor pellets (getting the first shipment was a nightmare)and experts or pellet producers willing to consider production in Haiti, the market here is ready and the need for jobs here is great.

Our Stoves,

As for our stoves we are currently producing three types of stoves:

  • Large institutional stoves for the school feeding programs, orphanages, and hot meals programs in the camps,
  • Precut Flat packed Lucia Stoves with incorporated pot stand (1000 fit in a four foot cube and only bending is required to assemble them)
  • and a 100% local version of the Falt Packed LuciaStove made from oil drums. (there was a great feeling of pride when the local one out performed the lazer cut version)

Photos of all three are attached (please note on the large version that the local artisans we are working with insisted on decorating it with trees and birds saying they had to because if people use these stoves the trees will come back to Haiti and then so too the birds.

Street CookingStreet CookingTwo Haitian Pellet StovesTwo Haitian Pellet Stoves
Two Stoves and One FanTwo Stoves and One Fan
Lucia in HaitiLucia in Haiti
Haitian Lucia Stove in Use, note no smoke.Haitian Lucia Stove in Use, note no smoke.

Nat of WorldStove

Green Circle BioEnergy
2500 Green Circle Parkway
Cottondale, Florida 32431
who would like to thank the following for their help:

  • Port of Panama City
  • Shelton Trucking, Alpha, Florida
  • Arizona Chemical, Panama City. Florida
  • Aggregate Trucking, Panama City, Florida
  • E B Pipe Coating, Panama City, Florida

Fuel, Stoves and Water for Haiti
January 27, 2009

There are several projects to supply fuel, stoves and potable water to Haiti. Some have been been ongoing since before the quake and some. The organizations we know of are:

CHF International, Helps (Water Purifier)
To donate a $35 water purifying system, go to

Legacy Foundation (Fuel Briquettes)

Miombo, Project Haiti
Peko Pe TLUD pellet fueled stoves to be distributed by Project Haiti. Pellets from Georgia.

Trees, Water, People TWP
Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team AMURT and
Recho Rocket stove made from mud formed in a bucket, the Haiti Rocket Stove
Stovetec Rocket Stoves in a metal bucket.

World Stove, International Lifeline Fund
Biucci, Everything Nice TLUD stoves fabricated in Haiti. Pellet fuel from Florida (Green Circle). Grass pellets to be made in Haiti.

Nathaniel Mulcahy, January 2010

Attached are the photos of Mr. Ronald Watts' version of our EverythingNice Stove. A version of which we are now rushing for the Haitian relief efforts to provide clean water. More later

yours, Nat

Dear Nathaniel

Here a a few photos from the successful construction and operation of the stove. Because I had no suitable vessels, I built them from sheet steel. It operates quite well, and is a good prototype for a larger model

Many thanks
Ronald Watts

This is a three-part brief description of the World Stove Everything Nice stove made by Al Hislop and Patty Roberts, with Ron Larson participating in the first tests, January, 2010.

World Everything Nice StoveWorld Everything Nice Stove
Plans Available at:

Part A. Narrative (by Patty)

Biochar Experiment 1 1/9/10

Al made an Everything Nice pyrolyzer from the design on the World Stove website. We used a large coffee can and then a canister for the two cans so it was rather large. We first tried pine cones but they just smoked so we put in pellets instead. This gave a good clean burn and we put a tripod over the stove and boiled water, heated soup, cooked pasta and cooked pasta sauce with fresh meat and fresh vegetables. When the flame extinguished, there was still some smoke coming from the stove so it was covered on the top to remove oxygen and set in a shallow basin of water on the bottom. This extinguished the smoke but moistened the bottom of the char slightly. When we emptied the stove, we saw that some of the pellets had not pyrolyzed. We believe this was because of the fairly large diameter of the can. To dry the char and pyrolyze the remaining pellets, we put the mass into a canister and put it into our hot wood stove. This allowed complete pyrolysis of the remaining pellets and provided complete drying of the fuel. It’s possible that this changed the pH of the char from its original pH because of a different pyrolysis temperature.

Ignition: torch (for several minutes)

Pre-burn Fuel Weight: 58.5 oz wood pellets from 100% pine, less than 1% ash

Post-burn Fuel Weight (Char): 16.5 oz (28.2% of starting weight)

Post-burn Fuel Volume: Slightly greater than half of pre-burn volume

Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes of a very good, clean, strong burn.

Calculated output to pot: 560 watts

Exp1: (Saturday)
_*Lighting:*_ See text. Hope others can tell us of their successful
ways to light this same stove. We have not yet tried to solve this
problem using prepared starter materials. Maybe easier with the
"restriction-lid" removed? The two sheet metal wind-breaks and the ice
show this was not the best day for testing. Note the small amount of
discoloration (burned paint on the lid) - from an earlier test with
too-loose material (that was easier to light), which only gets a little
larger in later photos.. Discoloration off-centered because of windy
conditions and means of lighting. When we got it started with this
torch, there was never any massive smoking.

Experiment 1, Good FlameExperiment 1, Good Flame

*_Good flame_*. A typical flame without a cook-pot. We saw essentially
the same flame for a total of more than 4 hours over two experiments.
The gap-reducing bricks not in place in this early photo. The
discoloration of the lid never got much more pronounced than here -
showing that a relatively cool gas is coming up in the outer narrow
"chimney". You can't see it here - but there are hot gases going down
through the central can fuel supply - doing the pyrolysis without
oxygen. We are unsure whether any pyrolysis gas is coming upwards
(we don't understand the pressure profiles yet), but certainly a good bit
is going downward. This is the best view of the outer set of large
holes. Could they be done with a punch? Maybe. Could they be
placed on the bottom of the outer can? Maybe - with a spacer
between the bottom surfaces of the two “cans” (as is done in the
mainWorld Stove models). There are several ways
possible to control this air supply - which should NOT be called the
primary air, as would be appropriate if this were a TLUD. Although
there is some pre-mixing of the combustion gases, this still is showing
signs of being a ("wispy") diffusion flame - not at all like the tighter
much bluer flame seen in Nathaniel's numerous YouTube videos and
mentioned in the instructions.

Experiment 1, CookingExperiment 1, Cooking
*_Cooking_*: Typical flame with a typical pot (and larger ones used for
some of the cooking). The tripod was in no way optimized (we raised
the stove about three inches with standard available mini-bricks; four
inches might have given higher efficiency - but more soot). It was
certainly easy to have too much heat for cooking pasta (boil-over once
when we weren't paying attention). At no time during the two hours of
operation did we (or could we) adjust anything. We are working on a
possible fix for that, when on a later weekend, we will try a means of
controlling the air flow. You should also next see a "convection skirt"
of the type being sold by Aprovecho.

Biochar Experiment 2 1/10/10

Using the same stove as yesterday, but this time with a cone in the center to displace the area that didn’t pyrolyze yesterday, we filled the stove with pellets again. This time however the stove had 15% less fuel because of the cone. We spent about a half hour trying to light the stove with twigs, vasoline, pine needles, paper, some other fluffy combustibles and fondue fuel. None of these things got the stove going. We ended up using the torch again. The torch lit the pellets in a minute or so and then it took about 15 minutes before we saw the good, steady, smokeless cooking flame. Once we got that good flame, we measured 2 hours 23 minutes of pyrolysis. The stove burned for the about the same amount of time as yesterday, but this time all the pellets were pyrolyzed. The outer can seemed to have the same temperature pattern today as yesterday.

Ignition: torch (shorter time than yesterday)
Pre-burn Fuel Weight: 49.5 oz wood pellets (same kind as yesterday)

Post-burn Fuel Weight (Char): 14 oz (28.2 % of starting weight, same as yesterday)

Post-burn volume: a little less than half

Calculated output to pot: 287 watts (This number is much lower than yesterday’s. We don’t like our thermometer for this application, so both days’ numbers are suspect.)

Time: 2 hours 23 (more carefully measured than yesterday)

Those temperatures were pretty consistent until the pyrolysis ended and we put a cap on the top. Unlike yesterday, we didn’t put the bottom in water. Smoke began to come out of the holes at the bottom and the temperature at the bottom began to rise. We suspected that some combustion was starting to take place. We poured the pellets into a tray but they seemed to be getting hotter rather than cooler so we scooped them into another canister and put on a tight lid so no more oxygen would be available.

Experiment 2, ConeExperiment 2, Cone

_*Cone*_ - Showing the cone and the interior (the latter after almost
five hours of operation). No signs of any excess heat anywhere on the
outside can. Little on the inner can, but considerable tarring on the
inside and the top portion of the cone. Probably a lot of interesting
pyrolysis science in understanding why the cone looks like it does after
2+ hours of operation one time. Note the many interior small holes.
Note the single screw holding the two cans together (not shown in Nathaniel's drawings [at
] but mentioned at the bottom of p 3. We found all the instructions
complete, but guess we have to test a lot more fuel combinations before
we get the tight blue flame mentioned in the instructions.

Experiment 2, After PyrolysisExperiment 2, After Pyrolysis
Exp 2 (Sunday)
*_After Pyrolisis_* A view into the unit perhaps ten-fifteen minutes after the
unit stopped operating - and began smoking (pretty profusely, so you
want to react quickly). We placed a second lid to cover the opening -
but nothing else.(no covering of the lower holes - which we would likely
try to do next time). Note good uniformity of the char except right in
the middle where you can see the tip of the added cone. This is the first
time you can see that there are two cans - with the spacing of about a
centimeter (exact spacing dictated by can availability; this outer can is available at
about $.50-$1.00; no cost for the inner can). At the lower left is the
(pre-trimmed) pine cone which charred perfectly after being placed into
the unit.. No lighting up, no combustion, perfect retention of tiny
features - proving the lack of oxygen just below the flames seen in
other pictures. The unit was initially filled up to within 3/4 inch of
the top of the inner can, per Nathaniel's instructions, so you can see
there was perhaps 35-40% shrinkage.

Experiment 2, CharExperiment 2, Char
_*Exp 2 Char:*_ This to show the good uniformity of the resulting
char. Just a few that looked torrified (deep brown color - but we
can't even see them in this photo), not charred. In Experiment #1,
with no interior cone, perhaps 15% uncharred, roughly in the volume
taken up by the cone.

New plans and new ideas: We want a sliding band around the bottom of the can which can be used to regulate airflow through the holes and maybe the pyrolysis rate. When the band slides down, it will partially close the holes. When pyrolisis has finished, the band can be pushed all the way down to cover the holes entirely and keep oxygen out.

Part B. Technical Description

(by Al)

The inner tin was a Yuban Coffee can, with diameter 6.05 inches (excluding the roll bead where the bottom is attached. The original height of the can was 7.5 inches, and the height was trimmed down to 6.7 inches above the inside of the bottom surface. 74 holes .0.159 inch diameter were drilled on a line 0.75 inches from the bottom.

The outer tin was a decorative cookie tin with a fitted lid. The diameter of the can (excluding the rolled bead that attached the bottom) was 6.4 inches. A 3 inch diameter hole was cut in the center of the lid. The lid was 7.1 inches above the inside of the bottom of the can. 33 holes of 0.5 inch diameter were drilled as close as possible to the bottom of the outer can.

The inner can was filled to about ¾ inch of its top with pine pellets intended for use with pellet stoves. The weight of the fuel was 58.5 oz (1.66 kg). These pellets were ignited using a propane torch over the entire top surface for about 1 minute.

The stove operated with what appeared to be constant output for 140 minutes. A water heating test was performed with a pot set about 3 inches above the stove opening. Two liters of water was placed in a covered pot of diameter 8.5 inches and height (without lid) of 3 inches. Water temperature was measured using a “point-and-shoot” infrared thermometer. (I suspect that at higher temperatures this thermometer reads low, as it most likely senses the temperature of the steam above the water in the pot, and not the water itself.) Water start temperature was 12.5C, and finish temperature was 81.1C, at which time boiling bubbles were coming off the bottom of the pot, and much energy was being lost to steam. Elapsed time was 17 minutes.

When the flame extinguished, much smoke came from the stove, so a lid without a hole was placed on top of the stove. Smoke continued to pour from the holes at the bottom of the stove, so it was placed in a pan of water to cover the holes. This resulted in wetting of the contents of the stove. After cooling, the stove was opened and the contents examined. The fuel was found to have been converted to char, except for a portion of pellets about 1.5 inches high and 3 inches in diameter at the bottom of the stove.

Since the fuel was wet, it was not weighed. Instead, the wet fuel including the unconverted pellets was placed in a container and heated to complete pyrolization. The weight of the remaining char was 16.5 oz (28.2% original weight).

A hollow metal cone of height 4.5 inches and diameter 4.5 inches was made, and placed in the bottom of the inner can before adding fuel pellets for a second run. This time the weight of the fuel was 49.5 oz, the burn time was again 140 minutes, and the weight of the remaining char was 14 oz (28.3% original weight). This time all but 1 or 2 pellets appeared to have been converted to char.

ETHOS 2009 Developing World Cooking Stove Conference
Charlie Sellers, February 11,2009

Charlie Sellers and GEKCharlie Sellers and GEK

This was my third ETHOS (Engineers in Technical and Humanitarian Opportunities of Service – a long name for people who often just call themselves “stovers”), and the Seattle suburbs are as cold as usual at this time of year. ~100 researchers came from around the world to compare notes on stove projects, stove designs, standards and testing procedures, health impacts, other associated appropriate technologies, and so on. More apparent this year was interest in carbon credit funding and biochar (terra preta) applications, and all year long there has been an increased emphasis on refugee camp stoves (and more testing of stoves in the field, versus in the laboratory) so this was more apparent at the conference.

Nat MulcahyNat Mulcahy

There was a raft of new stoves introduced this year, including the new BioLight thermoelectric-powered-fan one for camping and more, the likewise fan powered Lucia Stove from (shown with developer Nate Mulcahy),

Crispin Pemberton-PiggottCrispin Pemberton-Piggott

and the souped up Peko Pe natural draft gasifier presented by Paul Anderson (pictured with Crispin Pemberton-Pigott, wielding his ever present combustion analyzer).

Rocketeers Larry Winiarski and Dean StillRocketeers Larry Winiarski and Dean Still

The venerable Dr. Larry Winiarski and Dean Still are also shown here with the upcoming finned pot atop StoveTec’s ( rocket stove - now 36,000 strong in the field just since last year.

The trend toward stove models like all these, designed for mass manufacturing, continues, and this trend was recently discussed here: coming-of-corporate-biomass-stoves-mass.html). And yours truly demonstrated in light snow the new biomass gasifier (the red one) from All Power Labs here in Berkeley ( Look soon for Peter Scott’s new rocket stove design and application website at

Resources for the interested include past conference proceedings () and reviews

and the master site for all things related to biomass stoves is here:

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