Anyone, who has been to a village must be aware of the traditional mud cookstoves used by women to cook food for their families. These mudstoves use solid biomass, mainly wood. To say that these stoves are less environment friendly would be an understatement. By burning solid biomass and staying in very close proximity to these stoves, women are in constant exposure to gases like Carbon dioxide and Nitrogen oxide along with harmful suspended particulate matter(SPM). These Stoves not just pose serious health hazard to the women, but they also significantly affect children and old aged people as they live mostly in homes and are in close proximity to these stoves.
Understanding this, Greenwaya Infra, which is a Mumbai based Startup came up with an innovative alternative which emits less smoke and is more efficient viz a viz the traditional stoves that use solid biomass as fuel. The products introduced by this Startup are capable of using traditional solid biomass including cow-dung and agricultural waste among others.
The design tries to utilize the benefits of full combustion. Whereas in traditional stoves the fuel is partially burnt, in greenway’s design, the fuel is placed in the hearth of the stove which allows even small particles to be burnt which otherwise would have escaped. A lampshade-shaped reducer cone is used in the stove that pulls air up through the bottom of the stove into the combustion chamber.
In case of unavailability of traditional solid biomass, a family may spend a significant amount of their income in purchasing wood and other fuel to be used in stoves. This Startup came up with a design which uses 65 percent less fuel and generates 70 percent less smoke, thereby reducing the debilitating impact the traditional stoves have on women and children.
Founded by Neha Juneja and Ankit Mathur, Greenway has won the Ashden Clean Energy for Women and Girls Award at the International Ashden Awards 2014. It has previously received seed funding of Rs. 20 lakh from CIIE(IIM-Ahmedabad’s business incubator, the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship). Also, the Clinton Global Initiative’s Global Alliance for Cook Stoves, headed by Hillary Clinton has contributed Rs. one crore to this company in the past.
The design has also been acknowledged and certified by Ministry of new and renewable energy(MNRE), Government of India. It is this recognition that helped this Startup to become one of the participants in the India-US Startup Konnect in Silicon Valley this September.
Image Credit: Greenwayappliances.com