Zama Zama is a multi-fuel gasifying cookstove designed by Rocket Works. The main characteristics of its design are a stainless steel insulating heat shield and a convection-fueled air duct that allows the stove to also burn the smoke produced in the combustion process by directing preheated air back into the top of the combustion chamber. Although the main fuel used for the Zama Zama is wood, various other biomass fuels can also be used effectively like waste wood, driftwood, wood pellets, pallets, coconut husk, dried animal dung and various other biomass fuels can also be used effectively in the stove.
The product can also be donated by NGOs and NPOs to end users
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Market Suggested Retail Price
Target Users (Target Impact Group)
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
Rocket Works, NGOs and NPOs.
Rocket Works is the sole manufacturer of the Zama Zama, it is manufactured in their factory located in Durban. The stove is sold in component or complete knockdown form, meaning that it can be assembled by direct users, production facilities, or by entrepreneurs and tradesman with specially designed manual tools. A flat-pack option offered by Rocket Works, enables buyers to assemble the stoves by themselves and develop a supply business. A team of 5 can assemble 250+ stoves a day.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
The Zama Zama can be obtained directly from its designers Rocket Works or through their web page, retail shops, direct sales on site, entrepreneurs and tradesmen, and NGOs or NPOs.
Distributions to Date Status
Exact number unknown. However, Rocket Works has built 47,921 stoves since 2013 between their five models.
Forced or passive
Flat and round bottom
Pot capacity (L)
Thermal efficiency (%)
35 – 40%
PM emissions (g/MJ delivered to pot)
CO emissions (g/MJ delivered to pot)
Time to boil (min/L)
14 – 17 min per 5 L
The Zama Zama is a multi-fuel gasifying rocket stove and its design characteristics include a combustion chamber with air inlets and a small chimney. The combustion chamber, riser and chimney are insulated by a highly reflective grade of stainless steel. To burn the smoke the design employs a convection-fueled air duct which directs the preheated air to the top of the combustion chamber in order to ignite the smoke. Additionally the combustion chamber utilizes gill shaped slots that self-regulate the air entering to combust the unburned fuel. Specifications: Maximum Pot Capacity: 10 L Dimensions (l/w/h): 245/245/270 mm
Rocket Works (Pty) Ltd may provide support in case a product or any of its parts proves defective. If Rocket Works for any circumstance can not provide assistance, they may choose to refund the purchase price in exchange for the return of the product.
Rocket Works (Pty) Ltd replaces components at no charge if they are defective because of improper workmanship and/or material. If Rocket Works for any circumstance cannot provide replacement of a component in a timely fashion, they may choose to refund the purchase price in exchange for the return of the product.
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
Manufacturers specify a high power thermal efficiency of 44.8%, nominal combustion efficiency of 96.7%, PM2.5 emission rate of 0.52 g/hour and CO2 emission rate of 35 g/hour as their performance targets.
Vetted Performance Status
The Gold Standard for the Global Goals began in July 2017 to develop a micro-scale Voluntary Project Activity: Improved Cookstoves for Rural Families in Gilé Reserve Area, Mozambique. The activity includes the initial distribution of the Zama Zama and a locally produced clay stove to 3, 200 families. Gold Standard estimates that from 2017 to 2022 the ex- ante emission reductions would be of 22,707 tons of CO2 for the Zama Zama, and that both stove models will be able to save up to 30-50% of firewood compared with the traditional three stone fires. The SNV Netherlands Development Organisation through their case study on Advanced Biomass Cooking Solutions Cambodia, conducted on several stoves a number of controlled cooking tests with Cambodian cooks and common Cambodian cuisine. The results showed that Rocket Works Zama Zama has a 21% fuel savings. The Biomass Energy Certification & Testing Center of the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane after performing a Water Boiling Teste on the Zama Zama, stated that: "The Rocket Works Zama Zama woodstove is a fuel and time saving, quality biomass cookstove which has shown outstanding overall performance. It is lightweight & compact and it is very easy to start the fire."
The safety concerns associated with the usage of wood-burning cookstoves are primarily related with carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide emissions. Another significant safety concern is domestic accidents such as accidental burning or spill-overs.
Complementary Technical Systems
Pot skirts and potjie stands.
Academic Research and References
García, N. 2017. Fine particle emissions from biomass cookstoves.
Evaluation of a new laboratory setup and comparison of three appliances [thesis]. Umeå. University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics. (TEC-Lab).
Mackenzie, M. 2013. Sustainable Energy Manufacturing: eThekwini Municipality. Kzn energy.
Compliance with regulations
Complies with the following cookstoves rating for the International Workshop Agreements as a streamlined process of the International Organization for Standarization (ISO) :
- Tier 4 for high power thermal efficiency.
- Tier 3 for low power specific consumption.
Heterogeneous testing Protocol (HtP) and the water boiling test