Project Everest

Work Update

[Work Update]: Fuel Timor - Monthly Goals - July 2018

The fuel team in Timor is super keen to start smashing goals throughout July, the goals are as follows;

Assess feasibility of rocket stove: Seeing the success of the rocket stove in Fiji, has inspired the assessment of it here in Timor-Leste. Empathising with the community in both urban and rural areas is important in assessing its feasibility. It has been established that Timorese do use firewood as an alternative fuel source when cooking, but more research must be done and hopefully, that can be achieved by assessing small sample sizes over many communities over the month.

Have an MVP by end of week two: Having access on data on how to make the stove and by empathising with the community we are hoping to iterate and improve the current stove being implemented in Fiji, as well as mapping out a potential supply chain.  

Conduct a competitor analysis: Looking at what alternatives the locals in Timor are using, this will give the team ideas on how to separate our product from ones being already implemented and further look into a cost analysis of what's already on the market.

Assess feasibility of three alternatives solutions: The fuel Timor team acknowledges that the rocket stove might not be a feasible solution to the fuel problem here in Timor, and want to look into different solutions an idea that we have started to expand on is the use of anaerobic digestion, but much more needs to be assessed to implement this. 

The team can't wait to hit the ground running! 

edited on 6th September 2018, 00:09 by Justin Hakeem

Ben Disher Jul 4, 2018

Good stuff Kapp!

Sorry to latch onto a smaller part of your post, but anaerobic digestion definitely caught my eye as something to look further into. Utilising the (often plentiful) wasted food crops from farmers for soil nutrients and fuel would be an elite idea. You and your team may not have looked into this all that much as of yet but I'd love you to keep us updated on the viability of this throughout your month.

Just a few basic questions I had off the top of my head when first reading the post first time around (that you may or likely may not know):
Are there any examples of far smaller scale examples of AD anywhere in the world, and are any AD processes being used in developing countries?
How small can you make the tank before the biogas output is not worthwhile? I know that often AD takes place in a large (thus expensive to build) tank.
How much biogas is produced from different waste products found in Timor and how much fuel would you estimate would be required for a household?

The rocket stove may just be a feasible solution as it appears to be working well in Fiji but, as you say, it may not be. I think this would be worth more than a quick glance at.


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Rebecca Pink Jul 4, 2018

Yo Dish.
AD is a very common option in the developing world. There have been successful national schemes in Nepal, Cambodia and Indonesia.
There are 3 main options - all small scale, tubular (which is cheaper as its made from plastic, easy to install, but not as long lasting), fixed dome (which are large and made from clay, so a more expensive and labor intensive option) and also floating dome (EWB won a google impact award with their design).
All of these options are suitable for household use for cooking gas. A fuel cell can be added to convert to electricity.
As Kappos mentioned though, this is very early days. The team has already found reasons why this may not be suitable in Timor ie, cultural value of cooking with fire, free electricity until an unknown date in areas surrounding Dili.

Thanks for commenting Dish - love your work!

Cris Birzer Jul 5, 2018

Happy to help from here about the ADs and the cookstoves. I have a PhD student working on ADs for methane production and a PhD student working on cookstoves. I also have Ryan White as an Honours student working on the Buka Stove (testing in our lab).

In addition to the AD and the rocket stove options, a Top-Lit, Up-Draft (TLUD) gasifier / stove can be used to extract combustible gases from solid fuel (including waste if done properly). It might be an option to integrate with an AD as well.


Amber Johnston Jul 24, 2018

Status label added: Work Update

Amber Johnston Jul 24, 2018

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