An Australian resident, Adama Kamara, has invented a cooking stove that allows people in developing areas to cook without breathing toxic fumes or contributing to deforestation in search of wood fuels.
The invention for this low-cost stove may be important news for many trying to cook indoors for families in poorly ventilated rooms. Kamara cites the United Nations, saying some 1.4 million women and children die annually due to inhaling the fumes from wood or other forms of solid biomass that is burned in traditional cook stoves.
Kamara’s invention, the Fire Pot Stove, is an inexpensive box that features grated burner-like holes on the top. Beneath each hole, a metal receptacle holds a natural fiber wick that sits in a pool of relatively clean-burning crude biodiesel, made from waste vegetable oil blended with methanol or ethanol and wood ash. The net result is a relatively clean-burning fuel for cooking purposes.
The stove, which features a long-burning wick, has been featured on ABC’s “The New Inventors.”
In an interview with gizmag, she reflected on her undertaking: “I believe that women should not be given a death sentence because they can only afford to use solid biomass fuels for cooking in traditional cook stoves. I decided to help by designing and building a stove that can use a variety of fuels for cooking, which produces less indoor air pollution and thus reduce the disease burden in women and small children.”
She estimates that the receptacle containing approximately 500 ml (17 US ounces) of fuel provides about six hours of burning time. Such a time might allow for preparing and cooking three to four meals.
This stove differs from solar cookers because it can be used without sunshine, and cooking activities can take place inside. The traditional indoor alternative for indoor cooking has been the use of firewood of kerosene stoves.
The burners on the Eco Pot Stove can easily be fueled with vegetable oil or crude biodiesel. Another fuel option is glycerine mixed with either methanol or ethanol. The stove exterior is simple in design and construction, containing an outer frame and an inner burner. The current version of this stove is made with sheet metal, but Kamara says it could also be made locally from scrap metal, clay or bricks.
Kamara foes not intend to manufacture stoves for developing nations; rather, she hopes to provide residents with the knowledge of how to make their own stoves.
Kamara says it is her hope to someday see a universal Healthy Kitchen Program for women in the developing world, to enable them to reach the full health potential of their lives.
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