Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Engineers Aim To Make Cleaner-Burning Cookstoves For Developing World

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the home-cooking dept.

Earth 147

vinces99 writes in with news about a new cookstove design for developing countries. "About 3 billion people, or 42 percent of the world's population, rely on burning materials such as wood, animal dung or coal in stoves for cooking and heating their homes. Often these stoves are crudely designed, and poor ventilation and damp wood can create a smoky, hazardous indoor environment day after day. A recent study in The Lancet estimates that 3.5 million people die each year as a result of indoor air pollution from open fires or rudimentary stoves in their homes. More than 900,000 people die from pneumonia alone, which has been linked to indoor air pollution. University of Washington engineers hope to make a dent in these numbers by designing a cookstove that meets a stringent set of emission and efficiency standards while still being affordable and attractive to families who cook over a flame each day. The team has received a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to design a better cookstove, which researchers say will use half as much fuel and cut emissions by 90 percent."

cancel ×

147 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Simpsons already did it... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856637)

Didnt Philips do this 5 to 10 years ago????/

Re:Simpsons already did it... (4, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year ago | (#44856769)

Didnt Philips do this 5 to 10 years ago????/

Didn't Ben Franklin do this 250 years ago?

"The Franklin stove is a metal-lined fireplace named after its inventor, Benjamin Franklin. It was invented in 1741. It had a hollow baffle near the rear (to transfer more heat from the fire to a room's air) and relied on an "inverted siphon" to draw the fire's hot fumes around the baffle. It was intended to produce more heat and less smoke than an ordinary open fireplace."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_stove [wikipedia.org]

Re:Simpsons already did it... (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#44856909)

Enclosed stove with a stack and convection-based oxygenating of fuel, been done for thousands of years in various places in asia and africa. I swear, I get tired of reading of "innovations" that seem to be rediscovered every decade of my 50 years, but this is even more annoying.

Re:Simpsons already did it... (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44857189)

Meanwhile the Chinese invented rockets thousands of years ago so the Saturn five is no big deal?
See how stupid that looks? Now you've seen exactly how stupid your post looks to anyone that thinks about design.

Re:Simpsons already did it... (4, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#44857263)

Enclosed stove with a stack and convection-based oxygenating of fuel, been done for thousands of years in various places in asia and africa.

The stove in the article looks exactly like the cookstoves we made from coffee cans when I was in the girl scouts*. They work well, and are a big improvement over an open fire, but I don't see anything new about it.

*Yes, I was a male girl scout. My mom was the scout leader, and my sisters were already girl scouts, so she signed me up too. My mom was a tough scout leader. Years later, I enlisted in the Marine Corps, and it was a piece of cake compared to my mom's girl scout troop. -- Semper Fi, and Be Prepared.

Re:Simpsons already did it... (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#44857695)

Yes, girl scout cookies are much easier to deliver by gunfire. :P

Re:Simpsons already did it... (1)

dasunt (249686) | about a year ago | (#44857913)

They have a camping stove that is somewhat similar, but with the added advantage of having forced air.

It's basically a coffee-can sized container with a fan on the bottom to force air through the fuel. They usually run on rechargeable batteries, but they can also be powered by a solar cell (or the batteries can be recharged with a solar cell).

It seems to me that this would be a much better solution compared to inventing something completely new. If appropriately-sized containers can be found or fabricated in these areas, only the fan/battery pack + solar charger needs to be sold in a kit. The solar charger could be USB out, which would allow cell phones to also be charged, encouraging uptake where cell phones are used as the primary source of communications. Alternatively, the fuel itself will create a heat differential. There may be a cost-effective way to have the heat differential recharge the battery Some backpacking stoves already do these, but they are spendy.

It would be interesting to compare these stove (I think they are commonly called biomass fuel stoves for camping), and compare it to a less-technical design such as a rocket stove (somewhat similar theory, but no moving parts), and compare both to just a sheet-metal non-complex stove. What's the best price point? What about the efficiency compared to the presently used setups? What about the durability?

This project to invent a new stove seems a combination of not-invented-here syndrome and best-is-the-enemy-of-good-enough.

Re:Simpsons already did it... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44856993)

FWIW, if you read the article, this stove is intended for people who can't (or for whatever other reason don't) have a smokestack or other vent.

Re:Simpsons already did it... (0)

dinfinity (2300094) | about a year ago | (#44857267)

Irrelevant. The problem is that they can't afford any stove in the first place:
"A recent study published in The Lancet estimates that 3.5 million people die each year as a result of indoor air pollution from open fires or rudimentary stoves in their homes."

I guess the real 'news' is this:
"The team received a $900,000 grant"

Loving this line as well: "[...] a better cookstove, which researchers say will use half as much fuel and cut emissions by 90 percent."
Compared to what? Open fire? Congratu-fucking-lations, that is amazing!

Re:Simpsons already did it... (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#44857567)

The problem is that they can't afford any stove in the first place

Apparently they can afford rudimentary stoves, which, according to the English language, are types of stoves.

So if this money can be used to create the infrastructure necessary to produce better stoves at a cost comparable to a rudimentary stove, then the lives of many people can be improved for relatively little cost. I am not saying that this is definitely going to work. The devil is in the details. But I don't think it's a bad idea per se.

Re:Simpsons already did it... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44857647)

from the picture it can't ever be comparable to rudimentary stove in cost...

you could always make two crappy stoves from the materials that go into it.. sure, you would need to gather double the wood to cook with them but still..

Re:Simpsons already did it... (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#44858705)

Human effort is not free. The time spent gathering firewood is an opportunity cost. Much of the reason why people in the 3rd world remain poor, is because their poverty does not allow for the initial investment to do basic tasks efficiently. They basically spend all their time doing chores inefficiently.

Re:Simpsons already did it... (1)

dinfinity (2300094) | about a year ago | (#44857867)

Apparently they can afford rudimentary stoves, which, according to the English language, are types of stoves.

Rudimentary implies that they're very very probably not store-bought stoves ("Hello, good sir. I'd like one of you finest rudimentary stoves."), but rather bits and pieces thrown together.

You should take a look at TFA, especially at the picture with the following caption: "A crude cookstove over an open-flame fire."
Personally, I think 'makeshift' would have been a better description than 'crude' or 'rudimentary'.

Re:Simpsons already did it... (0)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#44858653)

I did read the article and I saw the picture. "Cost" means more than just cost in money to build a stove. There is the cost in human time and effort in making your own rudimentary stove and operating it.

According to TFA "3.5 million people die each year as a result of indoor air pollution from open fires or rudimentary stoves in their homes. More than 900,000 people die from pneumonia alone, which has been linked to indoor air pollution."

Surely a person could be far more productive if they don't contract pneumonia and die as a result of their rudimentary stove (i.e. the opportunity cost of a rudimentary stove). A rudimentary stove actually has a very high cost, and you are paying this cost with your health and future productivity.

Even if the stove costs like $10 (which is a lot for people in 3rd world countries), this is a smaller long term cost than being sick and dying earlier.

Patents (2)

Dan East (318230) | about a year ago | (#44857071)

In 1742, Franklin finished his first design which implemented new scientific concepts about heat which had been developed by the Dutch physician Herman Boerhaave (1668–1738), a proponent of Isaac Newton's ideas. Two years later, Franklin wrote a pamphlet describing his design and how it operated in order to sell his product. Around this time, the deputy governor of Pennsylvania, George Thomas, made an offer to Franklin to patent his design, but Franklin never patented any of his designs and inventions. He believed “that as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously”.

Wow.

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857125)

Who owns the patent now?

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857417)

Who owns the patent now?

Check British law. Pennsylvania was a British colony in 1741. The U.S. patent system would not be applicable.

Re:Russians already did it... (1)

Chemisor (97276) | about a year ago | (#44857301)

>> Didnt Philips do this 5 to 10 years ago????/
> Didn't Ben Franklin do this 250 years ago?

Didn't the russians do this over 1000 years ago?

The russian oven [wikipedia.org] is considerably more efficient than Franklin's. Designed to retain heat for a very long time, it contains an intricate brick maze of passages and chambers. Russians have used this type of oven since ancient times, cooking, baking, bathing (inside), sleeping (on top), hiding, and healing. The oven is prominently featured in many old stories and legends and pretty much every russian over 60 has used one at one time or another.

Re:Russians already did it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857595)

>> Didnt Philips do this 5 to 10 years ago????/
> Didn't Ben Franklin do this 250 years ago?

Didn't the russians do this over 1000 years ago?

A common erroneous attribution, the Russians really got the design from the Klingons.

Re:Russians already did it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857703)

I'm not knocking the design, but that's like comparing apples and oranges.

The "russian oven" is one design that was built for one environment and the "franklin stove" is a different design for different environment.

Re:Russians already did it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44858275)

I'm not knocking the design, but that's like comparing apples and oranges.

The "russian oven" is one design that was built for one environment and the "franklin stove" is a different design for different environment.

Yeah, the Russian Oven may be bigger than the dwellings these people are living in.

Re:Russians already did it... (1)

Maintenance Goof (1487053) | about a year ago | (#44858327)

You are correct and Ben Franklin was aware of that. He studied heating exhaustively as his book, 'Observations on Smoky Chimneys, Their Causes and Cure: With Considerations on Fuel and Stoves' demonstrates. Ben Franklin designed his stove as a compromise. He loved an open flame despite it's inefficiency.

And so have others (1)

plopez (54068) | about a year ago | (#44857777)

Here's yet another one:

http://www.brownongreen.net/2011/05/simple-stove-improves-human-health-environment.html [brownongreen.net]

I think:
1) The wheel is being reinvented due to lack of communications
and
2) The problem may not be technological but Social and Cultural. Changing the way people cook may be a very hard.

Why can't they make their OWN? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856671)

Because it's the THIRD WORLD, not the 'developing world' (LOL), and their average IQ is under 70. That's why.

When are the poor, hard done by third worlders ever going to help white people? Don't hold your breath.

First design, then popularize ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856679)

An excellent idea. Don't forget to market it! Distributing a paper via Elsevier and calling it a day will not change a thing.

Re:First design, then popularize ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856773)

Why can't the 'developing' world (LOL) design their OWN cooking stoves? Are they little children who have to look to white people to do EVERYTHING for them? Apparently so.

But I'm some bright spark will tell me THAT I'm wrong, but now WHY...

Re:First design, then popularize ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856949)

I am of the opinion that you are not posing your question in good faith.

Re:First design, then popularize ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857211)

Why can't you build you OWN smartphone? Are you so pathetic that yellow people have to MAKE one for you?

Will the cost be a barrier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856691)

From the concept art this looks like they are making a simple rocket stove and putting a pot skirt on top. There are quite a few people working to develop low cost, efficient, and nonpolluting cook stoves for poorer countries, but most of them use natural materials (stone, brick).

I'm just wondering how much one of these things would cost? Looking at the sleek concept art, I'm guessing more that a family living in a mud hut and cooking with twigs and cow dung can afford.

Poor ventilation... (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about a year ago | (#44856757)

From the concept art this looks like they are making a simple rocket stove and putting a pot skirt on top. There are quite a few people working to develop low cost, efficient, and nonpolluting cook stoves for poorer countries, but most of them use natural materials (stone, brick).
I'm just wondering how much one of these things would cost? Looking at the sleek concept art, I'm guessing more that a family living in a mud hut and cooking with twigs and cow dung can afford.

Not to mention that, if you're burning stuff, then poor ventilation in the vicinity of the stove will defeat much of the intent (health, clean-burning, etc.). This remains so, however well the stove may function in a better location.

Re:Will the cost be a barrier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856771)

I initially assumed that the design would use natural materials - otherwise, what use could it be to anybody?

It's about time we started taking Appropriate/Intermediate Technology [wikipedia.org] more seriously as a concept.

Re:Will the cost be a barrier? (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#44856935)

do tell, what "natural materials" are suitable for making a stove that don't require massive amounts of energy to modify for the purpose? If you are going to suggest a giant clay stove I'll laugh at you, they exist but only in places in no need of this article's stove, for an excellent reason.

Re:Will the cost be a barrier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856991)

What do you propose then, since you seem to have all the answers? Maybe we should import prefabricated steel parts from the USA?

Re:Will the cost be a barrier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857175)

and mining/smelting/forming whatever metal they've got in the concept art there doesn't represent a massive amount of energy?

You forget that people (not in the US) still regularly build entire houses out of clay.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wattle_and_daub [wikipedia.org]

Re:Will the cost be a barrier? (3, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44857205)

If you are going to suggest a giant clay stove I'll laugh at you

I've made molten steel from scrap in a "giant clay stove". The clay was a chrome magnesite clay but it came out of the ground like that and the "stove" was an arc furnace, but there's plenty of stuff that can be found in a variety of places that can handle less extreme conditions.

Re:Will the cost be a barrier? (1)

sribe (304414) | about a year ago | (#44857581)

I've made molten steel from scrap in a "giant clay stove".

No you haven't, fire has never, never in the history of man, melted steel. I know this is true because I heard Rosie O'Donnell say so ;-)

Re:Will the cost be a barrier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857385)

Well ... now let me see ...

A giant clay stove?

Re:Will the cost be a barrier? (1)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#44857415)

I initially assumed that the design would use natural materials - otherwise, what use could it be to anybody?

If it were my team, I'd be looking at ways to build it from natural materials first, found materials second, and using a minimum amount of manufactured materials. Found materials could be anything, from a length of pipe, to corrugated steel, an automobile muffler, a metal grate, or even brass AK-47 shell casings. They'd have to be ubiquitously common, and really cheap or free to obtain. They might even do some field work to learn what kinds of materials fit those qualifications in poor villages around the globe.

But building is separate from design.

I'd want to first design and test it out of materials perfectly suited for the job. Make sure the design actually reduces emissions as required. Then, start substituting the parts for scavenged materials, and learn what impacts those choices have. Does using a rusty exhaust pipe for a smokestack emit lead? Don't use it. Does a flat rock substitute for the heat shield? Great. Does a corrugated sheet metal shroud only have half the thermal efficiency? Ok, but maybe there's a different shape that would make it better if that's the materials you think people will have available to them.

But maybe they find that some key part is critical to reduce emissions, and it has to be manufactured. They then have to find a cheap way of producing them, while keeping them compatible with a wide range of other parts. I wonder if $900,000 will be enough.

Re:Will the cost be a barrier? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#44856951)

Seems like they add a chimney around the fire so the updraught pulls air in at the bottom a la Dresden.

Things like this made of recycled materials (biscuit tins, bits of cars) were around 20 years ago.

Re:Will the cost be a barrier? (1)

plopez (54068) | about a year ago | (#44857809)

I think the barrier may be social and cultural. How people eat is very fundamental to their culture and hence how they cook. There are other designs for efficient stoves for the 3rd world out there but there does not seem to be much uptake. This may be more of a job for Anthropologists and Social Workers than Engineers.

We already hae better stoves (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#44856697)

And fire places, people have been successfully using them for hundreds of years without killing themselves. Lets face it people, if your burning bullshit in a 50 gallon drum to cook your food "yet another better stove" isnt going to do you much good.

Re:We already hae better stoves (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44856781)

Here's a picture of the traditional stove. [washington.edu] Truly inefficient, you can see plenty of wasted energy leaving out the sides. ok.
Here's a picture of the new stove they are considering. [washington.edu]

The new one does look more efficient, but it looks like it costs 10 times more. Are people really going to buy it?

Re:We already hae better stoves (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#44856887)

nonsense, there are "traditional stoves" that look just like your 2nd picture. Designed by smart people who had a culture where they could pass good ideas along.

Re:We already hae better stoves (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44856911)

Pics or it didn't happen

Re:We already hae better stoves (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#44857661)

Yeah that's not exactly hard. This entire thing is a waste of effort in terms of "making a better stove." Feel free to look up a daruma stove, or even the semi-classical pot-belly or mini-pot belly stove. The fun thing about pot belly stoves is they can be made from any material that doesn't burn. Of course the most common type was cast iron(iron of course being cheap during that time), but pure clay, and clay mixed with other materials such as asbestos was also common.

Re:We already hae better stoves (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44856977)

I'll bet they don't levitate, like the ones in the 'picture'.

Now that's tech.

Re:We already hae better stoves (1)

Reservoir Penguin (611789) | about a year ago | (#44857497)

Its the whitemans burden. Teaching the barbaric natives how to cook their food. Then its knock-knock-whosthere-freedom! time.

Re:We already hae better stoves (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44858035)

nonsense, there are "traditional stoves" that look just like your 2nd picture. Designed by smart people who had a culture where they could pass good ideas along.

Wait. According to TFA, the first stove is an example of what the target audience is currently using, and the second is an artist's conception of what the new stove will look like. One of the design criteria is to look enough like the stoves they were used to that they would be mostly familiar with it's use, while being a significant improvement over what they were currently using. [1]

So, a Franklin stove (as others were suggesting) may not have as high adoption as something that looks like their current stove, but improved.

Now, I personally wonder about manufacture in third world countries in enough numbers to make a dent in the medical issues, but that's another story.

[1] This is what an improved design intended for non-technological people *should be*. Enough like something they're already used to that they could use it without a significant amount of instruction. It's a valuable criteria.

Re:We already hae better stoves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856891)

Cost isn't an issue for most of the people who would use these stoves. It isn't an issue because they don't have any money.

I actually feel angry about the stupidity and short-sightedness of this project. Why can't they make a design that uses readily-available materials?

"Small is Beautiful" [amazon.com] was written 40 years ago, but its message seems as relevant today as it ever was.

Re:We already hae better stoves (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856901)

Here's a picture of the traditional stove. [washington.edu] Truly inefficient, you can see plenty of wasted energy leaving out the sides. ok.

Here's a picture of the new stove they are considering. [washington.edu]

The new one does look more efficient, but it looks like it costs 10 times more. Are people really going to buy it?

Ten times more? The first one looks free. Honestly this looks like yet another ivory tower project complete with a budget, interns, and computer aided engineering all to 'invent' something that has been around for ages.

This time it is the free-from-trash Hobo stove. [wikipedia.org] I'll research the idea for half price, only 450k. Hell, I'll even send the Department of Energy a few samples, just let me find my old coffee cans....

Re:We already hae better stoves (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year ago | (#44857069)

Just because the rendering looks good doesn't mean that's what will end up in the developing world.
And at its most basic, that design can be stamped out, wholesale, from sheet metal.

Re:We already hae better stoves (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year ago | (#44857121)

I think any design like this that relies on people *buying* it is ultimately going to fail. If you really wanted to improve these people's lives, you would design one that *they* can *make*.

Re:We already hae better stoves (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44857251)

I think any design like this that relies on people *buying* it is ultimately going to fail.

I keep seeing people posting this kind of thing. Do you really think that people in developing countries have no money?

I can tell you a story. I knew a woman in El Salvador who was a cook, and she bought a pot that was big enough to make mondongo (cow stomach soup). She was really happy. Then somehow she lost it, and she was really sad. If she could have bought another one, she would have been really happy again.

So this sort of stove thing is the kind of thing people would buy if it were cheap enough, especially if it meant less money spent on fuel.........

Re:We already hae better stoves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857451)

what was that story from, basic emotions for fucking retards

Re:We already hae better stoves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857989)

>> The new one does look more efficient, but it looks like it costs 10 times more. Are people really going to buy it?

Of course not. The American taxpayer is going to buy it for them, while millions of Americans live in poverty and can't get the help they need.

Re:We already hae better stoves (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44858091)

while millions of Americans live in poverty and can't get the help they need.

You don't know the meaning of poverty.

Re:We already hae better stoves (2)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#44856791)

And fire places, people have been successfully using them for hundreds of years without killing themselves.

It happened quite often.

Try thinking a little more carefully about the clothes women wore.

Re:We already hae better stoves (1)

Chemisor (97276) | about a year ago | (#44857307)

> Try thinking a little more carefully about the clothes women wore.

When you are wearing a long dress near a fire, you can't help but try thinking a little more carefully.

Re:We already hae better stoves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856837)

I agree with you.

I'm not sure how they're going to improve on the rocket stove [wikipedia.org] by much. Those are already designed to be as efficient as possible while also being able to be manufactured using third-world methods and materials.

Re:We already hae better stoves (4, Informative)

32771 (906153) | about a year ago | (#44856957)

Actually TLUD stoves would create char coal and burn the pyrolysis gases, now they are just wasted. The article is low on detail, here is a free ebook about stoves and their use in 3rd world countries:

http://www.biochar-international.org/sites/default/files/Understanding-Stoves-okt-10-webversion.pdf [biochar-in...tional.org]

and a slide show that explains the principle:

http://www.bme.gouv.ht/ugse/TCharbon%20Kara%20Grant%20-%20English.pdf [bme.gouv.ht]

I haven't seen this mentioned in the article which is somewhat thin on detail, but there is way more to stoves than the article explains. Also Burn Design Lab doesn't explicitly mention the TLUD design.

Oh, here is another website:

http://stoves.bioenergylists.org/ [bioenergylists.org]

Somehow the UW related stuff is free of the TLUD principle, I wonder why. Also, you are wrong.

Re:We already hae better stoves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857465)

Stoves are a well known healt issue in underdeveloped areas... easy to fund because of that. http://www.patsari.org/

And all ready "solved" several times. Some times i wonder, if researchers in academia read ONLY reputated well known sources they can cite (or built from) or only accept the funding to advance personal carrers ( doing other me-to version ) instead of looking to new, less visible or harder to fund questions

Re:We already hae better stoves (1)

32771 (906153) | about a year ago | (#44857715)

That patsari stove design looks simple enough to replicate, if you look at burn design lab you have to get the mass production of the steel stoves going first.
Making bricks may still be energy intensive, but somehow it feels easier to do. For simple energy starved societies this should still be easier to do than setting up steel processing.

(Just to mention it, Spanish isn't my strong side)

3.5 Million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856721)

That number is so high, it positively smokes of bullshit.

Re:3.5 Million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856747)

Let's face it, if that 3.5M number is correct, then it will be a self correcting problem worthy of an iGnoble Darwin award.

Re:3.5 Million? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44856841)

Let's face it, long-term carbon monoxide exposure can't be healthy.

In similar news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856729)

Some team of "researchers" found out people in some countries are still carrying things. Carrying heavy stuff has been linked to back problems. People all over the world have back problems. The team has now received a bajillion dollar grant to reinvent the wheel.

Re:In similar news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857425)

Of course, Africans NEVER EVEN INVENTED THE WHEEL. Did you know that? Can you believe it? They were so stupid, millions of them, that even though they existed for tens of thousands of years before white people evolved from them, they still carried everything around by hand, or on animals, because they were TOO STUPID to invent the WHEEL...

Re:In similar news... (1)

matfud (464184) | about a year ago | (#44858079)

Yup eygypt isn't in africa at all. And they definiately didn't have chariots. No ser-ie

Ignorant fuck

Rocket Stove - not really revolutionary (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856845)

It's called rocket stove and can be built easily from different material:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_stove

Similar project (3, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44856907)

This reminds me of this project: Potential Energy (formerly The Darfur Stoves Project) [potentialenergy.org]

Popular Mechanics covered it in this article: Low-Tech Stove Saves Lives in Sudan's Darfur Region [popularmechanics.com]

Re:Similar project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857659)

And the comunity drived Túumben Kóoben
http://tuumbenkooben.wordpress.com/

Rocket stoves (2)

CODiNE (27417) | about a year ago | (#44856921)

Rocket stoves work pretty good. They burn at a higher temperature and consume more of the fuel while reducing emissions. Very easy to construct and cheap to fuel with just sticks and leaves.

Re:Rocket stoves (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44858381)

Rocket stoves (Score:3)
by CODiNE (27417)
Rocket stoves work pretty good.

That's probably better than my subject line. Mine was going to be "holy shit, assholes". Then the body was going to say "These already exist, and they are called rocket stoves." Possibly I might include an informative link [wikipedia.org] .

Numbers, numbers,numbers ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44856927)

A recent study in The Lancet estimates that 3.5 million people die each year as a result of indoor air pollution from open fires or rudimentary stoves in their homes. More than 900,000 people die from pneumonia alone, which has been linked to indoor air pollution.

Yep. And of course no one mentions how cigarette smoking is still quite prevalent in the countries that rely on said stoves.

Folks - especially you engineers - beware when numbers are stated. Aside from engineering and science, the rest of the World is quite fast and loose with numbers.

Mhy recent argument with an engineer regarding a revenues number:

"This number is unrealistic. I don't see how they got it."

BSME: "They got it from somewhere!"

Me thinking: "Yeah, out of their ass!"

Anyone can spout numbers. Take a Cost Accounting class ( or just read a fucking book about it) and realize that - it's not complete horseshit, but horseshit fertilizes the numbers.

Pressure cookers? (1)

fastAlan (3092855) | about a year ago | (#44857065)

Maybe they just need to provide pressure cookers to everyone? See this article with a rudimentary table comparing cooking time: http://missvickie.com/library/investment.html [missvickie.com]

another cookstove project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857141)

http://cookstoves.lbl.gov/ Lawrence Berkeley Lab

Copy of this 2006 design? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857143)

The design looks identical to this concept which was distributed in Africa years ago.
http://www.research.philips.com/technologies/woodstove.html

Running a woodstove is simple (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#44857257)

Run it hot on clean, dry wood at full power for as long as you can, the thermal mass you surround it with will absorb the heat.

Oh wait, the reason folks burn crappy wet wood in inefficient stoves is that they're poor, or they're too sick from dirty water (50% of all premature deaths on Earth are from bad water) to gather wood. How does this help that problem?

Re:Running a woodstove is simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857387)

In 2012 Malaria killed upwards of half a million people. How do programs to provide agricultural assistance help that problem?

My car is low on both oil and water. How does adding water help with the low oil levels?

My arms on fire. A guy runs up with a fire blanket and attempts to douse the fire on the my left arm. How does this help my burning right arm.

Do you understand?

Ahem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857325)

Cough.....rocket stove.....cough

Just query RedALyC cheap efficien low tech stoves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857409)

The Patsari stoves family: Designed by the UNAM, Very Well Known, Efficient and cheap, Easy to build low tech, Healty to use
http://www.patsari.org/

Erin Solid Fuel Stove (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857481)

"Its the Erins versatility which means that it can burn wood, coal, peat briquettes or smokeless fuel. Combining the power and efficiency of its heat output, the Erin is the right choice for a larger home." ref [waterfordstanley.com]

Chlorine in the gene pool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857711)

I would say if you are dumb enough to to cook on a wood or dung fire in your house and it fills with choking smoke every time you should probably stop doing that. The ones that figure this out will survive and the rest, well....

Thanks, but no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857787)

Anything from US is most unwelcome in these parts of the world, please stop HELPING us. US helping third world country, any country, has not been witnessed and reported yet. Just stay the FUCK out of our "hell holes" "shit holes" etc as so many of you refer to us.

FUCK YOU VERY MUCH,
The Third World.

Call Hank Hill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857795)

And send over millions of propane gas stoves. Propane is easy to come by in the developing world, because that's where much of America's refining is done (since, you know, America likes to outsource its pollution to third world countries).

So these guys, but 3 years late to the party? (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#44857909)

So these guys, but 3 years late to the party?

http://www.cleancookstoves.org/ [cleancookstoves.org]

I guess mechanical and chemical engineering masters students all need a thesis subject...

Re:So these guys, but 3 years late to the party? (1)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#44858047)

Or there's also the higher-tech approach taken by BioLite [biolitestove.com] . While obviously more expensive, that stove not only improves efficiency and health, but also provides electrical power generation capabilities suitable for charging smartphones and other low-energy electronic devices. Given how transformative cellphones are proving to be in developing economies, that's a non-trivial benefit.

stoves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44857925)

i remember reading a similar story a few months earlier. nice to see another story about cleaner-burning cookstoves.

Biolite anyone (2)

khb (266593) | about a year ago | (#44857949)

http://www.biolitestove.com/homestove/overview/ [biolitestove.com] for the "homestove" which is intended for folks who need it "full time". Yes, it is more expensive, but they are working on funding sources.

One of the funding sources is us outdoor geeks, on their website you can find the campstove, the campgrill and the upcoming pot. Some of their profits go towards their homestove work.

I've got the campstove, it does a very nice job. Perhaps by next summer I'll invest in the grill.

Re:Biolite anyone (1)

khb (266593) | about a year ago | (#44858393)

Reading some of the other citations (cooking stove treatise, etc.) it seems that lessons from the 5th century haven't propagated yet.

http://heritageofjapan.wordpress.com/following-the-trail-of-tumuli/rebellion-in-kyushu-and-the-rise-of-royal-estates/village-settlement-patterns-the-homestead-emerges/the-kamado-stove-innovation-improves-home-life/ [wordpress.com]

The key benefits of using "high" technology are cleaner burning and electricity generation for upfront investment (which presumably is being donated).

The southern japanese solution does deal with a lot of the household air pollution but doesn't address the global impact.

But it does beg the question about why traditional ceramic solutions aren't the basis for sustainable solutions. Even with an additional blower (which could be pedal powered) it does seem a lot more deployable (but not nearly as much engineering fun)

Re:Biolite anyone (1)

khb (266593) | about a year ago | (#44858419)

I suppose the other clever (but non-electrical) approach would be to use a turbo charger. Pumping some of the exhaust gas back in and using it's thermal and kinetic energy to power the blower would do away with the need for a battery or external fan.

But when the basis against which solutions are compared against is three rocks under the cookpot it is hard to compete on the basis of simplicity.

Silly (1)

jkmartin (816458) | about a year ago | (#44858077)

This is silly. Even if you were able to mass produce this item and give it away for free it would still be the most expensive item these people own and a target of thieves. There's currently a project on Kickstarter for a solar oven that has pretty much the same goals. It costs $300, the main component is a glass tube, and it's completely worthless. It has raised $80,000.

This design is nothing but a rocket stove which can be made from a variety of found components by someone with minimal tools and knowledge. We'd be better off spending that $900,000 on training a few guys to travel around these regions to set up stove factories and train the local population on the concepts. Not only would we be teaching them how to build their own stoves we'd be supporting the local economy. Teaching a man how to fish, so to speak.

Not to sound antiegalitarian... (2)

pongo000 (97357) | about a year ago | (#44858171)

...but isn't man's disruption of the natural processes that keep the population in check a direct contributor to the world overpopulation problem? From a strictly scientific point of view, drastically altering the mortality rate of the world's population by decreasing it (and increasing the birth/death ration) can't be a good thing. Many of these people have lived generations in their current environment, so why does a first world country believe they have the right to disrupt nature in such a drastic way?

So a first world country solves the woodstove problem, thereby decreasing mortality rates. Are they prepared to then step in and deal with inadequate water supplies, increases in loss of arable lands, higher rates of infant mortality, and other side effects of overpopulation?

Gasification? (1)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about a year ago | (#44858287)

My suggestion would be some form of multi-fuel gasification system. Its highly efficient and produces very low emissions. The problem would be simplifying its operation, making it smaller & engineering it so that it didn't require electricity (for the blower).

cooking stove user manual appendix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44858309)

aha, and they will also print a table of fast-growing woody plants (tree or tree-like)
that grow "the most fast" and shed alot of branches in the user manual ... hopefully?
i nominate this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albizia_saman (also because it makes copious amounts of seeds)!

Re:cooking stove user manual appendix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44858409)

holy f#ck! i just RTFArticle. that design is CRAZY! it's like steel. where the f... are poor people going to
find a smelter for steel and bang it into shape? unless of course the already rich people are going to
SELL it to the poor people ... or even better, gather "donations" from the middle class and then
fly first class to "oversee" the project...
a simple solution would be to just use rocks. yes sir! simple rocks that one can shape into
square lego bricks that one can stack into the optimal shape for a stove .. holy crap.
you can even exchange parts with your neighbor if one breaks or even start a stove-brick manufacturing
shop ... stones are universal?
but wait ... one cannot build a "pipe like" contraption with a opening at the bottom from stones, silly me.

Another similar idea: Die Ofenmacher (1)

heilbron (122789) | about a year ago | (#44858575)

This is not really totally new news! Another effort to develop a cheap (approx. 8 Euro) useful cooking stove with a chimney is described here: http://ofenmacher.org/index.php?sfwi=201&sflng=1&sfcr=&sfci=103651 [ofenmacher.org] by the German non-profit group 'Die Ofenmacher'. The stove avoids injuries and respiratory problems, while reducing the amount of wood needed. It also provides an employment opportunity for local stove makers!

They already did this in Central America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44858809)

They already did this in Central America. There is a company there making stoves that cost about the same at traditional stoves but are 50% more efficient with wood and 90% less emissions: http://www.sustainableharvest.org/news-articles/articles/newsletter-articles/origin-and-benefits-of-the-damak-wood-conserving-stove [sustainableharvest.org]

Different parts of the world will need different types of materials in the stove building. Metal is usually cost prohibitive, so bricks and adobe need to be used where available.

I've built a few tiny stoves ... a rocket stove and a wood-gas stove in the last few years. The rocket stove produces a huge amount of heat quickly and burns clean. The wood-gas stove burns with very high efficiency using hardly any wood once the burn converts to wood-methane gas. Very little wood is used. Both are amazing compared to a normal fires; camp fire, chimney fire, even a high-efficiency stove like we deploy in "cabins" in the USA for cooking and heating.

Wasting tax payer dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44859159)

The U.S. Department of Energy has no business spending tax payer dollars on foreign conutry benefits. Now, if private donors find this to be a worthy cause, I'm all for that.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?