Sustainable Biomass Fuels


This project is active

Ninety percent of households in Cambodia rely on wood and charcoal as their main cooking fuel. Although the use of LPG cooking gas is increasing among higher income households in urban and peri-urban areas, the prospect for the majority of peri-urban dwellers and rural households moving to modern cooking fuels is still a way off due to the higher prices of LPG and electricity, and the abundance of fuelwood.

This has effects on the health of end-users as the smoke from cooking using firewood and charcoal on traditional stoves and open fires contributes to high levels of household air pollution (HAP). Even when cooking outdoors, smoke finds its ways indoors, harming health, especially of women and children. Deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions resulting in global and local environmental degradation and climate change are also a direct consequence.

As a part of its energy sector activities in Cambodia, SNV brings advanced clean cooking technologies to Cambodia that are cleaner, healthier, more energy efficient, and safer than traditional cookstoves.

Since mid-2013, SNV in collaboration with a number of partners, has been also been involved in various research and market development activities for the development of a sustainable supply of ‘Renewable Biomass Fuels’ for use with advanced household biomass cookstoves in Cambodia. This has included:

  • Collaboration with Sustainable Green Fuel Enterprise (SGFE) on a ‘Comparative Fuel Testing Study for Gasifier Stoves’ in December 2013; as well as a ‘Feasibility Study and Development of Scenarios for the Production and Distribution of Fuels for Gasifier Stoves in Cambodian Urban Areas’ in mid-2014.
  • Following on, a DGIS-funded ‘Business Model Pilot’ based on a product combination of advanced clean cookstoves and renewable biomass fuels (such as rice husk pellets, coconut shell chips, and corn cobs) was implemented by SNV in mid-2014.
  • In March 2017, SNV supported partner C-Quest Capital (Cambodia) LLC (CQC) on the implementation of an extensive ‘Controlled Cooking Test (CCT) Study’ on a variety of combinations of advanced biomass stoves and sustainable fuels, which included comparative fuels tests for renewable biomass fuels such as coconut shell chips, rice husk pellets, and bamboo pellets.
  • This has later in 2017 led to C-Quest Capital’s and SGFE’s first-ever commercial market introduction of coconut shell chips as a sustainable biomass fuel product for use in Cambodian households with gasifier cookstoves, under CQC’s ‘Fast Fire’ brand.
  • Since December 2017, SNV collaborates with BambooPro on pilot production and initial market tests of bamboo pellets as a cooking fuel for advanced biomass cookstoves.
  • Since January 2018, SNV collaborates with Husk Ventures, a social enterprise that is seeking to generate new revenue streams and social benefits for rural communities by upcycling rice husk waste into sustainable fuel products.

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