Project Gaia and Gaia Association – Ethanol Stoves
The Clean Cookstove was designed and built for Project Gaia (an international NGO), to burn alcohol (ethanol or methanol) safely and efficiently. The Swedish company Dometic developed the Clean Cookstove with several safety features. It has a unique reusable fuel canister that contains a permanent, porous, refractory mass that absorbs and holds liquid fuel so that none will spill out, even when the canister is inverted. Before filling, it must be turned off, and the stove body inverted to refill the fuel canister. The canister holds 1.2 litres of alcohol, and can burn at full power for approximately 4hours – 4.5 hours.
Because of their high volatility and excellent burning characteristics, ethanol and methanol burn cleanly; as the burner heats, fuel evaporates from the fuel canister into the burner, making it perform like a gas burner, even though the fuel is not under pressure. The regulator controls the amount of fuel being burned, which allows the cook to turn down the heat just like the burner of a gas stove. Around 3000 stoves have now been distributed to those living in displaced communities and low-income communities in and around Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in Brazil, and in Nigeria.
The Gaia Association, a UNHCR implementing partner, won a prestigious Ashden Award, in 2008, worth US$40,000 for distributing the stove to thousands of refugees in Ethiopia. It reduces indoor air pollution, and has helped to slow deforestation. It has curbed sexual and gender-based violence as women do not need to search for firewood, reducing competition for fuel. This, in turn, has eased friction between refugees and locals in Kebribeyah Refugee Camp and other areas of eastern Ethiopia.