[Stoves] China and cookstoves [Was Re: A user-centered, iterative engineering approach for advanced biomass cookstove design and development]

Ronal W. Larson rongretlarson at comcast.net
Mon Dec 4 14:56:14 MST 2017


List and Nikhil:

	Several more points, not mentioned below,  to lend added weight to Gordon’s observations:

	a.  I wrote a few months ago about my visit to Gordon’s operations near Silver City New Mexico, which I visited because I had heard (on this list) that Gordon was developing a TLUD with continuous feed.   I liked what I saw - and still don’t know of anything similar.  I also saw many dozens of of different types of batch operated TLUD stoves.  His are NOT new thoughts.

	b.   Gordon and his crew have operated TLUDs also in Mexico.   Nikhil recently chastised GACC and EPA for not operating in Puerto Rico, whereas they had in Haiti.  It would have made no sense to do our type of stove working Puerto Rico - as its annual family income (although last in the US) is above $20k.  They long ago gave up wood in favor of cooking with electricity and fuel oils.   Gordon is describing a cooking system that would work in all these countries - for the good of our environment - and at a cost savings.
	
	c.   Gordon doesn’t mention that his fuel is largely designed to improve presently overgrown and unhealthy forests.   A huge problem in Colorado and much of the US.  Rwanda not that, but Rwanda can also benefit.

	d.   Note the words below:  “free fuel”, “investments” ,   “fundamental lifecycle problems”.   Anyone able to describe another stove type that can do those things?  

Ron


> On Dec 4, 2017, at 10:28 AM, Gordon West <gordon.west at rtnewmexico.com> wrote:
> 
> I want to support Ron in his point and to provide a scenario to help to explain it. We are a relatively new ‘stoves’ R&D company and manufacturer operating in the U.S. Our business plan is not directly relevant to the markets that are the major focus of this list, but there are some significant developments in our world carrying what should be a disruptive lesson for biomass cooking strategies.
> 
> The basic lesson, which we are creating a business model for, is this: the biochar that is produced from our TLUD appliances is worth many times more that the biomass feedstock going in. This is true on a triple-bottom-line basis, looking at direct economics, social benefits, and environmental benefits - note that global economic systems generally acknowledge only only transactions involving sale for currency as “making money” even though the other non-monetized benefits result in greater lifecycle economic good than the direct sales do.
> 
> First let me make the distinction between fuel and feedstock - this is a very important point. Fuel is burned for energy; feedstock is used to make other products. In our TLUD process, biomass is always feedstock, from which is produced char and a flammable gas (a fuel). 
> 
> One problem with micro-production of biochar (cookstoves and heaters in households) is that the char does not have enough value to cover the cost of aggregation and sale to existing markets - and existing markets are poorly developed, partly because of a lack of supply. Our solution is to establish community scale biochar+heat systems that acquire local biomass for feedstock, process it into char and heat, use the heat to dry more incoming biomass, and densify it into pellet or briquet feedstock. The densified and bagged feedstock can then be distributed to micro-producers to make heat for cooking or other uses while making more char. We plan to give the micro-producers free dried and densified feedstock in trade for their char. “We”, in this case, will be a regional biochar cooperative that will handle technology distribution and operation, biomass processing and feedstock distribution, and biochar aggregation and marketing. 
> 
> This approach solves many problems - the households get free feedstock, saving significant amounts of time and money; the feedstock is of a much higher quality - it is dry and consistent and dense, making stove operation safer and better; the char is aggregated into a marketable form; carbon is sequestered; adding CO2 to the atmosphere is avoided; soils and biomass productivity is enhanced; and water is saved. There are many more benefits, but those are some top examples.
> 
> In the U.S. we have the numbers to show that we can make a business out of this approach. In more distressed areas, governments and NGOs, who have more of an interest in the non-monetized triple-bottom-line benefits, could set up the core biochar+heat facilities to produce free feedstock for micro-producers and manage the char collection. The subsidies to do this would actually be long-term investments, and not bandaids like so many ‘help for the poor’ efforts are.
> 
> Burning local biomass to ash in cookstoves for heat does not really solve any fundamental lifecycle problems, no matter how cleanly it is done.
> 
> Gordon West
> The Trollworks
> 503 N. “E” Street
> Silver City, NM 88061
> 575-537-3689
> 
> An entrepreneur sees problems as the seeds of opportunity.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
>> On Dec 3, 2017, at 10:36 PM, Ronal W. Larson <rongretlarson at comcast.net <mailto:rongretlarson at comcast.net>> wrote:
>> 
>> Nikhil:
>> 
>> 	I hope you (and almost everybody on this list) will take the time to ask a few low-income women the below-question that I have not seen asked.  
>> 
>> 	 If you could imagine yourself having a batch stove that cost the same and used the same fuel whether you (now low income) would rather make money or not, what would your own answer be?
>> 
>> 	None of your answer below gets at what I am asking.  I repeat;  I have not seen any survey with this question.  I have talked to many people about this for twenty-plus years individually - and I have gotten the answer that I want others to get.
>> 
>> 	Obviously I am asking this so as to get char in the ground.  Obviously for climate reasons.  But soil NPP improvement also occurs - without conflict.  All this is obvious on the sister biochar list.  I am trying to get this list aware of biochar as a positive part of stoves and cooking.  It is of no help to hear your answers about fuel collection, making observations, cooks making money with kerosene stoves,  non-wood stoves taking over, large-scale cooking , etc.  None of your answers get at the question of the value in making char while one cooks.  It is not a difficult question to answer.
>> 
>> 
>> Ron
>> 
>> 
>>> On Dec 3, 2017, at 8:48 PM, Nikhil Desai <pienergy2008 at gmail.com <mailto:pienergy2008 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Ron: 
>>> 
>>> That is an interesting question but the answer has to be compared to alternative means of making money. 
>>> 
>>> Reduction in fuel collection time is one form of saving; the time freed up can be used for higher-priority activity, including education, child care, or employment. 
>>> 
>>> In other words, answers to this question can only be interpreted with additional, context-specific information or questions. In and of itself, it is a meaningless question. 
>>> 
>>> There are indirect ways of gathering people's priorities -- observing what they in fact do. 
>>> 
>>> Here is what I have observed over the last several decades: 
>>> 
>>> 1. In India, housewives in cities and towns have indeed made money by cooking, though on kerosene and LPG/electricity and preparing dry/canned/frozen foods as well as fresh meals and snacks for sale. 
>>> 
>>> 2. Roughly a billion people in the developing world have moved away from collecting woodfuels and cooking all the meals for family consumption. 
>>> 
>>> 3. Family size and composition, location, alternatives and priorities in use of women's time have changed. 
>>> 
>>> 4. Charcoaling from own or others' trees is an income-generating activity, but whether a cook wants to spend her time to do the same is open to question. She might well want to do for selling locally as fuel but not to some central authority for biochar. 
>>> 
>>> Your question may be better directed to commercial, large-scale cooks, who are probably easier customers for biomass and coal stoves anyway compared to poor households. 
>>> 
>>> Nikhil
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Nikhil Desai
>>> (US +1) 202 568 5831
>>> Skype: nikhildesai888
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 3:39 PM, Ronal W. Larson <rongretlarson at comcast.net <mailto:rongretlarson at comcast.net>> wrote:
>>> Paul:
>>> 
>>> 	I have yet to see on ANY stove questionnaire:  “How important is making (more than saving) money when you cook?”
>>> 
>>> Ron
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> On Dec 3, 2017, at 8:41 AM, Paul Anderson <psanders at ilstu.edu <mailto:psanders at ilstu.edu>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Crispin,
>>>> 
>>>> Good point.
>>>> 
>>>> I wonder how ofter "pride of ownership" is included in the evaluations.   
>>>> 
>>>> I hope that such a quesiton can be asked to the 40,000 (or a sample) users of the Champion TLUD stove in West Bengal.  
>>>> 
>>>> About surveys and questionnaires and interviews, (whether for stoves or other topics), questions keep being changed, so comparison between results are often difficult or meaningless because of wording.   Are there some common (shared) questions that tend to be used in stove surveys?   
>>>> 
>>>> Paul
>>>> 
>>>> Doc  /  Dr TLUD  /  Prof. Paul S. Anderson, PhD
>>>> Email:  psanders at ilstu.edu <mailto:psanders at ilstu.edu>
>>>> Skype:   paultlud    Phone: +1-309-452-7072 <tel:(309)%20452-7072>
>>>> Website:  www.drtlud.com <http://www.drtlud.com/>
>>>> On 12/3/2017 5:35 AM, Crispin Pemberton-Pigott wrote:
>>>>> In the survey of potential stove users conducted in Gauteng 2004, "Pride of ownership" scored above price and fuel consumption in a ranking of features. 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Philip confirms this aspect of reality in the South African market. 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Regards 
>>>>> Crispin 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> “Capital cost of the stove is a minor issue; the question is whether the users like and use the stove.” A community I studied carefully had a monthly household income of <$100 yet strove to buy a smokey cast iron coal-fired stove costing ~$400.  It met all their needs – including a higher social status merely because they possessed such a stove.
>>>>>  
>>>>> Prof Philip Lloyd
>>>>> Energy Institute, CPUT
>>>>> PO Box 1906
>>>>> Bellville 7535
>>>>> Tel 021 959 4323
>>>>> Cell 083 441 5247
>>>>> PA Nadia 021 959 4330
>>>>>  
>>>>>  
>>>>> From: Stoves [mailto:stoves-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org <mailto:stoves-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org>] On Behalf Of Nikhil Desai
>>>>> Sent: Saturday, December 2, 2017 1:50 AM
>>>>> To: Paul Anderson
>>>>> Cc: Discussion of biomass cooking stoves
>>>>> Subject: Re: [Stoves] China and cookstoves [Was Re: A user-centered, iterative engineering approach for advanced biomass cookstove design and development]
>>>>>  
>>>>> Paul: 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Capital cost of the stove is a minor issue; the question is whether the users like and use the stove. This is why contextual definitions matter, because pellet production costs can vary greatly depending on the feedstock. 
>>>>> 
>>>>> A high capital cost stove can be given one-time subsidy - should be given to the distributor if one exists; could be given to a bulk producer - on the condition that the stoves are found useful and used. Metrics of efficiency and hourly emission rates are just smoke. 
>>>>> 
>>>>> I am glad to read "it is something about family, a cultural thing, especially in country side." Gives the lie to physics-only theories of supposed "stove science". 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Nikhil
>>>>> 
>>>>>  
>>>>> On Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 10:05 AM, Paul Anderson <psanders at ilstu.edu <mailto:psanders at ilstu.edu>> wrote:
>>>>> Cheng and all,   (and a mention of Todd Albi).     see below.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Doc  /  Dr TLUD  /  Prof. Paul S. Anderson, PhD
>>>>> Email:  psanders at ilstu.edu <mailto:psanders at ilstu.edu>
>>>>> Skype:   paultlud    Phone: +1-309-452-7072 <tel:%28309%29%20452-7072>
>>>>> Website:  www.drtlud.com <https://nam04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.drtlud.com&data=02%7C01%7Ccrispinpigott%40outlook.com%7C62b2f8c8c9bf4c43283c08d53a40c4b8%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636478972205853695&sdata=PbkCfNM6hUmnmoyj1uEbhKXufYiC9MFTSc3ueAqhjNU%3D&reserved=0>
>>>>> On 11/29/2017 10:15 PM, lh cheng wrote:
>>>>> Another Chinese little project. Surely, it is cookstove, not heater. Too expensive, 1500RMB (230 USD), in rural area, a big number, very big, no one buy, not even one, in rural area. For user, many uncertainties to use new type of stove. if free of charge, a trustworthy friend who is an expert about this stove, that might be fine.
>>>>> I was wondering about the price of that pellet burner stove.  Yes, it is expensive, but expensive is a relative term.   It could be imported into America where $230 is inexpensive, but the price here would be so much higher and it would then be expensive here.  
>>>>> 
>>>>>  
>>>>> stove thing should be open-source ( just like Dr Anderson's Champion Stove ), DIY, or made by acquaintance, it is something about family, a cultural thing, especially in country side. In city, electricity or LPG is enough.
>>>>> Is there any prospect in China for DIY.   And what would be the acceptance of a stove made with thin metal?   Generalizing, it seems that heavy construction of stoves is the standard in China.   Todd Albi might be able to shed some light on this.
>>>>> 
>>>>>  
>>>>> a good approach for stove design maybe is that, basic knowledge of stove design spread among people, and people help each other.
>>>>> What do you have in mind?    in the context of China?   I have difficulty imagining stove design work in China outside of the factory context.
>>>>> 
>>>>>  
>>>>> concerning "stove intervention", during 1959-1961 in China, more than 30 millions of people died because a stove intervention movement. and people have memories.
>>>>> Please provide more information about this statement about 30 million deaths.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Welcome to the world of the Stoves Listserv.   We appreciate your insights.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Paul
>>>>> 
>>>>>  
>>>>> best regards 
>>>>>  
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
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>>>>> 
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