Overview Innovation Stories

BioLite Innovation

The BioLite HomeStove is the first improved cookstove to reduce emissions by over 90% while also providing electricity access. Previous designs for improved cookstoves can be classified as “rocket” stoves or fan stoves. Rocket stoves have shown strong field acceptance due to their low cost and simple operation, but only achieve a 20% smoke reduction. Fan stoves can provide greater than 90% smoke reduction by adding fans to promote complete combustion; however, these stoves require an external electricity supply. The BioLite stove solves these problems by converting a fraction of the fire’s thermal energy into electricity, enabling 95% reductions in emissions and a corresponding improvement in health and living conditions.

The unique ability of the BioLite stove to produce electricity plays an important role in making the stove an aspirational item for developing world consumers. Previous cookstove designs didn’t fully take the needs of users into account, and struggled to gain adoption. By offering a stove that can not only reduce emissions and fuel use, but can also charge small electronic devices, BioLite has clear advantages over previous designs.

There are now over five billion cell phone subscribers worldwide, with the fastest growing segments in rural unelectrified regions of the world. Access to cell phones provides myriad benefits, including, for example, applications for improved health, finances, or agricultural production. Since many cell phone users lack access to reliable or affordable electricity, the BioLite stove can have a significant impact in their lives. The stove can also be used to charge other life-changing electronic devices like LED lights.

Comparative Performance Tests

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