Power Harvesting System For More Efficient, Cleaner Burning Cookstoves

EPA Grant Number: SU836027
Title: Power Harvesting System For More Efficient, Cleaner Burning Cookstoves
Investigators: Jones, Matthew , Lewis, Randy S
Current Investigators: Jones, Matthew , Lewis, Randy S , Crellin, Brennan , Mackay, Curtis , Decker, Fred , Wada, Sharyn , Pokharel, Suman , Terrill, Trevor
Institution: Brigham Young University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2011 through August 14, 2012
Project Amount: $15,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Sustainable and Healthy Communities , P3 Challenge Area - Air Quality , P3 Awards , Sustainable and Healthy Communities


Indoor air pollution due to incomplete combustion in 3rd world cookstoves is a leading cause of death and illness. In addition, the inefficient use of rapidly dwindling fuel resources is a major concern. The objective of the proposed project is to design a power harvesting system that will extract power from the exhaust of a cookstove, and to design an affordable system that uses the harvested power to ventilate the cooking space and improve combustion efficiency.


Power harvesting systems that extract electricity from the exhaust of a cookstove will be used to power fans that will ventilate the cooking space and improve the efficiency of the combustion process.

Expected Results:

The desired outcomes of a P3 research project are to: (1) to maintain or improve human health; (2) to advance economic competitiveness; and (3) to protect and preserve the environment by effectively and efficiently using water, materials, and energy and minimizing the generation or emission of pollution or minimizing the use of hazardous substances. The successful completion of the proposed project will lead to results in support of each of these three goals.

(1) A system to ventilate indoor spaces containing primitive cookstoves will significantly improve the health of the occupants by minimizing exposure to smoke. (2) Improved combustion efficiency will reduce the amount of time spent foraging for fuel, allowing for more time other economically beneficial activities. Also, it is anticipated that duplicates of the system developed for this project will be manufactured, marketed and sold by the community served. Relatively straightforward modifications of the proposed system could also be made by local entrepreneurs to develop businesses which harvest power from other sources of waste heat and charge cell phones or other portable electronic devices. Thus, the system could lead to opportunities to create jobs and other associated economic benefits. (3) Using a fan to draw more air into a cookstove will create a less fuel-rich combustion environment, which will lead to more efficient use of limited fuel resources and minimize the amount of unburned carbon (soot) that is emitted.

Supplemental Keywords:

emission control technologies, fuel efficiency, waste to energy,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report