EPA funds development of biomass-fueled thermoelectric stoves

By Erin Voegele | March 21, 2018

In mid-March, the U.S. EPA awarded $1.8 million to six small businesses to develop technologies that provide solutions for environmental issues. Two of the six companies are developing biomass-fueled thermoelectric stoves.

San Diego, California-based Hi-Z Technology Inc. was awarded $300,000 to further research and develop its Power Stove, a thermoelectric cookstove that provides a clean cooking solution and a reliable energy source.

Cottage Grove, Oregon-based ASAT Inc. was also awarded $300,000 to commercialize a clean-burning, biomass-fueled integrated stove that can be used for cooking, heating and a source of power.

The awards were made under Phase II contracts through EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research program. Both companies were previously awarded $100,000 Phase I SBIR awards. Phase II funding aims to help small businesses bring their products to market.

“Small businesses are not only essential to the American economy, but they also produce some of our best, cutting-edge technologies,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Through this funding, these companies will create jobs and create value in the marketplace, all while developing innovations that protect the environment and human health.”

According to the EPA, Hi-Z is working with Greenway, an established Indian cookstove manufacturer. The two companies plan to introduce a power stove to rural Indian families. The Phase I product demonstrated a 35 percent efficient power stove that produced 8 watts of net electric power. Phase II research and development aims to ensure the cost of the stove will not exceed $25. Additional research and development field trials are scheduled to be conducted under Phase II to obtain and implement market feedstock. Hi-Z estimates its stove will support a family of eight, delivering 65 percent fuel savings and 70 percent smoke reduction. The stove can be fueled by wood, crop residue, other plant matter or animal dung.

During its SBIR Phase I project, ASAT developed a low-emission, fuel efficient integrated heating/cooking stove for market testing in China and the U.S. In Phase II, the company will continue to develop and manufacture an optimized, low-cost 5 watt thermoelectric generator and affordable catalytic converter. According to EPA, ASAT’s stove delivers clean heating, cooking, lighting and cell phone charging. The stove will be sold in China, 10 developing countries and the U.S.

Additional information on the awardees is available on the EPA website