Traditional ‘Chulha’ Gets a Smokeless And Fuel-efficient Makeover

The traditional chulhas or stoves used across rural India has one issue with it. Unburnt part of the biomass fuel (wood) escapes as smoke which consists of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane and hydrogen, causing pollution and also significantly reducing its fuel-efficiency.
V. Jayaprakash, a chulha maker from Kerala has improvised the portable stove by incorporating a secondary combustion chamber that burns all components except carbon dioxide, reducing the intake of wood and cuts the emission of carbon and other green house gases.

Jayaprakash’s chulhas are made of bricks, cement, clay, cast iron and can cook food up to 60 kg.

The base of the bottom chamber is made of iron grill on which the fuel is kept. Below the grill is an air chamber. When the fuel burns, smoke mixed with unburnt hydrocarbons reaches the upper chamber, which has been provided with air inlet holes. Complete combustion takes place here and the combined heat gets available to the cooking vessel above the second chamber. The fuel opening has been provided at the front of the device and can be regulated using shutter, which in turn controls the flow of air. The air which flows through the opening during combustion causes an updraft when the fuel is burnt. This triggers secondary combustion as the carbon particles, which were left unburned will now get burned due to the additional air.

Besides it being environmental friendly, the stove is also cost efficient. One of the hotel in Calicut which uses the stove said that they need only 75 coconut shells costing about Rs. 30 for cooking 40 kg rice. This is in contrast to LPG operated system, which needs 10 kg fuel costing about Rs. 400 for cooking the rice of same quantity.

Jayaprakash has so far sold thousands of these stoves and has also given training to the Indian Army and major institutions like IIT New Delhi on energy saving methods. His innovation has also won him numerous awards, including the Energy Conservation Award from Govt of Kerala and the National Innovation Award from National Innovation Foundation (NIF).

Location: Kozhikode
URL: JP Tech

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