Designing lighter weight, energy efficient cookstoves with materials available in Malawi, Africa

EPA Grant Number: SU835997
Title: Designing lighter weight, energy efficient cookstoves with materials available in Malawi, Africa
Investigators: Ekegren, Ken
Institution: North Central State College
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016
Project Amount: $14,960
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2015) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Awards , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Sustainability , P3 Challenge Area - Cook Stoves


The purpose of this project is to improve the design of the rocket stoves used by the villagers of Kanyenyeva, Malawi.The purpose of this grant project is to find a suitable replacement for the heavy mortar that provides the same insulation properties, but allows for easy transport. The project would meet all three aspects of the grant. It would provide a more efficient stove to enable the villagers to use less firewood, it would provide local villagers a product to sell as a business, and it would ultimately help the environment through the reduction in emissions and reduction of the impact on their natural resources.


To accomplish these goals, it is proposed that a team of students and instructor travel to Malawi, Africa, to research the various materials available to the local people, improve on the design and manufacturing process using the local tools and local labor, and finalize a conceptual design to meet these goals.

Expected Results:

The project would result in the design of a lighter weight, efficient rocket stove that use less fuel and is more efficient than the traditional three-stone fire or current rocket stoves with mortar used as insulation. The project also will enable microbusinesses to be formed in rocket stove production.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 2 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

community, design, efficient, engineering, environment, fabricate, fuel consumption, greenhouse gases, manufacture, mortar, pollution, poverty, rocket stove, wood

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • P3 Phase II:

    Designing lighter weight, energy efficient cook stoves with materials available in Malawi, Africa  | 2017 Progress Report  | Final Report