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close this bookAppropriate Community Technology - A Training Manual (Peace Corps; 1982; 685 pages)
View the documentThe Farallones Institute Rural Center
View the documentCHP International, INC.
View the documentPreface
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsPhase I: Introduction to training
close this folderPhase II: Earthen construction and fuel-saving cookstoves
View the documentPhase II Calendar
View the documentSession 1. Environmental health and sanitation
View the documentSession 2. Traditional methods of cooking: an introduction to cookstove technologies
View the documentSession 3. Fuel-saying cookstoves: gathering information
View the documentSession 4. Cookstove design and innovations
View the documentSession 5. Thinking in pictures: introduction to design drawing
View the documentSession 6. Introduction to independent study
View the documentSession 7. Cookstove operation function and design principles
View the documentSession 8. Understanding the cookstove design process and soil mixes
View the documentSession 9. Insolation meter construction
View the documentSession 10. Cookstove construction
View the documentSession 11. Nature of volunteerism: expectations beyond training
View the documentSession 12. Food issues
View the documentSession 13. The role of the volunteer in development: definition of appropriate technology
View the documentSession 14. Stove promotion and dissemination
View the documentSession 15. Explaining completed cookstoves
View the documentSession 16. Evaluating cookstove efficiency
View the documentSession 17. Diagnosing and repairing malfunctioning cookstoves
View the documentSession 18. Other responses to fuel scarcity
View the documentSession 19. Charcoal production and stoves
View the documentSession 20. Custom and food
View the documentSession 21. Design and construction of the second stove part one: stove base
View the documentSession 22. Alternative cookstoves: presentations
View the documentSession 23. Basic nutrition
View the documentSession 24. Cookstove operation
View the documentSession 25. Cookstove development and innovation
View the documentSession 26. Cookstove information and resources/ evaluation of cookstove training
Open this folder and view contentsPhase III: Pedal/treadle power
Open this folder and view contentsPhase IV: Solar water heaters
Open this folder and view contentsPhase V: Solar agricultural dryers
Open this folder and view contentsPhase VI: Concluding the program: The energy fair
Open this folder and view contentsAppendices

Session 19. Charcoal production and stoves

Total time:

1 hour


* To discuss how charcoal is produced
* To identify and discuss advantages and disadvantages of charcoal as a fuel
* To discuss ways in which traditional charcoal cookstoves could be improved


Aprovecho Institute, Helping People in Poor Countries, pp. 132-137


Wood for fuel, retort (see Trainer Note, Step 4), examples of traditional charcoal cookstoves, newsprint and felt-tip pens or chalkboard/chalk

Trainer Notes

This session will require preparation of a charcoal retort. You will also need to have an operating charcoal stove for demonstration purposes (see Trainer Notes, Step 2).


Step 1. (5 minutes)
Review the session objectives and outline the activities.

Step 2. (10 minutes)
Have the participants identify and discuss the characteristics of a charcoal fire, as compared with a wood fire.

Trainer Notes

Ask the participants if they have ever cooked on a charcoal fire and if they noticed how it burned differently from a wood fire. List their responses on newsprint, and encourage questions and discussions.

If they are not identified by the group, add the following characteristics to the list:

* Little flame
* More even heat
* Mostly radiant heat (pots need to be closer)
* Few hot gases (not suitable for stoves with tunnels)
* Needs more evenly distributed air (burns best on 25% - 35% grate)

For demonstration purposes, it is best to have a functioning charcoal stove on hand during the discussion.

Step 3. (10 minutes)
Briefly explain how charcoal is produced

Trainer Notes

Describe the earthen mound system, external fire charcoal retorts and internal fire charcoal kilns. Discuss efficiencies of each type (wood in - charcoal out) and the energy content of charcoal and wood.

Step 4. (Optional, 10 minutes)
Have the group begin the charcoal-making process by loading and firing a retort.

Trainer Notes

To make a simple retort:

* Using a 60cm (2') section of stove pipe, load it tightly with wood, being careful to allow some air space.
* Cap the ends of the stove with ferromud (fine mesh wire plastered with a clay/sand mixture).
* Set the retort over an open fire.
* Periodically check the ends for air leaks. Leave the retort on the fire for several hours (see drawing below).

Step 5. (15 minutes)
Have the participants identify and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of charcoal as a fuel.

Trainer Notes

List the advantages and disadvantages in separate columns on newsprint. Add the following points to the list, if they are not identified by the participants:



* Low smoke

* Increased deforestation due to poor conversion rate (out of total wood burned for charcoal, there is a 65 80X energy loss)

* Light weight for transport

* Gives off poisonous fumes

* Less volume (easy to store, especially in cities)

* Dirty

* Used with low cost and portable stoves

* Carbon dust is health hazard

* Easy to see


* Stores well for a long period at a constant moisture content


* Provides employment


Explain that although charcoal causes more rapid deforestation, the demand for charcoal will continue. There will continue to be a demand for it as a fuel source in the cities. The need exists to develop more efficient charcoal production techniques and charcoal stoves.

Step 6. (15 minutes)
Present examples of traditional charcoal cookstoves and discuss ways in which they could be made more fuel-efficient.

Trainer Notes

Suggest the following improvements:

* Insulate around the stove and under the grate area (leaving sufficient draft).
* Install a damper.
* Construct a ferromud chimney around the pot.
* Recess the pot deeper into the stove.

Step 7. (5 minutes)
Conclude by reviewing the objectives.

Trainer Notes

Explain that everyone will have the option of building a charcoal cookstove in the second stove construction session, Phase II: Session 21.

Encourage participants going to urban areas or countries in which charcoal is common to build charcoal stoves in Session 21.

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