Worldwide, the burning of biomass fuels such as dung, wood and crop waste for cooking results in indoor air pollutants that claim the lives of 1.6-million people. A great number of the victims are in Africa. The diseases produced by these practices include pneumonia, chronic respiratory disease and lung cancer.
The Shell Foundation is currently sponsoring a pilot test of a program in Ethiopia to mass market a CleanCook stove, which uses ethanol and methanol for fuel as a replacement for the burning of dangerous biomass.
Ethiopia was chosen for the test because the country has an indigenous sugarcane industry that can be tapped for ethanol and methanol supplies.
According to a posting on the World Resources Institute website on November 8, 2005, the objective of the test is to demonstrate that a viable household market can be developed for the stove and fuel at prices that the large Ethiopian very low income market segment can afford.
The website says there is an enormous financial cost to markets in Africa and elsewhere in the word from respiratory diseases. Over half of the world's population relies on burning biomass for cooking.
The cost of other fuels such as kerosine or liquid petroleum gas are pricing the poor out of the market at the same time as this large market segment is growing.
Other similar projects are underway to produce cleaner burning stoves. Also in Ethiopia, Mitre Stoves...