From Charlie Sellers:

I chased down this protocol in case it would help me with my effort to see how to compare the performance of 2 stoves differentiated by only minor design changes (not predict how they will work in the field - though we keep hoping that lab testing results can be eventually correlated with field performance, once we have figured out how behavioral, educational, and cultural issues can be overcome):
It might be considered a little obscure on the web - since if you search on the title ("Stove Manufacturers Emissions & Performance Test Protocol" - EPTP for short) you won't get much else besides this helpful presentation at NREL last fall:

A supporting journal article cited is "Influence of testing parameters on biomass stove performance and development of an improved testing protocol", written by L'Orange et al at Colorado State University and published in the March 2012 issue of Energy for Sustainable Development:
and it is worth a read. For those of you who are not yet familiar with it, Google Scholar is an excellent tool for ferreting out the, hopefully, highest quality technical information - and it has no superfluous information or ads, yet. I am not sure that I am allowed to attach a copy of it here - but the authors should be able to. Note that an older, but similarly oriented, journal article from India "Effects of selected parameters on performance and emission of biomass cookstoves" - was published in 2002 by Bhattacharya et all (Thailand), in the journal Biomass and Bioenergy (

New Princeton Report on Climate Impacts of Black Carbon

Princeton University has just published Black Carbon: A Review and Policy Recommendations and Frank Norcross (one of the authors) sent me an early but final copy – you’ll recognize that many of the people acknowledged are from our stove community, with Tami Bonds contributing very obviously throughout. The report ascribes 18% of black carbon (BC) emissions to residential biomass burning (inefficient home coal and petroleum stoves add additionally?), and differentiates between combustion processes’ “organic carbon” and “black carbon” (à la Tami’s and Chris Roden’s presentations at ETHOS) – contained burning has the potential for climate warming via BC while open burning (of forests and savannas) may induce cooling effects because the organic carbon particles scatter sunlight.

Appropriately, the recommendations for reducing the impacts of stoves (Chapter 4) includes the implementation of more efficient ones, with better interventions and monitoring to increase acceptance rates, and clearly demonstrate that they are being used as they are designed to be; as usual we have out job cut out for us. Biochar is discussed as well, as a mitigation measure – assuming that charcoal product is “clean” I expect. Whatever your opinion of the possible present/future impacts of we multiplying humans on climate change, this is excellent reading and a good review of the present knowledge as it pertains stovers.


Figure 1: The second column represents the estimated total contribution (in oC) to global warming since 1750 of BC-containing soot particle; data included through 2006, Jacobson 2004)Figure 1: The second column represents the estimated total contribution (in oC) to global warming since 1750 of BC-containing soot particle; data included through 2006, Jacobson 2004)
Figure 2: Global breakdown of BC emissions by source (adapted from Bond et al, 2004)Figure 2: Global breakdown of BC emissions by source (adapted from Bond et al, 2004)

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:

Coming of the Corporate Biomass Stove - Mass Manufacturing to Save the Day?
Charlie Sellers, November 23, 2008

Mass Production

For the last several years there has been a huge amount of activity in what we might call "corporate stoving" - it is not as if corporations of one kind or another have not always had cooking wares for sale (certainly in the developed world!), but they have not always been this active in developing countries - the market certainly is huge, but the margins are uncertain and the customers non-traditional. These welcome players include British Petroleum, Bosch Siemens, Philips Electronics, and the Shell Foundation and their more technology rich mass manufacturable stoves have the potential to reduce fuel consumption by 50% and drop emissions significantly, and result in deployments of tens of millions of units each. This short article is a collection of photos and links about some of the most recent stoves which might be deployed in larger numbers.


Urban Justa Stove Building Workshop in San Francisco
Charlie Sellers, July 29, 2008

Sebastian Africano was just through the SF Bay area, building stoves on his way to Stove Camp, and I added this post on his workshop to my evolving IAP site:

Manually-operated biomass pelletizer - clay as a binder?
Charlie Sellers, May 10, 2008
Honeycomb CoalHoneycomb Coal

ETHOS 2008 Conference
Charlie Sellers, Improved Biomass Stoves, February 3, 2008

See Charlie Seller's report on ETHOS 2008

Experiences Using a Hand Crank Generator for Fan Stoves
Charlie Sellers and Brad Ballard, January 2008
Hand Crank GeneratorSelect imge to enlarge

For about four months I have had a hand crank powered LED flashlight that I have been very impressed with (, and other retailers such as REI sell it for less - ~$50) – it can either be charged by its AC adapter or by turning a hand crank, the high performance LED is extremely bright, the flashlight has several intensity settings, it lasts longer on a full charge than I can easily measure, and my model is heavily rubberized for ruggedness and waterproof characteristics. It is by far the best of the many LED flashlights that I have tried, including both moving magnet and straight battery powered ones – this one seems very bombproof and efficient; several of us have been very pleased with it.

Making Charcoal for Biochar at Home
Charlie Sellers, November 18, 2007

Aprovecho Biomass Stove Camp 2006
Charlie Sellers, EWB-SFP Appropriate Technology Design Team, August 27, 2006

See Charlie's blog on the ETHOS/Aprovecho Stove Camp

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