Energy access plays a central role in global development--it improves health, enables communication and education, generates income, and empowers women. Yet nearly half the planet, or three billion people, cook their meals over open biomass fires. These fires release significant amounts of CO2 and produce a staggering 25% of global black carbon emissions, more than what is produced by all the world’s cars and trucks. Most households that rely on open fire cooking also lack reliable access to electricity; 1.1 billion people have no access to electricity at all. These families are forced to use dirty, expensive kerosene lamps for lighting. At the same time, a growing number of off-grid consumers are purchasing mobile phones. While the mobile phone has shown itself to be a strong economic development tool, recharging these devices remains an expensive, time consuming obstacle for many off-grid users.
The BioLite HomeStove is the world's only ultra-clean, electricity generating biomass cookstove. The HomeStove provides gas-like cooking, reduces smoke emissions by 90% and fuel consumption by 50% compared to open-fire cooking. The HomeStove also co-generates electricity from the flame via BioLite's patented Direct Conduction Thermoelectric System, enabling users to charge mobile phones and LED lights via a USB port. To operate the stove, the user feeds local fuels – e.g. wood, cow dung, or crop residue – through the side of the stove. Then they light the fuel much as they did their open fire. The heat from the flame is converted into electricity through the thermoelectric generator. This electricity powers an internal fan, which force-feeds oxygen into the flame, eliminating the smoke, and leading to the near complete combustion of the fuel. The stove also generates surplus electricity to charge mobile phones and LED lights. Bundled with mobile adapters and BioLite’s FlexLight, the HomeStove is an all-in-one energy hub for the home, providing ultra-clean cooking, electricity generation, and lighting.
- Mitigates 2.5 tons of CO2 annually (and 1.5 tons of CO2e via black carbon.) From a carbon standpoint, every HomeStove in use is like wiping an average American automobile off the road. This performance has been independently verified in lab and field by the US EPA and Berkeley Air Monitoring Group, respectively.
- Produces 2W of on-demand electricity from the heat of the cooking flame. A single session of cooking can fully charge a mobile phone or provide an evening’s worth of light for off-grid households.
- Reduces toxic emissions by over 90% and reduces biomass fuel consumption by 50% thereby providing economic (reduce fuel purchases) and health benefits (reduced smoke consumption)
- Operates with traditional fuels (wood, crop waste, dung) and cooking techniques (side-fed operation) and without external electricity, making it uniquely suited to being sold to households without electricity access.