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Updated May 07, 2019

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BioLite HomeStove

A fan-assisted biomass stove that burns wood like gas, turns fire into electricity, and reduces smoke emissions by 90% and fuel consumption by 50% compared to traditional open-fire cooking.

https://global.bioliteenergy.com/
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Matthew Goldberg

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Stage 5: Scaling

BioLite has designed, developed, and commercially retailed the HomeStove in East Africa and India. Since 2014, we have retailed over 25,000 HomeStoves to low-income, off-grid customers in emerging markets.

Focus Areas:

Post Harvest, Economic Empowerment, Lighting and 4 MoreSEE ALL

Post Harvest, Economic Empowerment, Lighting, Energy, Biomass/BioFuel, Distributed Generation Systems and Energy EfficiencySEE LESS

Implemented In:

India, Uganda and Kenya

India, Uganda and KenyaSEE LESS

3
Countries Implemented In
25,000
Customers
84
Employee
$10,000,000
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

Three billion people cook their meals over open biomass fires. Toxic smoke from these fires leads to over four million respiratory-related deaths every year and release significant amounts of CO2 and produce a staggering 25% of global black carbon emissions. Most households that rely on open fire cooking also lack reliable access to electricity; 1.2 billion people have no access to electricity at all. These families are forced to use dirty, expensive kerosene lamps for lighting.

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Solution

With every stove that BioLite sells, we reduce emissions, decrease household fuel use, and provide enhanced electricity access. Our flagship product, the HomeStove mitigates 2.5 tons of CO2 annually (and 1.5 tons of CO2e via black carbon) and 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.

Target Beneficiaries

BioLite targets rural, peri-urban, and urban Base-of-the-Pyramid (BoP) households in East Africa (currently Kenya and Uganda) that earn 2-8 euro per day, have intermittent or no electricity, and cook with wood or other biomass. This population consists of the 97% of Ugandans and 84% of Kenyans who cook over smoky open fires, thereby harming their health and the climate. Within the household, the economic and health benefits of our technologies largely accrue to women.

Mission and Vision

At BioLite, we believe in a world where everyone has access to clean and reliable energy. We develop, manufacture, and distribute energy technologies that deliver clean cooking, light, and charge to off-grid communities around the world. We use advanced thermoelectric, solar, and power management technologies to help us fulfill our mission of bringing energy everywhere

Innovation Description

The HomeStove is a fan-assisted, biomass stove that reduces toxic emissions by 90% and fuel consumption by 50% compared to traditional open fire cooking. The HomeStove co-generates 2W of electricity from the flame using thermoelectric generation, enabling users to charge mobile phones and lights via a USB port. The HomeStove is also compatible with locally available fuels (e.g. wood, cow dung, or crop waste), and consistent with local cooking practices (side-fed operation). The HomeStove is the only cookstove globally that can charge a mobile phone from the heat of the flame, making it uniquely suited to being sold to households without electricity access. It is an all-in-one energy hub for the home, providing ultra-clean cooking, electricity generation, and lighting. 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 a 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 generates surplus electricity – enough to charge a mobile phone and provide an evening’s worth of light.

Competitive Advantage

Other "improved" cookstoves either do not sufficiently reduce emissions, or are not consistent with local cooking practices. For example, “rocket” stoves (Envirofit, BURN, EcoZoom), at best achieve 50% emissions reductions—lessening their climate and health impact—while “fan” stoves (BP, Philips) require external electricity for operation, specialized fuel pellets, and unfamiliar top-fed operation. Furthermore, LPG stoves, though clean burning, are 10-20x cost versus the HomeStove over three years and have poor penetration among low-income households. In comparison, the BioLite HomeStove is the only ultra-clean, biomass stove that can co-generate electricity from the cooking flame to power LED lights and mobile phones. The HomeStove features a design that is both aspirational and durable, while remaining intuitive for BoP users without requiring significant behaviour change to operate.
Funding Goal500,000
New Implemented CountriesRwanda, Tanzania

Milestones

May 2019
Recognition ReceivedVERIFIED
Jun 2017
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
ISHOW Winner
Jan 2014
New Country Implemented In
India and Uganda
Jan 2014
Created

Supporting Materials

BioLite-2018-ProductCatalog.pdf