Domestic burn injuries is a major problem in LMIC countries. Finding ways to produce and distribute Top-Lit Up Draft stoves (TLUD) has been an important part of our burn prevention program over the last decade, as we believe the TLUD can greatly reduce the risk of domestic burns. The TLUD is a non-patented clean burning cooking stove invented by Mr Paal Wendelbo. Mr Wendelbo is considered to be one of two fathers of this gasifier concept, the other being the American Mr Tom Reed, who independently conceptualized the idea during the 1980s.
The stove was found very clean burning when tested at Copenhagen Technical High School in 1988. It has since been tested in various African countries.
People all over the world rely on solid fuels such as wood or charcoal as their primary source of energy. Much of this energy is needed for cooking. As the environment suffers from deforestation, so does the many families suffer from using traditional fireplaces or low efficiency stoves for making their food, as they are particularly prone to developing health issues due the smoke and open flames.
The PekoPe design
CBWCF has in cooperation with the University of Agder, Norway, added some safety features to Mr Wendelbo`s invention called the PekoPe stove (Pekope meaning in Acholi language «we have no more problems», after the oven was introduced in a Ugandan refugee camp in 1994). Our stove has been thoroughly tested at the University of Agder under the supervision of professor Henrik Kofoed Nielsen. The design is made of stainless steel with a safety mesh that keeps the surface temperature low and three legs making it stable. The combustion chamber reaches temperatures above 700 Centigrade and is presently suitable for use below 1700 meters above sea level. The smoke that comes out is clean compared to the wood smoke, and the small amounts of carbon monoxide is not a problem in a well ventilated room.
The stove can in principle run on many types of biomass. CBWCF is experimenting with pellets made out of different types of biomass waste. Using pellets as fuel has several advantages as it is cheap, uniform, economical to transport and easy to dose. Its efficiency is also worth noticing: A household needs about 2,7 kg of charcoal a day for cooking. From about 10kg of dry wood you will get 2,7 kg of charcoal for one day´s cooking. From 10 kg of dry wood you will get 10 kg of chips or pellets that will last for 2 1/2 days in a TLUD.
Using a TLUD and thus leaving the traditional bonfire behind brings several health benefits. The risks of developing ophthalmological and airway related diseases due to smoke will be eliminated using the TLUD. We also believe the TLUD reduces the risks of burn injuries significantly.
It is time to move on from the banned charcoal industry in Ethiopia. CBWCF is aiming at establishing several production sites around the country. Making an oven is easy, and stainless steel is readily available. Making pellets on the other hand requires meticulous work, meaning we have to train highly skilled and dedicated personnel. We will also have to learn more about biomass availability and how it varies throughout the seasons. So far, coffee husk, sawdust and waste from suger production seems like the way to go.
Do you want to support this project, or do you want more information, please contact the program managers, Mr Jan Myklebust or Mr Seppo Lahdeaho