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This study presents the design and development of a rice-husk-fuelled cookstove to improve poor people's energy access in developing countries. The availability of rice husk, an agricultural by-product currently without any use, neither value, on many markets, has suggested recovering this biomass for household-cooking purposes. According to typical rural socio-technical constraints, a prototype of rice husk burner has been designed. After testing various configurations, a crude-earth structure with a metal-net fuel reactor, placed inside the combustion chamber, resulted to be the most promising lay-out. A chimney induces the air flows, necessary for operation, in the combustion chamber, while eliminating harmful smokes from the living environment. The chimney also prevents the use of electrical fans, which may not result appropriately for many rural contexts. Performance results are presented, together with emission data and a safety assessment. Results from Water Boiling Tests (average thermal efficiency 18%) and Controlled Cooking Tests (specific consumption 4.2 MJ per kg of cooked food) show how this technology could represent a viable alternative to three-stone fires and other rudimentary cooking systems, allowing the recovery of energy from a waste biomass. Evidences from the safety assessment and the indoor CO monitoring demonstrate the absence of hazards in the domestic use of the stove. The study is completed by an economic analysis that accounts for the local feasibility and affordability of this specific solution in a given context.
Parmigiani S. P., F. Vitali, A. M. Lezzi, & M. Vaccari (2014) Design and performance assessment of a rice husk fueled stove for household cooking in a typical sub-Saharan setting, Energy for Sustainable Development 23:15-24.