E-Stove

E-Stove: Stove for Cooking and Generating Electricity

BangladeshDhaka, Bangladesh
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

E-Stove is a biomass fuel burning stove that uses an integrated thermo-acoustic engine to produce electricity (20 watts) while cooking. When outfitted with a pyrolysis burner it can turn biomass to charcoal. It reduces wood consumption by 50% and virtually eliminates carbon monoxide emissions.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

YOU COULD SIMULTANEOUSLY COOK AND GENERATE ELECTRICITY?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Cooking smoke kills more people than malaria each year. In fact 3 billion people worldwide cook on open fires using wood or dung. 4 million people each year die prematurely due to household air pollution, mostly women and children. In Bangladesh alone the death toll stands at a little more than 0.5 million. Here 38% of people do not have access to electricity and thus resort to burning fossil fuels for household lighting.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

E-Stove uses thermo-acoustics to convert heat from biomass to sound which is then used to generate electricity using a linear alternator. This can be used to light 5 LED lamps or 2 fans for better education and access to technology like radio. Having 4 cooking units, it can be shared by 2 or 4 households. The stove has the capacity to burn a variety of different biomass like bamboo, twigs, briquettes, etc. and is up to 45% efficient. It cooks faster and reduces in-house air pollution including carbon monoxide emissions which cause pneumonia and lung cancer. With a pyrolysis burner it can make charcoal for later-use and bio-char which can be applied to soil for improved fertility. The lean-on production model allows it to be very affordable.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Lipi, a single mother lost her daughter Nasima to lung cancer even though she didn’t smoke. Her 10 year old son Ranju cannot study at night due to improper lighting and a deteriorating eyesight. In fact Lipi walks 5 miles/day in search of wood which barely lasts 1 day or 2. This is the story of 68 million Bangladeshis. Using E-Stove, her child receives a better education through improved lighting and access to technology like radio and cell phones, while she cooks faster with less toxic pollutants and saves money by replacing her Kerosene lamps and being able to afford the stove through micro finance. Now she can do other things besides cooking like helping Ranju with his homework and last the same amount of wood she gathers for a week.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

With the help of a local NGO, field trials were carried out in three geographical locations in Bangladesh including Gaibandha (Northern part), Gazipur (center) and Faridpur (south western part) for proof of concept. We have carried out 31 demonstrations with advertising through community leaders, Grameen Bank personnel, and general mic announcements including the distribution of 15000 flyers. An improved version (40 watts) was demonstrated to 5 restaurants with great enthusiasm. With a projected sales of 5,960 units in 5 years, E-Stove will generate employment for 40 people through production, sales and distribution. With each stove benefiting 4 families, this will provide better health conditions for 143,040 people. Over this period 33185 metric tons of carbon monoxide emissions will be reduced and around 95,360 children will get reading facilities at night through the use of E-Stove.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Over the next 5 years, distribution of E-Stove will be carried through partnerships with NGOs. Financial assistance will be provided through micro-financing by Grameen Bank. This reduces the burden on the poor families who already struggle for survival. It will be distributed over villages in 22 districts of Bangladesh over this period. A lean production model will allow quick manufacturing in local facilities in 6 parts. These strategic partnerships will greatly reduce time and costs required by the management team of E-Stove, who can then focus on further research and development.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The lean-on production model allows E-Stove to have a start-up expense of $69,375 with a payback period of 6.5 Years. By forging long term contracts with local manufacturers and NGOs, the low running costs will sustain the business even at 50% of projected sales. The NGOs will keep a sales commission of 5% of $250/unit sold. To maintain profitability, the manufacturing will be contracted to multiple companies, each making one component.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

For the 43% of Bangladeshi population depending on biomass for cooking/heating, improved stoves do not exist. The market is largely a blue ocean with indirect competition from companies making solar panels. These are much costlier in terms of price per capita and maintenance. Cheaper panels wear out faster and become less efficient with time. E-Stove is a patent pending cooking unit that offers a 3 pronged solution which tackles electricity, health and clean cooking with higher cost-effectiveness and greater utility per dollar made possible by the lean production model
Team

Founding Story

The clean combustion stove with accessories for refrigeration and generating electricity is part of my undergraduate thesis paper that I've been working on for the past 8 months under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Md Ehsan of the department of Mechanical Engineering at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). While working under his tutelage, we experimented with different prototypes in ANSYS (simulation software) to come up with a 3 pronged solution for a problem involving no electricity, health hazards and clean cooking. With a European grant worth 2000 pounds, we took to the road with the working model and while demonstating the stove in a teas-stall I decided to turn it into a social business

Team

While members specialize in Mechanical Engineering, Finance and Marketing, our board members include: Prof. Dr. Md Ehsan, Mechanical Engineering, BUET | Arthur J. Swersey, Professor of Management and Operations, Yale School of Management | Mushfiq Mubarak, Associate Professor of Economics, Yale School of Management,Ex Economist, World Bank and IMF | Prof. Dr Rezaul Haque, Material and Metallurgical Engineering, BUET
About You
Organization:
Vertical Horizon
About You
First Name

Md Imran

Last Name

Khan

About Your Project
Organization Name

Vertical Horizon

How long has your organization been operating?

Project
Organization Country

, Dhaka

Country where this project is creating social impact
What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Foundations, NGOs, Regional government, National government, Customers, Other.

Supplemental
Sector

Greenhouse Gases.

Audience: Who have you identified as your customer/recipient groups and do these groups value your solution for different reasons? How do you engage different customer/recipient groups to deliver your solution?

The Customer: People living in slums, rural areas and peri-urban communities without access to grid electricity or gas. SMEs with cooking needs like restaurants, schools, hotels and hospitals will also be benefited. We will work closely with Grameen Bank personnel in mobilizing locals, arranging campaigns and advertising our brand through word of mouth to achieve grassroots penetration.

Scaling the solution: How would the prize money and publicity help you to achieve your objectives over the next two years?

We will start our operation in urban slums around Dhaka where 4 million people without access to grid electricity and a secure gas supply reside. Afterwards we will scale our operations to the mentioned sites in the field survey namely Gaibandha (Northern part), Gazipur (center) and Faridpur (south western part) of Bangladesh.

This will be possible through our strong partnerships with the Grameen bank, the Yale School of Management, local NGOs and community leaders. The Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center where 3 of our members including myself are active alumnis has already agreed to forge bonds with our company in bridging the gap between ourselves and The Ministry of Power, Energy and Minerals of Bangladesh

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered

I have designed, manufactured and installed a working wheelchair bus ramp for an NGO working with people with walking disabilities in the wake of the Rana Plaza garment factory crash in Bangladesh. This helped the NGO to transport more than 100 people back to their homes after they were rehabilitated in 1 month alone. The idea stood as a finalist in Global Social entrepreneurship Competition 2014.

Are you are eligible to attend the Accelerator event in Cambridge and subsequent events in London, UK in January, 2015?

yes

Will you require a visa to enter the UK?

yes

Are you are a current Unilever employee?

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