DOE funds biomass cookstove research

By Lisa Gibson | April 30, 2012

The U.S. DOE has announced up to $2.5 million in funding available this year for applied research to advance clean biomass cookstove technologies for use in developing countries.

The funding will support the development of innovative cookstove designs that allow users to burn wood or crop residue more efficiently and with less smoke than open fires and traditional third world stoves. The new cookstove technologies could help save lives and livlihoods.

The World Health Organization cites indoor smoke from cooking and heating as one of the top 10 threats to public health in poor, developing countries, contributing to almost 2 million deaths each year.

Clean cookstoves using biomass will reduce emissions and increase efficiency, while lowering fuel use, slow deforestation, and reduce the time families have to spend collecting fuel.

“Although significant progress has already been achieved in designing cookstoves with reduced emissions and increased efficiency, many challenges remain to develop high performing technologies that are also affordable, durable, easy-to-use, and meet international indoor air quality guidelines,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu.  “The funding opportunity announced…will help address these challenges, accelerating the widespread adoption of clean cooking technologies and developing a global market that builds on DOE investments in clean energy innovations.”

The agency encourages organizations including small businesses, non-profits, universities, and national laboratories, to submit proposals for applied research and development grants to develop clean and efficient cookstoves. To help ensure the technologies developed will be usable and adopted, the research and development will be based on assessments of user needs, and prototypes will be tested in the laboratory and in the field. 

The DOE has made an additional request to Congress for $2.5 million in fiscal year 2013 to support clean cookstove technologies.

For more information on the available funding, visit the Funding Opportunity Exchange website under reference number DE-FOA-0000709.