From the conventional Chulhas used in villages to the more widely used LPG stoves in the cities, emission of greenhouse gases is one of the greatest of concerns of today. Though LPG stoves are said to be most convenient and cause less pollution, studies have shown that these stoves emit 15 times more CO2 than wood and kerosene.
LPG contains propane, butane, unsaturated propylene, and butylenes liquefied under high pressure. It is to be kept in mind that even small amount leaks of LPG can be hazardous to the environment. People are increasingly adopting more eco-friendly ways of cooking that reduce environmental pollution, more economical and fuel efficient.
1. Oorja Stove
One such environment friendly stove designed by the Indian Institute of Science is the “Oorja stove”. This stove has been proved to be almost smokeless, more efficient, and cheaper in terms of cost when compared to LPG. The fuel is obtained from agricultural waste like bagasse, groundnut husk, or cotton stalks. These wastes are highly compressed and made into pellets which the Oorja stove burns efficiently using an innovative gasification process. Today, over 4,75,000 homes use the Oorja stove across villages in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh.
2. Rocket Stove
The “Rocket Stove” is an ecofriendly stove designed by a Japanese health researcher Junji Takano that is not only easy to use but also easy to make and is cost effective. Junji managed to create this “green” stove using large tin cans riveted to the ground. According to Junji, it has high heat transfer capacity causing less pollution which means less carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere in comparison with a conventional stove. Apparently this Rocket stove is 60% less fuel than the other usual stoves. By using just 500 g of cardboard, one can cook 6 cups of rice and 2 kinds of dishes using this stove.
3. Eco Fire Pot stove
“Eco Fire Pot stove” is an environment-friendly stove for a healthy life. Adama Karma is a natural therapist who believes in living close to nature was the one to design this stove. This stove can be made from scrap metals, clay or bricks according to the consumer’s requirements. It looks like a usual LPG stove with two burners with fuel enriched under the burner. Adama claims the fuel to be made from waste vegetable oil mixed with methanol or ethanol and wood ash. The stove can burn for six hours. It turns out that this stove does not emit anything which is harmful if inhaled and is also cost efficient.
“Score” is yet another ecofriendly stove which uses 1 kg of fuel per hour (wood or dung) created by the researchers of University of Nottingham. The stove is designed not only to produce heat but the heat so produced also gets converted to acoustic energy which in turn is converted to electricity with a linear alternator. This dual purpose stove ensures reduced fuel consumption by three times over traditional stoves and the electrical energy generated can charge 12 V battery, or provide mains AC voltage. Score project has proved to be successful in the rural areas of Kenya, Uganda, and Nepal.
5. Ecofriendly Cooking Stove for Bamburi
Moving mountains trust has introduced an environment friendly stove with back boilers which produces hot water as a by-product of their cooking. The stove which is made from clay has a narrow opening to introduce wood as the fuel and a uniquely shaped hob to ensure least heat dissipation. The specially designed stove minimizes fuel consumption, requiring less wood collection and emits very less smoke minimizing bronchial problems. Though this was made specifically for the villagers of Bamburi, it will be a better alternative for traditional Chullas used in other villages.
6. Solar Stove
Solar stoves work by harnessing UV radiation from the sun ad converting it to heat. In a country like India with tropical climate, harnessing solar energy is a smart way to control pollution. Though you cannot cook at night and cloudy whether conditions, by resorting to solar stoves as an alternative to LPG or other conventional cooking stoves in rural as well as urban areas (which would be most of the day time), pollution can be curtailed to a great extent.
7. Kenya Ceramic Jiko
“Kenya Ceramic Jiko” (KCJ), designed by the efforts of some local and international agencies has become a widely used stove in Africa. It has a unique hour-glass shape different from a traditional jiko allowing maximum heat to be utilized. Also it encompasses a ceramic liner which helps in increasing efficiency at least by 1/4th compared to a traditional jiko. Also, it has been shown to reduce fuel usage by 30-50%.
The “Eco-Chulha” is yet another stove introduced by Abellon Clean Energy with the motive to provide cleaner solution to counter cooking smoke. The Eco-Chulha is a community stove especially designed to facilitate large scale cooking. It uses “Pellexo” which is a carbon-free pellet-fuel made from forest and agricultural residues. The stove is convenient to use, produces very little smoke devoid of carbon and allows faster cooking which reflects its heat efficiency.
9. Enviro-fuels Stove
Enviro-fuels stove will soon hit the market, designed by Enviro Fuels Manufacturing Inc. of Florida. Though, it uses coal as the fuel, they acclaim that the stove is designed to produce maximum heat efficiency and maximum fuel combustion. The company’s president and CEO, Larry Hunt, explained that the fuel produces temperatures as high as or higher than 500 degree Celsius.
10. Electric Cooking Stoves
Electric cooking stoves are a great alternative to LPGs in urban areas considering the fact that it does not produce any smoke. The time taken for cooking is faster using an electric cooker. No carbon-dioxide emission means no pollution. Although it has its own disadvantages of cost of electricity consumption, for those who can afford it, it’s a great alternative ensuring cleaner cooking. Resorting to such eco-friendly stoves and eco-sensitive ways of cooking will make a large difference in the years to come.