Biomass cook stoves aren’t exactly the most environmentally friendly cooking option out there, but some 3.5 billion people around the world still cook with solid fuel. Not only are the stoves responsible for millions of tons of CO2 emissions each year, they release unhealthy smoke in homes and are often expensive to fuel for consumers in developing nations.
Envirofit has designed a product line of clean, energy-efficient cookstoves that cut back on CO2 emissions, reduce smoke, and decrease consumers’ fuel costs. The stove’s insulated compartment helps retain heat and directs it to the pot on top, making it more efficient. Envirofit’s stoves are designed to be durable, lightweight, and affordable. They also use up to 60-percent less fuel than campfires, as well as decrease harmful emissions by up to 82 percent, making them healthier for both owners and the environment.
Envirofit’s target customers are in developing nations where such stoves are an integral part of life and where people’s health and quality of life are severely impacted by their methods of cooking.
“Envirofit’s stoves are built around a rocket stove design. The height and diameter of the inner fire chamber have been calculated to create a natural upward draught for the flames,” explains Nathan Lorenz, the company’s vice president of engineering. It pulls air in through an opening and gets the gases incredibly hot, burning the wood more thoroughly. A heat-reflective shield in the inner chamber keeps more heat inside. “This results in a 297-percent improvement in thermal efficiency when compared to an open fire,” says Lorenz. “This means more of the wood is converted into energy that heats the pot as opposed to being released in the form of smoke and other toxic emissions.”
With the Envirofit, users will face fewer health risks from the harmful smoke that often fills homes thanks to traditional cooking methods such as open fires. On top of that, with the cook stoves’ increased efficiency, users will burn less biofuel, saving themselves about $200 a year in fuel costs and collectively 18 million working weeks (yes, weeks) gathering wood and other materials, according to Envirofit. On a global scale, the company says that the one million stoves its sold will slash CO2 emissions by 17 million tons over their five-year lifespan, which is akin to taking 1.18 million cars out of commission for a year.
Currently, Envirofit is operating in India, East Africa, West Africa, and Latin America and its stoves retail for between $15 and $30. The company is now looking to hit the 5 million-mark in the next five years as it continues to reach low-income communities.