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The Resilient Family » Rocket Stove

Rocket Stove

When most people think about deforestation they think about  the forests being chopped down for new residential developments, or for large mining projects but did you know that half of all wood harvested in the world is used for fuel?  And in third world countries that number jumps to 75%!

So if there was a simple way to cut fuel needs by 50% that would be a big deal right?

Enter the rocket stove.

The Rocket stove was invented in 1982 by Dr. Larry Winiarski working with Aprovecho, a non-profit corporation based in Oregon devoted to creating low-tech solutions to world problems.

The Rocket stove is able to cut the use of biomass fuels by over 50%, and it can be built for almost nothing using  solely recycled materials.  There are videos all over YouTube  showing various ways to build a rocket stove, but the general design is the same.

First  a well insulated chimney is created.  Then it’s fed with fuel from the side.  This insures only the fuel that is needed is burned and makes sure all the heat is used where it is needed and not wasted.

It also greatly reduces the smoke emissions   The smoke is actually burned in the chimney due to very high temperatures.   This is an additional bonus when you consider that over 1.5 million people a year die from wood smoke related diseases.

Pretty simple huh?

It’s crazy that something so simple needed to be invented and that the people who really need efficient heat and cooking did not come up with it already.  Especially when they are running out of fuel and dying from the smoke related diseases.  But so it goes.

The Rocket stove was originally introduced for cooking but has since been adapted for many other purposes, and build out of many materials around the world.

Rocket stove with "griddle"

 

rocket stove for cooking

But the latest incarnation of the rocket stove is my favorite!

Now, as  hi-tech meets low-tech, you can use a rocket stove to charge your iphone or to operate a LED light, or any other USB device for that matter.

Yes it’s true….

  

   

 

Is this great or what!!!    I just love it.

Biolite’s rocket stove takes the excess heat energy and turns it into electricity.  Welcome to the future.

If you want one of these cool devices you can reserve a small portable version for just $129 here>  LINK

I love the way worldwide changes take unexpected twists and turns.  Who needs a power grid when you can get the electricity you need from the waste product (heat) of your cooking?  Many areas around the world are skipping telephone lines entirely.  They are going straight to cell phones…that can now be charged by burning cow dung!!

The decentralization trend  is going to strike a mighty blow to many of the big institutions of the world and it’s sure as hell going to be a fun ride for those who are prepared and sitting on the sidelines watching the show.

I hope you are in this category.

Have a great day.

 

 

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8 Responses to "Rocket Stove"

  1.  This is essentially the same idea as a masonry heater that has been used for hundreds of years in Europe, especially in places such as Ukraine where there wasn’t access to large amounts of wood, straw was burned to provide heat for buildings as well as cooking.Usually there was also a bench built outside the heater which was used for the children to sleep on!
    Using a masonry heater, it is only necessary to burn “fuel” about once every 23 hours( or possibility more in a very cold climate).The fire also burns very hot and there is no creosote deposits because of the heat.Sometimes what looks like a new solution is actually an old one!I learned about this one from my dad, apparently my great grandparents used this.

    • That’s great Jennifer!  I figured as much.  It’s strange that the common wisdom is that the rocket Stove was “invented” in 1982.  I will grant him that is fantastic that its use has been made more portable and exported to countries where it was not commonly used.

    • R. Egor Mortis says:

      Yes, someone just reinvented the masonry stove and called it a different name. The masonry stove itself is actually a variation of the Roman hypocaust system. It is also similar to the Asian Kang Bed Stove. It is almost as if ideas have a genetic origin. The same solution is found when presented with the same problem, over and over…. as long as the people in question have the genetics and intelligence. It is worth noting that once again, this is a white European idea that is being given to african populations, as they never think of a solution themselves, instead they obliterate their environment, such as haiti, which has been totally denuded of trees. When Europe started approaching a crisis situation regarding fuel, they reinvented the hypocaust and called it the “kacheloven” or what we call today, the “masonry stove”.

  2. Marci Cantrell Opsahl says:

    So cool ~ thanks for sharing this Trey!!  I went to school with Dr. Winiarski from grade school thru high school.  His younger brother David was in my class.  They were really nice and clearly very clever ;-)

  3. Nancy says:

    Thanks for spreading the word.  Also, check out fantastic BIOCHAR!  See a terrific version of rocket stove and gasifier….. the TLUD, Top Lid UpDraft stove…. cooks and creates biochar with mimimal fuel and exhaust.  Google  ”SeaChar” for Art Donnelly’s project to bring these stoves to coffee workers in Costa Rica.  

    And, on an unrelated, but very cool process for waste of all kinds  … even pig manure ;)…check out Black Soldier Flies.  And google ‘biopod’ for how-to… and check on YouTube.

    Also, another great website on ‘independence’ …. Extreme Early Retirement.  (Sorry if you’ve already highlighted it. ;)

    • Nancy, thanks for the extra information.  I think I had seen the Extreme Early Retirement site, but we have not highlighted it.  Great reading.  Although I’m not sure the kinds of income producing assets he recommends are the same ones I would.

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