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A Better Bonfire Kiln for Stoves and Pots

by Moses Agumba and Vivienne Abbott. Intermediate Technology Kenya 1996

The manual explains how to build, use and maintain a better bonfire kiln. It is intended for potters, women's groups engaged in pottery activities and agencies who work with potters.

The better bonfire kiln is a simple structure built from locally made bricks. The kiln is constructed on a slightly raised foundation to protect it from damp. It is a brick cylinder built over five firebox channels. For each firing, a mud dome is made over the kiln to keep in the heat.

It is 'better' because:

· it holds the heat - so it requires less fuel
· it heats up and cools down slowly so less pots and stoves crack (less than 10%)
· it distributes the heat more evenly so pots and stoves are more evenly fired
· it is made of local bricks using local skills - so it is cheap to build
· it is easy to build, use and maintain

The booklet is written in plain English with all technical terms explained and with clear drawings of the kiln and construction processes and the equipment needed. It is one of a series of booklets being produced by IT Kenya about household energy in East Africa

Review by Ian Grant