Cooking with Liquid Fuels

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Cooking Energy System | Basics | Policy Advice | Planning | Designing and Implementing ICS Supply | Designing and Implementing Woodfuel Supply | Climate Change | Extra

Liquid fuels can be categorised into several different fuels, which are gained from the conversion of biomass, such as alcohols (e.g. ethanol, methanol), plant oil, and those generated from fossil fuels (e.g. kerosene, also known as paraffin). Ethanol can be also produced from fossil fuel sources, to produce ethylene which is created by the acid-catalyzed hydration of petroleum. By using biomass to produce ethanol, the fuel is classed as a renewable energy source, as the greenhouse gases released in its production and consumption are theoretically equivalent to those absorbed during its growth cycle. The commercial large-scale use of ethanol, e.g. as car fuel, enhanced the prices of food products on the global market, which is widely discussed and known as the food vs. fuel discussion. In 2012, FAO published an assessment of impacts of bioenergy on food security[1], however a study by FAO in 2011 ""Energy-Smart Food at FAO: An Overview" also showed that the simultaneous production of food and energy may offer great potential for food and energy security, particularly for small-scale farmers[2].

Further Information


This article was originally published by GIZ HERA. It is basically based on experiences, lessons learned and information gathered by GIZ cook stove projects. You can find more information about the authors and experts of the original “GIZ HERA Cooking Energy Compendium” in the Imprint - GIZ HERA Cooking Energy Compendium.

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  1. FAO (2012): Impacts of Bioenergy on Food Security Guidance for Assessment and Response at National and Project Levels
  2. FAO (2012): Energy-Smart Food at FAO: An Overview