SeaChar Deluxe Estufa Finca Farm Stove
Designed by Art Donnelly from SeaChar, The Estufa Finca (Farm Stove) is a TLUD-style micro-pyrolysis device with a capacity of 20 litres.
The Estufa Finca Farm Stove is a top-lit updraft (TLUD) micro-gasifier cookstove that can create biochar from a wide range of dry organic input materials. The biochar produced from the stove can be used as a soil amendment to increase soil health and improve agricultural yield. When used as a soil amendment, the biochar produced from the stove also acts to sequester carbon that would otherwise be released to the atmosphere. A promotional video highlights the stoves biochar applications during implementation with rural farmers in Costa Rica.
Video available on how to use the Estufa Finca.
Costa Rica, United States
For 2015, the Estufa Finca stove could be purchased through SeaChar or constructed from locally available materials. SeaChar suggested a 10 USD donation per stove when cookstoves are constructed from the open source design guide. For 2018, market suggested retail price is unknown and the SeaChar design guide is no longer available.
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Originally developed for use by migrant farm workers cooking with open fires in Costa Rica, the stove has also proved to be a popular tool with US gardeners who want an environmentally responsible way to create biochar for building carbon in their soils.
For 2015, it was mass produced by SeaChar in the United States, also produced by local micro-businesses in Costa Rica. The Estufa Finca stove is constructed from common materials available in developing countries: a 20 liter (5 gal) combustion chamber made from a metal bucket, surrounded by a shroud formed from galvanized roofing. Fabrication consists of cutting rebar, cans, buckets and shroud materials; drilling holes; snipping tin and de-burring and grinding rough metal edges. Stove assembly consists of fastening stove components with rivets, bolts, and screws. A photo design guide describes manufacturing methods in detail.
Design specifications include a 19 litres (5 gallons) capacity combustion chamber surrounded by a shell of galvanized roofing and an air base with primary air damper to control intake required for a different biomass feedstock removable cooktop. TLUD stoves can accept a variety of dry, woody biomass as fuel. See the GIZ 2013 publication on Micro-gasification for information on size, type, and preparation of appropriate fuels. An additional stove setting structure is recommended to provide a stable and protected platform to house the stove and bring the cooking surface to a desirable height for cooking.
Typical schematic of biochar producing TLUD micro-gasifier stoves can be viewed below.
According to SeaChar:
- The product creates high quality biochar from a wide range of dry organic input materials.
- Each pound of durable high carbon charcoal removes three pounds of atmospheric carbon from the carbon cycle.
- Biochar stores captured carbon in soils for thousands of years, making this a unique carbon negative energy technology.
Approvecho Research Center testing results revealed an average emissions profile of 8.24 g CO/kg of dry fuel consumed and 0.18 g PM/kg of dry fuel consumed. Approvecho Research center projects an 83% reduction in Co and a 91% reduction in PM if the Estufa Finca Stove uses the same amount of fuel as a traditional 3-stone fire.
In an effort to standardize cookstove performance an International Workshop Agreement (IWA) was established in 2012. The IWA created tiers of cookstove performance in order to communicate technical information more easily to the government, donors, investors, and consumers when making decisions. However, many manufacturers have not tested stoves using the newly adopted IWA performance metrics. See the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves for more information. The full IWA document can be viewed here.
Anderson, P (2015). Origins, History and Future of TLUD Micro-gasification and Cookstove Advancement. Version 1.2.
Details on the 2010 pilot can be found in the project report.
Recipient of a grant from National Geographic’s Great Energy Challenge initiative.
A summary of how micro-gasification stoves work is provided by SeaChar and can be found here.
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