Indoor cooking fires pose hazards to millions of people around the globe. Forty-three percent of the planet still cooks on smoky, open fires where twenty percent of the fuel is converted into harmful substances including carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and nitrogen oxides — and over four million die on an annual basis from complications arising from these fires.
BioLite has designed an innovative solution — the HomeStove, which produces a cleaner, more efficient fire that additionally converts heat from the fire into electricity. The HomeStove is used in homes across India and sub-Saharan Africa and will now be available to outdoor consumers through April 18th.
The BioLite HomeStove is a biomass cooking stove currently replacing open cooking fires in over 20,000 homes where people need it most. The HomeStove requires 50 percent less fuel than traditional fires and reduces smoke up to ninety percent — making for a clean and efficient way to boil water or whip up dinner.
The key is a side-fuel entry system that allows for the use of any kind of biomass fuel type including branches, firewood, crop waste, or dung. The integrated burner-style top makes for fast boiling times or pot cooking. The stove is constructed of high-grade stainless steel and cast iron and more 1,800 hours of lab testing ensures optimum durability and performance.
The highlight feature? BioLite utilizes patented thermoelectric technology to convert heat from the fire into two watts of usable electricity. This electricity powers an internal fan which provides for combustion assistance while the unused energy goes to power a USB port. This electricity can be used to power the included 100-lumen FlexLight which provides for illumination for cooking at night or to charge phones in India and East Africa, which have lower power requirements.
While it might not be enough to charge our energy-draining smartphones, the technology is impressive, serving for a completely self-reliant system where the combustion and electricity are provided by the heat of the fire.
The stove weighs about seventeen pounds and includes a fuel tray. The company claims a five-minute boil time for 1 liter of water and 18 minutes for five liters of water. Outdoor consumers will be helping communities in need by purchasing the HomeStove, as a percentage of each purchase will be reinvested into BioLite’s work to help bring safer and more reliable energy to families living off the grid. The HomeStove is available for $150 on the company’s website — through April 18 only.