[Stoves] Re: “Char-MAKING stoves” Re: Stove Conf in Poland this month

Dear Crispin and stovers,      6 May 2017

Those are some wise words that you wrote.   But some of the words are not so wise.   We all pick and choose where we agree.

Personally (and based on some solid experience wirh stove issues), my bets for the future of clean cookstoves for hundreds of millions of households are the following. 
1)  Bet #1.      LPG (because of the “current” availability of the fuel and the sources of money (as in “big oil” wirh government backing / tax mmoney that bings profits to some, votes to others, and somerhing desireable (LPG cooking) that has great appeal to the “current wood-burning people ” who are moving toward worthy lifestyles that affluent people have shown to be so desireable.  LPG advocates envision converting 300 to 400 million houesholds of the 500 million HH that are srill with 3-stone and other “INADEQUATE cooking solurions”  (I say that ICS should refer to “Inadequate” and not “Improved” cooking solutions.)

2.   So, Bet #2.    The future fo clean cookinf solurions is NOT wirh the “iCS” devices and fuels.  There will be some sales of chrcoal-butning stoves and some rocket stoves, but thy are pasr techgnologies that did not solve in rhe past 40 years the cooksrove challenges .   

NOTE:  I hope that all readers have seen the 2017 “Classification od Stove Technologies and Fuel” document (especilally the table).   Availacble at my websitte.     http://www.drtlud.com/2017/04/11/classification-stove-technologies-fuels/

3.   Bet #3.  The microgasifier stoves that crete woodgas from solid dry biomass (mainly wood) is the ONE combinarion of stove and fuel that can provide QUITE CLEQN BURNING (GAS BURNING) and has prospects to reach th the poorest and the most remote households.  Kik Smith estimates 25 million such households in India alone, beyond the reach of the LPG efforts.   That is a worthytarget for woodgas stoves..   Make that 100 million HH world wide.   And then we will see how may other HH were not serviced by the grand plan od LPG (my estimate is another 100 million HH).

4,  Bet #4.   (Especially for Crispin).   The stoves that MAKEchaecoal will dominate the woodgas effoets.   Thos chacoal making stoves are TLUD stoves wirh solid biomas fuel (wood, pellets. etc).    The high turbulance “fan-jet stoves (Philips – ACE  Biolyte, and a ew others) are NOT included in the cha-making TLUD group.  IMO,They are amongy the “one-hit wonders” about which Crispn sent his words od caution, TTRACTUBNG ATTENTION AND SOAKING UP THE LIMIED SUPPLY of stove funding..

5.  Bet #5.   Not about a stove, but about chaecoal.   BIOCHAR is going t0 be bigtime ecentually.   And it will strengthen the appel of the TLUD charmaking sroves.  

I qill have to live with thse 5 BETS or “predictions”.   Non are going to happn overnight.   But it ill happen faster if more of you readers becme usupppoetive and involved.  No pressure.   just an open invitation.

 I will be writing more about all of these issues.  THIS message and others (past and future) are easily available for long-term access at the EPOSTS menu/tab ar my website:  www.drtlud.com    (alllow a couple od days for th posting to appear.



Doc  /  Dr TLUD  /  Prof. Paul S. Anderson, PhD  Email:  psanders@ilstu.edu  Skype:   paultlud    Phone: +1-309-452-7072  Website:  www.drtlud.com
On 5/5/2017 4:06 PM, Crispin Pemberton-Pigott wrote:

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Dear Paul


I knew it would get you excited and it is my way of issuing a gentle warming that the ‘emphasis’ on certain types of stoves, or ‘co-benefits’ if you will, is not buying friends outside the stove community.


As long time readers will realise, there are fads in the stove community and on this list. When trying to implement something on a large scale, all sorts of people pop up out of the administrative woodwork who ask questions not only unanticipated by the stove developers, they are often directly hostile to funding stoves at all.


The reasons stove projects get an automatic thumbs-down from large development organisations are

  1. They are too complicated
  2. They usually fail, often miserably
  3. They are not reputation builders
  4. The impact made will soon be over-run/swamped/driven into irrelevance by [insert technology] which will solve the entire problem.


One hit wonders abound.

Something worked for someone so it must be universally applicable, right?

I have an idea that would work if everyone was forced to use it.

I have a unique perspective on how to solve problem [X], everyone listen to me.


You get the idea? Bean counters don’t give a hoot about one hit wonders. They want systematic, progressive, large scale impact that lasts.


Now, it is fair to debate which impact, where and at what scale. So let me give you the low-down on interesting things happening out there:


The experiment with selling char from TLUDs in India is gaining notice. Let’s look for additional sites where it might work.


The experiment making char powder from waste biomass and turning it into fuel that fits a particular stove is not gaining anything like the interest it should, even though it offers a huge upside for avoiding the useless burning of biomass wastes and the creation of very clean-burning stoves.


The South-South cooperation creating the contextual testing method(s) bringing realistic forecasts of future performance based on well controlled lab tests is gaining recognition as the Next Big Thing in testing. The ISO Committee for cooking stoves will create a contextual testing protocol, if it is not gutted by its enemies punting one-size-fits-all testing (a-la-WBT). This approach to product selection is giving major funders confidence that a stove programme might actually deliver worthwhile benefits at scale.


Wars against or in favour of particular fuels are losing ground because of the growing realisation that only a stove-fuel combination could possibly be rated ‘clean’. Ethanol is a fuel that is often shown not to be very clean, and kerosene has been unfairly labelled ‘dirty’ in the face of masses of evidence that it is a really good, clean burning fuel.


The first conference in recent memory on the subject of a coal burning stove, in Warsaw, is a major plus for a reality check. The war on coal is a Western thing, basically. In poor, cold Asia, they may come out of the closet more boldly and discuss what to do about addressing poverty, IAQ and open access to far better technologies.


None of this prevents anyone working on any technology they please, but keeping an eye on what the market is interested in is not wrong. Pick your market: donors, carbon traders, manufacturers, vendors, financiers, maybe even users. Right now it is very easy to make a very big improvement in people’s lives. The efficiency wave will be followed by the electricity wave. After that we should sit down and take stock of the Next Big Thing.


Happy hunting





Crispin and all,

You had many goo comments in your discussion of Nikhel’s email.   But you also wrote:

The stove community in Africa suffers from two main impediments: the over-reliance on the WBT as a way of developing and evaluating stoves, and the near fanatical devotion to making char, as if Africa needs char-making stoves to save itself. As one brand of missionaries leaves Africa, another arrives to tell people when they do and do not sin.

My comments are only about

The stove community in Africa suffers from …. the near fanatical devotion to making char, as if Africa needs char-making stoves to save itself.

Maybe you meant to say    … as if Africa needs char BURNING stoves to save itself.      ——– That would be true.   Charcoal burning stoves are disastorous to Africa, Hait, and many other places.

But you wrote ….. charr-MAKING stoves …….      Which can only mean TLUD stoves.          Well,there is certainly no “near fanatical devociton” to char-making stoves.      There is near fanatical devotion to the STANDARD and traditional ways of making char, that is, the ways that do not use the heat, but just waste the energy.

But that is not the case of the TLUD stoves that are :char-MAKING”.  

Please clarify your comments.


Doc  /  Dr TLUD  /  Prof. Paul S. Anderson, PhD
Email:  psanders@ilstu.edu
Skype:   paultlud    Phone: +1-309-452-7072
Website:  www.drtlud.com

On 5/5/2017 11:16 AM, Crispin Pemberton-Pigott wrote:

Dear Nikhil


I have had a little time to check on some things. I agree with your perspectives:


>”Clean energy” is a deliberate betrayal of poor people.


Agreed because ‘clean energy’ is based on the concept of ‘clean fuel’ which is a misnomer – only combustion systems with fuel can be judged to be clean.




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