"Our mission is to research, teach about & develop the appropriate technology to promote the widespread use of biochar for carbon cycle & environmental services management. How quickly we can scale up & save lives, depends on funding."An update from Art Donnelly, organizer and founder of a Seattle, Wa., USA, based non-profit: SeaChar.Org
As part of this work I have been developing clean burning charcoal making stoves. The two and a half weeks I recently spent in Costa Rica have been incredibly productive.
The Estufa Finca (farm stove) is a biochar producing stove. It is designed to cleanly burn an extremely wide range of waste biomass, from coffee plant trimmings to corn cobs, goat poop to blackberry vines. Because these stoves are gasifiers; they actually burn up the smoke and pollution, which come from traditional combustion. This elegant process also produces the carbon negative, soil amendment biochar, as a bi-product.
The joint Sol Colibri/ Seachar.Org: Estufa Finca Project is initially targeted at addressing the health needs of the tens of thousands of migrant farm workers, who enter Costa Rica each year to harvest the coffee and cocoa crop. It is our intention to have the stoves produced in the Santos region of Costa Rica, by a women's owned and run production co-op. It is our reasonable expectation at this point in the prototyping process that we will be able to produce the stoves for approximately $20 a unit. One of our most important goals is to work with these women to build a profit generating business which can ultimately supply stoves and stove kits to the estimated 3 million plus strong Central American market. After surveying the current stove market we know that we have a cleaner and more fuel efficient product, at the right price. We will also be designing this project to take advantage of the Carbon credit market as a secondary income stream. Obviously, even this will require that a part of the cost to the pickers to be subsidized. It may be possible to involve the farmers in this, in exchange for the charcoal the stoves produce. Charcoal is a product, which is already valued by many organic growers as a component of their organic fertilizers. To help create that market valuation for the biochar, we will be including demonstration biochar test plots in the project design. It is interesting to note that this use means that these stoves can reduce the demands on forest resources in two ways. Neither the cooking fuel or the charcoal need to be created by cutting down trees.
SeaChar: "Smell the Coffee Not the Smoke, the Estufas Finca stove helps save lives & trees" - News & Announcements | HEDON Household Energy Network: