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How to build a rocket stove

Tim Harland |
Tuesday, 13th September 2011

Rocket stoves are highly efficient wood fired stoves that not only reduce deforestation and greenhouse gases but also prevent respiratory diseases and related deaths. 1.6 million deaths each year are caused by smoke from cooking. The Approvecho Research Centre has pioneered the design of rocket stoves and here they show you how to make one. This design is for a large-scale, mass catering stove but you can scale it down for domestic cooking. Thanks to Joseph Davies-Coates  for stitching it together as one film. The only thing you need to do is possibly extend the flue. If you are cooking outside the flue in this design can be minimal. If you are using this device inside please install with the same care and health and safety features as a conventional woodburning stove.

These stoves save of 40% on fuelwood and 50 to 60% on carbon monoxide emissions – and in the longer-term. ARC's analysis suggests typical saving of 1 to 2 tonnes/year CO2 per stove. Here's how much of a difference a stove like this can make in Africa.



If you are interested in the wider implications of rocket stoves and the work of Approvecho who are scaling up production of of affordable rocket stove, here is another video. At the heart of the problem are the many inefficient and polluting stoves used across developing countries. Local initiatives have made progress in designing and distributing better stoves, but have not reached the numbers that are needed. But now the Aprovecho Research Center and SSM, their Chinese manufacturing partners, have mass-produced an affordable stove (US$3.50 to US$12 ex-factory), which can be sold around the world. Using smart design to make them light, durable and fuel-efficient, SSM had sold over 70,000 stoves by 2010, the majority to India, but also to Africa and Latin America.

These low cost, mass produced stoves could benefit millions of people and save millions of lives. 

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