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New stove burns crop waste, transforms rural life in China

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New stove burns crop waste, transforms rural life in China

The Beijing Shenzhou Daxu Bio-energy Technology Company Ltd. (Daxu) has won the 2007 Ashden Award for Enterprise for its innovative stove design that replaces coal by burning widely available crop waste as well as burning wood much more efficiently. The award was presented by Al Gore at a ceremony in London.

Most families in China still cook and heat their homes using stoves that burn coal or wood which has led to severe deforestation and dangerous levels of indoor air pollution, particularly from coal use. Crop waste is widely available in China yet very few stove designs have been able to burn this waste effectively.

The Daxu stove is not only designed to burn crop waste, either loose or in briquettes, it is also 40% efficient, produces hardly any smoke, cuts cooking and heating costs by 50% and, if it replaces a traditional coal burning stove, can save around eight tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The Climate Care website notes that this is the equivalent of a person flying from London to Beijing and back three times.

The stove works by burning the fuel using a controlled supply of air that produces gas which then rises to meet 'secondary' air causing the fuel to burn more thoroughly and heat to be transferred quickly to the pots so that a meal can be cooked in 15 -20 minutes with minimal smoke pollution

Posted on YouTube by Ashden Awards Feb. 26, 2008

With its two hot plates, it also allows families to cook a stir-fry dish and steamed rice at the same time. Some Daxu stove models also come with a back boiler which provides hot running water and heating to rural families, often for the first time.

Since September last year, 25,000 models have been sold, with 10,000 sold in the first three months of 2007, due in part to subsidies provided by the Yangqing County authorities in a drive to combat deforestation and indoor air pollution in a region with an abundance of crop waste. There is enormous potential for introducing this technology throughout China, since over 20 million wood and coal stoves are sold each year.

The new stove was six years in the making. In 2000, Pan Shijiao together with others began researching and developing a stove design that could effectively burn crop waste in addition to burning wood much more efficiently. Satisfied that they had come up with an innovative new design that could do the job, Shijao set up the Beijing Shenzhou Daxu Bio-energy Technology Company Ltd (Daxu) in April 2005 to market the new improved stove.

On Nov. 13, 2007, Climate Care announced that, in co-operation with Daxu and the Government of Yanqing County, Pioneer and Camco will be funding a trial of 400 stoves to accurately measure the carbon savings. If the savings are proved, Climate Care will fund widespread production of tens of thousands of stoves over the next five years, making its widespread adoption feasible. Climate Care was established in 1998 as a limited company designed to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through what is known as "offsetting" -  making CO2 reductions on behalf of individuals and companies.


For other stories about efficient woodburning stoves, see:

Tanzanian blacksmiths pass on skills, creating jobs and saving forests

Fuel-efficient traditional stove saves wood in Eritrea

Award-winning business brings efficient stoves, kilns to small industries in South India

Kenyan stove manufacturer provides energy efficient cooking, encourages tree planting

Waste-burning community cooker solves many problems in Kenyan slum

More efficient stoves, biochar create sustainable development in Western Kenya

More efficient stoves protect women in Sudan, Uganda

Green stoves and clean lighting projects win 2010 environmental prize

2011 Ashden Awards profile practical energy solutions that save trees, create jobs


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