Developing a prototype microgasifier stove for improving household energy systems in rural Ethiopia
By Kiatkamjon Intani, Sajid Latif, and Joachim Müller
Most of the households in Ethiopia still rely on traditional use of biomass for their energy needs. Traditional three-stone stoves are widely used in Ethiopia. This type of cooking device has a low fuel efficiency and high emission, which leads to indoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution causes chronic eye illness and respiratory disease in women and children, resulting in about 60,000 deaths per year. This study by Kiatkamjon Intani, Sajid Latif, and Joachim Müller developed a prototype microgasifier stove (TLUD-Pyro) to serve as cooking device and miniature charcoal kilns, producing biochar and bio-oil as valuable byproducts. Micro-gasification is a better technology than direct combustion, since it can achieve higher fuel efficiency and lower emission. Micro-gasifier cookstoves can produce their own gas from solid biomass, such as maize cobs, and provide sufficient heat for cooking activities. The charcoal produced during the gasification process of biomass can be used as a soil amendment and carbon sink known as biochar. Another output of the TLUD-Pyro microgasifier stove is bio-oil. Bio-oil can be converted to both energetic (heat, electricity, synthesis gas) and chemical products (acids, alcohols, phenols, etc.).
First test results showed that the TLUD-Pyro stove successfully converted 940 g of maize cobs to 149 g (16 %) of biochar after 25 min and at the end of the combustion process 21 g (2 %) of ash remained.
The TLUD-Pyro stove has a huge potential in providing energy for cooking, but it needs to be further modified according to local cooking methods, e.g. baking injera (traditional flat bread made from teff) in the case of Ethiopia. After further tests and improvement, the dissemination of this technology can take place.
This study is a part of the research activities within the BiomassWeb work package 5.1 “Postharvest Innovations” at the University of Hohenheim.
University of Hohenheim
Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Tropics and Subtropics Group,
Roth, Christa 2014. Micro-gasification: cooking with gas from dry biomass. An introduction to concepts and applications of wood-gas burning technologies for cooking. GIZ, Eschborn. https://energypedia.info/images/0/05/Micro_Gasification_2.0_Cooking_with_gas_from_dry_biomass.pdf