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CCAT rocket stove

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Traditional Three Rock Fire

The rocket stove has social and environmental benefits to the large population in the developing world that have no other alternative than burring biomass for their cooking and heating needs. Rural cultures around the world depend on the three rock fire for there cooking needs.

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality is the main driving factor in the decimation programs around the developing third world. Soot and ash produced when cooking with traditional three rock fires creates unhealthy amounts of indoor air particulates, resulting in respiratory and breathing issues.

Fuel Savings

Improved Fuel stoves can reduce the amount of wood fuel needed to cook. Improving the heat transfer efficiency of energy from the fire to the cooking vessel reduces the amount of energy wasted, thus reducing the amount of wood needed. Reduction in the amount of wood fuel needed each month allows the rural family to either save time and money. Rural families who traditionally purchased wood fuel will save money allowing funds to be spent on other basic needs. In Rural cultures that physically find and collect wood fuel, the rocket stove will allow women who predominately collect wood to save time.


Traditional open three rock fires are dangerous to small children who can easily fall or trip into a open fire on the floor of there dwelling. Improved Fuel stoves are insulated and elevated above the ground, preventing children from accidentally burning them selfs.

Why Improved Fuel Stove are Good

Improved Combustion

Improved fuel stoves improve fuel combustion that reduces the dangerous air pollutants generated when burning wood. The addition of chimneys to improved fuel further improves the indoor air quality.

Improved Transfer of Heat

Improved fuel stoves are designed to be efficient at the transfer of heat from the fire to the cooking vessel. Improved transfer of heat is the key process in there ability to reduce wood fuel use.

Lit Review

World bank paper





Construction Steps

  1. We built our combustion chamber out of insulative bricks. The bricks were extensively shaped using a hack saw. Heat resistant putty was used as sealant.
  2. We built a case for the combustion chamber to sit in using sheet metal. The metal was cut out with tin snips and bent with square pliers.
  3. We used a grinder to cut a square out of the barrel corresponding to the dimensions of the metal casing. The casing for the combustion chamber fits into the hole, protruding on both sides.
  4. The casing is firmly secured to the barrel by metal brackets and screws. The combustion chamber slides into the casing which is secured to the barrel. The chamber is now opperational for burning wood fuel.
  5. Vermiculite is poured into the barrel in order to insulate the combustion chamber. This insulation fills the space between the chamber and the barrel and is filled as high as the top of the chamber.
  6. At the top opening of the combustion chamber we constructed a metal shelf. This shelf is circular and perfectly fits inside of the barrel. It has a square cut in it corresponding to the top opening of the combustion chamber. This allows for gasses to pass through, but seals them off from the bottom half of the barrel. The shelf is secured firmly to the outside of the barrel with L brackets and screws.
  7. In the top half of the barrel, we constructed a skirt. This skirt surrounds the cooking pot, leaving a small gap on the bottom and the sides. The skirt was constructed out of a can. We used a grinder to cut a square opening in the bottom to chanel the hot gasses. The top of the can was made completely open. This skirt is fastened to the shelf with screws and washers. The washers provide a resting area for the pot, creating gap between the bottom of the skirt and the bottom of the pot.
  8. The pot is inserted into an opening in the top of the barrel. Here we have cut out a circle with the grinder and then carefully bent the metal down at a right angle using square pliers and a mallet This way the pot is extra sealed and the opening for it is not jagged or sharp.
  9. We cut a hole out of the upper side of the barrel and fastened a circular metal chimney over the hole using screws.
  10. To use our rocket stove, burn fuel inside the combusion chamber and set the pot inside the skirt.

Design Principles

  1. A well constructed rocket stove will allow for air to circulate. With this in mind, it is important to provide an even pathway for the air. The chimny, the combustion chamber and the skirt gap should all have the same cross-sectional area.
  2. Unless oxygen is being circulated, the fire will smother. When building the combustion chamber it is necessary to provide a shelf for the fuel. This way, fresh air will be pulled underneath the burning fuel.
  3. The chimny should be short, reaching just above the cookpot. This allows for hot gasses to flow more rapidly through the system.
  4. Heat will radiate from the combustion chamber. For imporved efficiency, insulate arround the chamber.


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