BioLite stoves use half the wood needed to cook over an open fire, emit only a fraction of the smoke, and capture excess heat to generate electricity for other purposes.
Nearly half of the world’s population cooks over open wood fires, but such fires are inefficient, waste energy and create toxic smoke that’s a hazard both to the environment and to human health. Like Inyenyeri, New York-based BioLite aims to offer something better — specifically, stoves that use half the wood, emit only a fraction of the smoke, and capture excess heat to generate electricity for other purposes. Available initially in a camp stove format, BioLite’s technology begins by converting a fraction of the fire’s thermal energy into electricity to power a combustion improvement system. By making combustion more efficient, BioLite’s stoves require less than half the wood an open fire does and can reduce smoke emissions by more than 90 percent, the company says. Excess electricity, meanwhile, is captured as well and made available to users for off-grid charging via USB of small electronic devices such as mobile phones, LED lights and GPS devices. The video below explains the premise in more detail: Priced at USD 129, BioLite’s CampStove will be available this summer; its HomeStove version, meanwhile, is gearing up for large-scale pilot testing later this year in India, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya. Social and energy entrepreneurs: one to get involved in?