| Boiling Point No. 21 - April 1990 |
from Dr. Fred Hottenroth ZZ; CORP 10806 Kaylor St Los Alamatos California 90720 USA
We appreciated your article on the Impact of Briquettes on the Urban Poor, published in the BP special "Briquetting" edition, July 1989. Your comments on dung briquetting are particularly pertinent to the situation in India where two thirds of the fuel used for cooking is cow dung and only one third is wood.
You may be interested to know that the pelleting industry is now well established. Pellets sell to dealers for about $70.001ton in 1000 lb. minimum lots. This compares to retail price of about $700.00/ton for charcoal.
The ZMART ZTOVE (produced by the ZZ Corporation, California) burns wood, briquettes, pellets and cow dung with high efficiency and saves its cost out of fuel savings in a few months.
From an overall viewpoint it seems that all these fuels will be used and they must be burned with maximum efficiency not only to save fuel but to reduce air pollution which in Calcutta causes respiratory diseases in 60% of the population.
The cost of stoves is insignificant compared to their benefits and good stoves are particularly important to burn briquettes economically.
There is a likelihood that the ZMART ZTOVE can burn cotton stalk efficiently without prior carbonization. This would utilize the heat energy of the volatiles. Who can I contact regarding a field test of the ZMART STOVE using cotton stalks as a fuel? Your advice will be greatly appreciated.
Ed Note: Readers please reply direct to Dr. Hottenroth
In our last issue, BP 20, we reviewed the book "Simply Living" by Anne Pearce about the "Wonder Box" solar cooker. Unfortunately we cannot test the cookers here in the UK because of the very different sun, light and other conditions.
This letter is really an enquiry from the editor to our readers. In ITDG we receive many letters, articles, brochures, books, manuals and even patent specifications about solar cookers - almost one a week. Most are from enthusiasts who have "invented" new and better solar cookers which will relieve our readers of the labour or cost of obtaining fuel for cooking and will save the forests. Most of the designs are technically feasible although rather expensive. Some are just half page letters, others are worked out designs with detailed drawings and prices and vary from simple hay boxes to sophisticated devices with tracking, parabolic reflectors. This is not a new fashion - may be 10,000 years old. Boiling Point has been receiving such proposals since it first appeared 10 years ago.
Unfortunately, they have all one thing in common - none of them ever takes off for the poorer people of the 3rd world. There are many well known reasons for this but the inventors are ever hopeful. Your editor does not enjoy writing discouraging replies to all these people and so would be very pleased to hear from any reader who can tell us of a really successful introduction of solar cookers. This means thousands of cookers sold and used over a considerable area and a number of years. We need information with approximate numbers, prices, design and pictures and supporting evidence which we could reproduce in Boiling Point.