ETHOS Lighting of the stoves
CREEC, Aprovecho Sam and others at ETHOS 2015
StoveTec TLUD with a toasting marshmallow
StoveTec Stove - new Colors
Christa Roth sitting near the StoveTec stoves
Peter Scott and others ETHOS 2015
Kirk Harris TLUD
Rocket Works Stove ETHOS 2015

ETHOS Cooking Stoves Conference in Kirkland, Washington January, 2015.
for more about the next ETHOS Conference see

The ETHOS conference brings together people involved in stove design, dissemination, and testing from Universities, Government, and Non Government organizations, and has themes around the topics of improving cook stove design and performance, reducing emissions, and improving stove adoption, but listening to the needs of the people using the stoves. It ends with the 'lighting of the stoves' which is a demonstration of some of the cooking stoves that people have talked about in the conference.

In addition to capturing photos of the stoves, this year I captured a few pictures of the crowd of attendees comparing stove designs, toasting marshmallows, etc.

The big green stove is the InStove institutional rocket stove

The lovely people taking pictures were from CREEC ( Energy and Energy Conservation ) which presented a great analysis of current cooking stove tests and some insights to improve them. They also noted that fans typically fail in Uganda, and there are no fans available to replace them.
For more about CREEC see

StoveTec and Aprovecho presented some interesting innovations in stove design that they hope to field test in the coming year. The light green stove has an insulated top door for adding fuel to their TLUD style stove. The purple stove is their rocket stove that has been optimized for improved particulate emissions, with an improved set of colors.
For more about StoveTec stoves see
for more about Aprovecho and stove testing see

I was happy to get a good picture of Christa Roth of GiZ her handbook of MicroGasification is outstanding, to download a copy go to

File attachments: 

Dennis Hartley, who volunteers for Aprovecho put together a nice video about the
2012 ETHOS Conference.

ETHOS 2012, Seattle, Washington January, 2012

The annual lighting of the fires was well represented by various forms of TLUD and T-CHAR units. Christa Roth and Amanda are in the top picture with the prototype of the new Hot Cube. It's a flat pack design that can be assembled by local artisans. The top cube is a biomass burning t-char design, and the bottom cube is an improved charcoal cooker.

In the second photo, Paul Anderson is showing off a brand new T-CHAR protype. The T-CHAR is very much like a TLUD but it has an open bottom. Biomass can be burned to make char over a can or pot to reserve it later, or it can be used over a conventional charcoal stove.

Jet City Stoveworks brought their metal Jatropha Seed Gasifier. It was a windy, wet day, and the stove burned jatropha seeds pretty well. The metal between the gasifier top and the chimney is a warming area that was requested by the community that they are developing the stove for. It gets pretty warm. I may still have the burn on my finger from touching it when it was hot. (I work with hot stoves all the time, and it amazes me how often I forget that metal that's been near fire is frequently hot).

The blue 'tank' is a beautiful looking insulated charcoal stove that Burn Design Lab (Peter Scott and co) has been designing. Burn has is responding to consumer pressure and offering a more effecient, and beautifully designed charcoal stove. They are also planning to sell the latest versions of their biomass cooking stoves this year.

The final two pictures highlight Karsten and the metal TLUD stove that he is building in Uganda. It is well manufactured, sturdy, was my favorite for cooking marshmallows and it sells for just under US$20.

Tom Miles, ETHOS Conference 2011
Kirkland, Washington, USA January 28th ~ 30th, 2011

The ETHOS Stoves Conference was last weekend, and it included demonstrations by some of the stove makers and manufactures, with the opportunity to talk to the people using and inventing the stoves.

Here are some of the stand-outs from the demonstrations area, click on an image to view it in a larger size.

The Shark Stove presented by John and Flip Anderson. Notice the even cooking on the pancakes, that even heat is partially due the ceramic shark teeth construction just under the cooking surface. This is primarily a stick burning stove with both a plancha (even cooking surface) and pot rests.

Jatropha Seed TLUD (Top, lit, updraft design, using natural draft - no fan) by
Pamoja ( and Jet City Stoveworks ( ). Abely demonstrated by David Otto.

Paul Anderson dexterously burning Jatropha seeds (out of doors) in the Woodgas Stove ( ) designed by Tom Reed. This is a light weight gasifying stove (minus the pot rest in the picture) that uses a small electric fan.
Boiling water in the Charbelle, presented by Peter Scott. The Charbelle is a Charcoal cooking stove designed by the Burn Design Lab ( ) for use in Haiti.

This stove features an abrasion and thermal shock resistant ceramic liner surrounded by sheet metal cladding. The stove is currently being mass produced and sold in Kenya. The stove has been very well received, earning top marks from consumers.

Ryan with StoveTec was demonstrating the StoveTec Stove ( ) an Ashden Award winning cook stove that can either be used with stick wood or charcoal.

The institutional version of the StoveTec Stove for use in schools and other organizations, has an attached chimney and an a pressure cooker version. The pressure cooker is useful to shorten cooking times, and the fuel consumption, when cooking beans and small grains.

The Nomad PrePac ( ) Bio-fuel Camp Stove burning stick wood. This is an ultra-light stove designed to burn small amounts of fuel for camping or for emergency preparedness.

the PEMS emissions testing was happening at ETHOS (of course), Larry Winiarski is in the background in these pictures.

Report on TLUD Discussions at the 2010 ETHOS conference
By Christa Roth and Kelpie Wilson
Submitted 8 March 2010

There was a good showing of TLUD technology at the annual ETHOS Stoves conference in Kirkland, WA, USA on January 29-31, 2010. This report covers some of the discussions about TLUDs that took place at conference sessions.

Dr. Paul Anderson, a.k.a., “Dr. TLUD”, made the pitch for TLUDs and biochar throughout the conference. He brought a large collection of 20 different TLUDs. Most were simple homemade devices made from “tincanium” (Dr. Anderson’s Friday evening presentation on the wonders of “tincanium” was delightfully humorous). TLUD designers Art Donnelly, Christa Roth, and Hugh McLaughlin all had stoves on display. Anderson had one example of a mass produced TLUD that is manufactured in India.

About 30 people attended the TLUD community discussion session. To get an overview and discover who had which type of specific interest, the participants were asked to raise hands on which aspects of application of the TLUD principles they were interested in. The following aspects were identified:

* Applications: is the main focus on cooking, biochar, or a combination of both?
* What are appropriate sizes? TLUDs exist for 2 cups, 2 liters, 5 l, 20 l up to 5 gallon, 20 gallon, 55 gallon. The interest in producing biochar is driving design of larger TLUDs.
* Natural draft or forced air. If using forced air, what are the implications of different power sources: grid, Thermo Electric Generator (TEG), battery based electricity
* Emissions (indoor, outdoor, any)
* Fuels (types of fuels, sizes and densities)
* Locations (which continent, urban, peri-urban, rural environments)
* Materials for TLUDs (ceramics, metal)
* What price range is acceptable? (developed country, developing countries)
* What can we as individuals and organizations do to advance TLUD technology?
* What are the future prospects of TLUD technology?

Participants at the TLUD session participants made a list of TLUD features as compared to other stove types such as the rocket stove:

* Makes biochar
* Starts fast, boils water very quickly, and burns a long time on one load of fuel
* Less attention required for fuel input (no continuous stoking of the fuel needed), increasing freedom for the operator/cook
* Fuel flexible – uses small size waste that cannot be burned in other stoves
* Cleaner than other kinds of stoves, with low Black Carbon (BC), Organic Carbon (OC) and CO
* Variety of scales and applications from cooking to metal forging, including barbecue, grilling, frying, heating, lighting
* Lightweight, portable and modular; can use multiple units to control heat output
* Easy and cheap to build from tin cans or sheet steel. Dimensional tolerances are not stringent
* Low temperature operation. Pyrolysis temperatures are below 500 degrees C, resulting in less combustion chamber burnout
* Suitable for fireplaces that are not allowed to burn open fires any longer
* Safe for indoor space heating with flue exhaust
* Can be an inexpensive add-on to existing stoves for specialized applications (e.g. water kettle in addition to a plancha stove) and to take advantage of small sized fuels not suitable for a rocket stove

A few TLUD problems/challenges were also identified:

* Lack of turndown ratio
* Lack of emissions robustness. More emissions on startup and sometimes on shut down.
* Changing fuel form factor when adding new fuel can cause stalling.

The group discussed in detail the following ideas for advancing TLUD development:

**Materials:** light-weight ceramics are not necessarily needed for insulation of the combustion chamber, unlike in a rocket stove, as for TLUDs the temperature in the fuel bed stays at ambient temperature until the pyrolysis front passes through. Then temperatures get higher. The open flames are not within the combustion chamber but above the fuel bed. The hottest parts of a TLUD stove are the concentrator disk and the bottom of the fire chamber, where the remaining charcoal might be burnt creating high temperatures (if the char is not dumped out and conserved for other use e.g. as biochar). Ceramics are cheap to fabricate, e.g. consumable stove components like the concentrator disk or the bottom plate of the fire chamber. Options for modular stove designs containing ceramic parts to be explored further. A huge gap between standard pottery and industrial ceramics was noted.

**Production and Dissemination:** Stoves should come as a kit: combustion chamber + pot stand/application + snuffer box for the char to be saved.

**Economics of charcoal:** The saving of char could become more popular if the produced charcoal were attributed more value (carbon offsets for biochar used in the soil, charcoal fines to be processed into charcoal briquettes, water filters etc.)

**Modular advantages:** TLUDs excel on high power output, e.g. boiling water, but don’t turn down the power so well. The concept of having a different and/or smaller combustion unit for the simmering stage or replacing the continuous heat addition with a retained heat cooker should be explored further. Modular systems could use a number of TLUD burners under a large pot or grill. If cooking lasts a long time, such as firing a grill at a restaurant, you could replace spent TLUDs with new ones to keep the heat going while you recharge spent TLUD’s with new fuel.

Despite the advantages of the TLUD there are very few stove programs using TLUDs. Here are the ones we know about:

* The BP Oorja stove, now called FirstEnergy, distributed 400,000 units in India, but there exists little feedback on the campaign.
* Phillips had a TLUD stove and planned a major roll-out in India to start late 2009, but no up-to-date info is available.
* Nathaniel Mulcahy of World Stove is manufacturing institutional and household size stoves in Haiti (uses a pyrolytic gasifier technology similar to TLUD); allegedly building over 100 units per day with plans to upscale and add a fuel production unit for grass pellets. This is a very interesting project in the limelight, with high potential to create worldwide awareness. To be observed.

Other than those listed above, there are no projects yet at a major scale. Participants observed that this was a ‘chicken-and-egg’ scenario: Donors only want to roll out ‘already proven technologies’ but nobody apart from major companies like BP or Phillips has the money to do the research needed to prove the technologies. Funding is needed for research to get the combustion chamber to the application stage and to collect user feedback on a major scale.

The group felt there was a strong need to get more experience on the ground building and cooking on TLUDs. In Uganda this year a TLUD-project with World Bank funding will start. Funding has been secured for 2 years. More projects are needed.

What participants committed to do:

* Cook on a TLUD. Several people have been making TLUDs, but very few have been cooking on them. Some people volunteered to use a TLUD for cooking for a given time, like a month, and blog about the experience. More volunteers are needed to do this.
* Create awareness and knowledge about TLUDS.
* Paul Anderson committed to put a TLUD handbook on the web.

Upcoming TLUD events include a Combined Heat and Biochar event in Massachusetts on 9-13 August (contact Paul Anderson for more details) and the annual Stove Camp at Aprovecho, 26 to 30 July. Dean Still, organizer of the Aprovecho Stove Camp has said the camp will focus on the TLUD this year.

From Willie to Richard: A Family of Tincanium Stoves
Paul Anderson,Hugh McLaughlin

A Power Point Presentation presented at the 2010 ETHOS Conference. It is a bit "tongue in cheek."


--Paul S Anderson, Ph.D. -- aka Dr. TLUD ("Dr. Tee-lud")
Biomass Energy Consultant with BEF, & Partner in Chip Energy.
Specialist in micro-gasification.
Office & Res: 309-452-7072

Dale Andreatta, Ph.D., P.E. and Alex Wohlgemuth, January 2010

An Investigation of Skirts

Predicted heat transfer to various surfaces of the pot with a 10mm steel skirtPredicted heat transfer to various surfaces of the pot with a 10mm steel skirt

The 2010 ETHOS Conference is being held in Kirkland, Washington, on January 29th ~ 31st, 2010.

The 2010 ETHOS Conference aims to expand its reach from previous annual meetings, encouraging participation of Southern partners, international stoves experts, and development specialists with field experience in the transfer of cooking technologies.

2010 ETHOS Conference & Registration on their website

Summary of ETHOS Stove Camp, August 3-7, 2009
Dean Still and Nordica MacCarty

Forty three folks attended Stove Camp this year coming from as far away as Norway, Germany, Honduras, and Mexico. Some people were too busy making stoves to be in the official photo. Paal Wendelbo, winner of the $250 prize for most interesting development, is the white haired gentleman two spaces to Dean’s left. The theme this year constellated around health issues. You can see the presentations and results from Stove Camp by visiting

Stoves Camp 2009 Group Photo
Stoves Camp 2009 Group Photo

Stove Camp featured many experiments. We set up a Test Kitchen, in which stoves were tested, making posho (African corn meal mush). Particulate Matter and Carbon monoxide were recorded in both the room air and at the nose/mouth of the cook. We also used a RAD 57 from Masimo to non-invasively measure levels of CO in the cook’s blood before and after cooking. Stoves were also tested under the emissions hood, and practice WBTs were run without emissions measurements. Peter Scott and Dr. Andreatta were successful in creating an aluminum mitad with even temperatures for making injira.

See the attached report for more detail

Finned Pots as a Means of Increasing Efficiency Dale Andreatta, Ph.D., P.E.,, February 13, 2009

Finned PotFinned Pot

Executive Summary A pot with heat transfer fins has much greater surface area than pots with no fins. In theory, this could lead to greatly increased heat transfer to the pot for a given stove, and the pot would theoretically improve the performance of the stove under all conditions. While we often concentrate on the stove as the primary element of a cooking system, the efficiency of a stove is mainly determined by the heat transfer to the pot, and designing a better pot would be an easy way to make a more efficient stove. A variety of types of finned pots were built and tested. The best designs were separated out in the lab, using natural gas to simulate a wood flame. Several types of fins can be retrofit to existing pots. The better designs of finned pots performed well over a range of conditions using simulated stoves, and sometimes also with an actual wood burning stove modified to use natural gas to simulate a wood flame. With fins on or near the bottom of the pot the finned pots typically gave around a 1.76-fold improvement in heat transfer. If the fins were on the sides of the pot a greater than 2-fold improvement was achieved. Tests on actual stoves using wood as the fuel generally gave smaller improvements in performance, generally 1.33 or less, corresponding to a 25% or smaller reduction in fuel usage. These tests were done under a variety of conditions with a variety of stoves, including the open fire (3-stone fire). On industrial fuel stoves using kerosene or alcohol, improvements were even less, with the finned pots giving 1.2 fold improvements or smaller. In some tests the finned pot used more fuel than an unfinned pot. The reasons for this wide range of results is not known. It is not recommended that finned pots be pursued as a means of increasing the efficiency of stoves. Better results can probably be achieved with less effort by using skirts around the pot. These skirts could be attached to the pots with optimum dimensions. See attached report presented to ETHOS 2009


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