Project: Stove Camper
The complete story is written by Burkhard Bilger in the New Yorker Dec 21 – 28th, 2009

About half the world’s population cooks with gas, kerosene, or electricity, while the other half burns, wood, coal, dung or other solid fuels.

Open fires will slowly kill you. Even though the sweet smell of wood, is a caustic swirl or soup of chemical agents, benzene, butadiene, stryrene, formaldehyde, dioxin and methylene chloride.

According to the World Health Organization this soup kills a million and a half people a year plus a long list of disabilities like – pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, cataracts, cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure, and low birth weight – and has been implicated in a number of others, including tuberculosis, low I.Q. and cleft palate, among other deformities.

As the global temperature changes are now affecting more people, like Florida has been cooler now, the East Coast is getting more fierce storms and don’t forget the hurricanes. It is now that Third world kitchens are not only local, they are becoming an universal threat.

Is anyone doing anything about this global threat?

You bet.

Stove Camp, is a group of engineers who have come together. Building a stove is easy, building a good cheap stove can drive an engineer crazy.

Since 1976, Aprovecho Research Center has provided technical assistance to improved stove projects in over 60 countries around the world. We found that sometimes it can be difficult to make fuel efficient, low emission biomass burning stoves using local materials and manufacturers. Making insulated combustion chambers and affordable cast iron stove parts can be especially challenging.

ARC staff looked for a long time to find a factory that could make high quality rocket stoves at the lowest price possible. We were very lucky to find Shengzhou Stove Manufacturer, a family run small factory that has been selling millions of stoves for decades in China. ARC worked closely with Mr. Shen, an engineer and the factory owner, to make best quality rocket stoves. The rocket stoves are now available worldwide.

StoveTec even won the 2009 Ashden International Energy Champion Award.

Here’s a video clip about how and why they won the Ashden Award. It worth watching.