31 innovations

Oorja Stove and fuel

Affordable, smoke-free cooking with “oorja” biomass stove

First Energy Private’s revolutionary cooking stoves help save the environment while making life more affordable in rural villages. Finding fuel for cooking is a major problem in many rural villages in developing countries. The most common fuel in India is wood or kerosene. Wood is often hard to come by and in densely populated areas there is the danger of stripping the local countryside bare. Kerosene is expensive and often contributes to air pollution and respiratory problems.

First Energy Private Ltd’s solution is an inexpensive, highly efficient cooking stove, which burns biomass pellets, known as “oorja” that are made from the compressed residue of agricultural by-products and rely on a radically new biomass gasification technology developed and patented by the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. The pellet stoves make it possible for an Indian family to serve a meal for five for roughly one rupee per person.

(Left: CEO and MD Mahesh Yagnaraman speaking at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2011 in China)

When the demand for pellets began driving prices up, First Energy introduced technology to spur production locally. Not only are the stoves three times as efficient as conventional stoves, but they are also virtually smokeless. Estimates are that the pellets cut down carbon emissions and particulates in the air by up to 70%. Operating through some 3,000 village entrepreneurs and dealers, First Energy has sold stoves to some 485,000 households in five Indian states and contends that they have already saved around 32,000 tons of fuel. The goal is to reach one million households in the next three years and become a market leader in other developing countries, as well as a significant force in the fight to control carbon emissions.

Source: forumblog.orgAdded: 2 April 2012

Tags: energy nature