|Subject:||[Stoves] The Akha TLUD – Biochar Project in Bangladesh.|
|Date:||Sun, 05 Mar 2017 12:36:04 -0500|
|From:||Julien Winter <email@example.com>|
|Reply-To:||Discussion of biomass cooking stoves <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|To:||Discussion of biomass cooking stoves <email@example.com>|
There is a natural draft TLUD project that has been developing in Bangladesh over the past few years. A locally adapted ND-TLUD has been designed, called the Akha Chula.
You will find a two page summary of the project attached. The PDF document contains links to more information on the web.
The Akha is being well received because it is clean-cooking, but especially because it makes biochar. There is some excitement about biochar, and one family had their compound broken into just to steal the biochar. Biochar will likely be the key facilitator for cookstove acceptance, and I expect that the Akha will lead the way for creating a market for commercial pellet fuels and more expensive TLUDs. The char-making ability of TLUDs can have wide-reaching effects, so we advocate a comprehensive “TLUD-Biochar Ecology” approach to research, extension education, and deployment. Other cookstove interventions in Bangladesh have not been very successful.
When you look at the Akha you will see some areas for improvement. It is a work in progress. It can take some local experience before suggested new designs take hold. Some new burners may be more efficient than the existing one, but too complex to become popular in a particular country. Even a little bit of complexity may be too much for local stove-builders to accept. It could be a challenge to replace an old design with a new one, once the old design has taken root in the population. “If the old burner is ‘good enough’, why replace it?”
Ideally, I think it is important to get good burner introduced in the first place, because once an idea is public, you can’t recall it. However, the demand to introduce a new innovation can outrun the pace of research and development. (Biochar is a good example. Everybody wanted to use it before we adequately understood its environmental impact.) There can also be a bit of reversal of priorities: before there is funding for research and development on a stove, it has first to be shown that the public wants it. And, there can be a race among NGOs and businesses to be first. So the first stove into homes is a Tier-3 stove.
About the Akha and things to improve: (1) It is using an old-style concentrator burner, so some flames get quenched on the bottom of the pot. (2) The riser-pot support needs to be made more efficient at transferring heat to the pot. (3) Primary air control is not as air-tight as it could be — however, there are 18 x 2 mm holes in the side walls of the reactor, so we really can’t shut the reaction down. (The holes are a compromise to prevent combustion in the reactor from going out, and creating a lot of smoke. That could cause major customer complaints). They are working on it.
The project has financial support for three years from a Dutch NGO. That gets the technologies out into a number of villages with 100-200 stoves as a feasibility trial. I think the Akha is already past the point of no return, because news of TLUDs and biochar is spreading, and they are likely now unstoppable.
Cobourg, ON, CANADA