Clean cookstoves need simple ceramic insulation - and capacity building of potters in Africa

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  • reidharvey7734
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  • I am a ceramic industrial designer focused on environmental health and development. A premise of my interventions is that ceramics is ideally suited to addressing the urgent needs of low-income communities and nations. Those embracing ceramic interventions will gain resilience and self-sufficiency.
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Clean cookstoves need simple ceramic insulation - and capacity building of potters in Africa

The plea for collaboration is appreciated and urgently needed.   There is an awareness among WASH professionals that ceramic interventions are among the most appropriate.  Many are unaware, however, that there are long oral traditions of potters all over the developing world, who produce such products as water containers and cook pots.  The potters tend to be highly skilled and eager to learn about new process and products.  They have been limited though, by their laborious hand forming processes.  Once trained in techniques of quick production using models and molds, as well as improved kilns and refractories, they will be able to form candle water filters for subsequent silver treatment.  


Largely because of SDG 1, No Poverty, the potters should also be encouraged to do the simple production of insulating rocket stoves.  There are many synergies in production and implementation of water filters and clean cookstoves together.  A holistic approach to environmental health and development can result from collaboration with the potters, starting with their capacity building.   Communities will gain resilience and self sufficiency once they are familiar with the wide array of products and services that will be made possible.
All the best,
Reid
Anthony Reid Harvey, ceramic industrial designer
Niagara Falls, NY USA
drive.google.com/file/d/1lMYxJP_ly-hcXLR...l2X/view?usp=sharing
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  • reidharvey7734
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  • I am a ceramic industrial designer focused on environmental health and development. A premise of my interventions is that ceramics is ideally suited to addressing the urgent needs of low-income communities and nations. Those embracing ceramic interventions will gain resilience and self-sufficiency.
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Re: Clean cookstoves need simple ceramic insulation - and capacity building of potters in Africa

In environmental health for the poor, by the poor, the evidence base starting with the design could be assessed during field
application per project.  This would start with programs of production, behavior change and monitoring and
evaluation.  The poor tend to be entirely capable and nearly all of the SDGs are addressed.  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lMYxJP_ly-hcXLRIewTZP_7ZXLAyEl2X/view?usp=sharing
All the best,
Reid
Anthony Reid Harvey, ceramic industrial designer
Niagara Falls, NY USA
drive.google.com/file/d/1lMYxJP_ly-hcXLR...l2X/view?usp=sharing
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  • reidharvey7734
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  • I am a ceramic industrial designer focused on environmental health and development. A premise of my interventions is that ceramics is ideally suited to addressing the urgent needs of low-income communities and nations. Those embracing ceramic interventions will gain resilience and self-sufficiency.
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Re: Clean cookstoves need simple ceramic insulation - and capacity building of potters in Africa

Without affordability to the poor they will continue to be dependent on external interventions!  Need I apologize in pointing this out?

Please check out this video, in support of the ubiquitous impoverished potters, who produce water containers and cook pots.  These potters tend to be entirely capable of fabricating insulating ceramic rocket stoves.  I have little doubt that the woman potter shown in this video could make the insulating rocket stoves of my postings (a link to this following), with a training of 3 to 5 days only, allowing for the concurrent drying time of molds and bricks.   https://youtu.be/u8qXo8X48DI   


 
The insulating rocket stoves of my postings are described in the presentation of this link:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vV19ojCQPXZOt_A7U3U-x1XqgG6zl7TG/view?usp=sharing
 
Any discussion of this stove is welcome.  It is readily arguable that the insulating rocket stove she could produce would be more energy efficient than any from external sources, affordable in the economy of low-income communities.  There is an urgent need for the policy makers of clean cookstoves to allow for verification of the evidence-base, on a per project basis, based on sound prototypes.  A part of the evidence base must be affordability to the poor!  Otherwise, they pay double the price for a stove made elsewhere, that is far less energy efficient.  To appearances this is a profound injustice.
All the best,
Reid
Anthony Reid Harvey, ceramic industrial designer
Niagara Falls, NY USA
drive.google.com/file/d/1lMYxJP_ly-hcXLR...l2X/view?usp=sharing
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  • Elisabeth
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  • I'm passionate about SuSanA's role in the WASH sector since about 2005. I'm a freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
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Re: Clean cookstoves need simple ceramic insulation - and capacity building of potters in Africa

Hi Reid,

As you are working on clean cookstoves, I was wondering what you think of the new Wikipedia article that is currently being developed on the topic of improved cook stoves. Please see here:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Improved_cookstove

I have involved myself a little bit on the talk page of that article recently, and am learning about these stoves as I go along:  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Improved_cookstove

If you have your own images that you would like to contribute to the article, let me know (i.e. images where you own the copyright). 

Just saying because Wikipedia is a handy place for people to go to find out more information on improved cookstoves. (alternatively, there is also Energypedia's portal on improved cooking ).  

Regards,
Elisabeth
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Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • reidharvey7734
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  • I am a ceramic industrial designer focused on environmental health and development. A premise of my interventions is that ceramics is ideally suited to addressing the urgent needs of low-income communities and nations. Those embracing ceramic interventions will gain resilience and self-sufficiency.
  • Posts: 16
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Re: Clean cookstoves need simple ceramic insulation - and capacity building of potters in Africa

Hi Elisabeth,
 
 
Here’s a link to the website that I put together five years ago of the small stove project in Kibondo District, Tanzania, but I haven’t visited this in two years or so:   https://tzenvirohealth.wixsite.com/tzenvirohealth   Shown here is the top of the stove that I had told you about, that brought 25 liters of water to a rapid boil in 10 or 15 minutes, using only a bucket of sticks.  Following also, is a screenshot I’ve pasted in of the same, the top of this stove, but I’ve been reluctant to share this picture because it is two sides of a mirror image.  The stove is so large that I couldn’t get up high enough to take one picture of the inside.  I had to hold my phone camera over my head to take the picture, but this does represent the actual appearance of the inside of the stove. 

There are numerous synergies when implementing ceramic water filters and insulating rocket stoves together.  To do these separately denies those impoverished, real opportunities of livelihoods and more resilient communities.  About clean cookstoves in general though, it should be said that *all who are getting people clean cookstoves that cut their indoor air pollution should be applauded.* But it needs to be realized that metal components are unnecessary and make stoves much too expensive, way beyond the means of those impoverished.  If we don’t get those impoverished what is sustainable, i.e., affordable within their economy, we will have the same conversation, starting five or ten years from now!! 
 
There is a serious knowledge gap that those who promote metal stoves don’t know about the simple ceramics.  All the metal that is really needed is inexpensive chicken wire, wrapped around the fabricated insulating bricks of the stoves and this will make them portable.  The stove shown at the Wikipedia site appears to be very expensive.  It pains me to say that the policy makers of clean cookstoves don’t have a clue!
 
In the Tanzania project, the Anglican priest who worked with local potters put the stove that is shown together PRIOR to my arrival there in 2016.  He had simply followed instructions of our prior email.  Note that the stove shown is over-built however, with an unnecessary sheet iron cladding, but I would not be at all surprised if this is the most energy efficient, highly sustainable stove in the world!  I.e., sustainable means INEXPENSIVE and locally fabricated.  Sorry I don’t have a better picture.  I was only there for a couple of days. 

THERE IS A SERIOUS NEED to get such large-scale stoves into the kitchens of schools and hospitals.  Those at the Clean Cooking Alliance appear not to have large-scale stoves, especially those that are sustainable/ affordable! The cooks in these kitchens are breathing a lot of smoke, doing a lot of coughing!
 
 Importantly, it will be a simple matter to make the insulating rocket stoves portable.  In this scenario, there would be a brick base/ hearth, with a portable combustion chamber that sits down on top.  Scrolling down at this website you will also see black bricks that
are drying, composed of 50/ 50, powders of clay and charcoal.  After firing of course, they are the characteristic color of pottery, the charcoal having burned out.  Those at the Clean Cooking Alliance need to understand this!  Because these bricks are lightweight, portability is made possible.
 
 I may also have mentioned that the one and only disadvantage of the rocket stove design is that these will accommodate cook pots of only one diameter, the cookpot fitting down inside.  This is why a lot of stove manufacturers say that their stoves are rocket stoves when in fact, the cookpot sits on top!!  But now I’m being cynical. They’re all doing a good job, despite the knowledge gap.
 
 I have recently emailed the priest about portability and when he responds I will tell him that the light weight, portable combustion chamber can be fitted to a light weight insulating stove liner that sits on top of it.  He was away for further studies, from 2017 until recently, making the viability of such adaptation impractical.  Stove liners for cook pots of whatever diameter can sit on top of the combustion chamber.  Let’s say a mom is cooking rice in a cookpot that is inside it’s stove liner, of a pot of 30 cms. diameter.  After the rice is cooked, she removes this stove liner with its cookpot from the combustion chamber and replaces it with an insulating stove liner and cook pot of 24 cms. diameter.  This is for the soup or the stew.
 
 I also have no doubt that the insulating rocket stoves described here will be inexpensive for those impoverished who produce
them, the stoves paying for themselves quickly in the savings on fuel. CARBONIZED FUEL IS NOT NEEDED since the smoke burns up.  The best case will be a biomass briquette as the fuel, consisting of agricultural waste, probably high cellulose.  We are not only addressing SDG1, No Poverty, but also enabling the greatly curtailed, environmentally destructive practice of charcoal production.  This requires 5 or 6 times its weight in wood and is especially devastating in arid regions.  Vast areas of land have been deforested due to production of charcoal!
 
 Unfortunately, as with water treatment, for the poor, by the poor, these interventions implemented together are disruptive, compared with the expensive approaches.  If someone knows an equally viable way of making these affordable to those impoverished, please let us know!  The transition to what is affordable to those of daily income US$1 or $2, needs to be done in a sensitive way, without a lot of criticism and blame of the expensive, unsustainable interventions.  So many of those doing implementation are well-intentioned and rightfully passionate in their work.  PLEASE!  Let’s not have this same discussion again in the decades to come!
 
 Thank you for allowing in the discussion a more holistic approach.  The synergies between these interventions suggests that implementing these on a siloed basis is not a good idea.  Low-income potters and their neighbors are more than ready to embrace the more highly sustainable interventions.  Is this not what could be called de-colonizing WASH and IAQ - (Indoor Air Quality)?
 
 All the best,
 
Reid

Here is the picture, showing the inside of that first stove, for a cookpot of 40 cms. diameter.  Again, it brought ~25 liters of water to a rapid boil in 10 or 15 minutes.  Could this be a cost-effective way of treating drinking water?? 
 
All the best,
Reid
Anthony Reid Harvey, ceramic industrial designer
Niagara Falls, NY USA
drive.google.com/file/d/1lMYxJP_ly-hcXLR...l2X/view?usp=sharing
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