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Webinar on ‘Innovations in Clean Cooking’

A Review

A webinar on "Innovations in Clean Cooking" was organised by InSIC on February 25, 2023 from 2:30 PM to 04:30 PM IST & 11:00 AM to 01:00 PM EET. The goal of this webinar was to discuss different issues related to clean cooking and its effects on the environment and physical health in developing nations. About 930 participants registered for the event. The webinar was held on the Zoom meeting platform and was broadcasted live on YouTube. The video has now received more than 1000 views on the InSIC YouTube channel. The InSIC YouTube channel has begun to receive views as of this moment. The participants who registered were from varied age groups. The majority of interested participants were from academic institutions. Participants expressed satisfaction with the webinar's overall experience and showed high willingness to recommend it to others because it provided them with new information that they could put to use practically in the near future. They also expressed an eagerness to take part in future webinars which will be organized by InSIC.


The welcome address which was delivered by Ms. Elina Mahonen, Board Member InSIC.


Introductory speech was given by Dr. S.P. GonChaudhuri, Former Chairman InSIC. He stated that since developing nations like Bangladesh, Africa, and other nations like India still rely on pollution-based cooking systems, therefore pollution-free cooking is one of the major issues in these nations. The speakers' presentations during this webinar will expand the participants' awareness about the problems that presently exists as well as the most recent technological advancements in this field. He also highlighted that the use of LPG in rural households has significantly got reduced due to the rise in the LPG price in India, the consumers of LPG returned back to their firewood-based cook stoves. As India is committed to reduce its emission by 2030, so from all fronts we are to take up action to reduce emission. He also encouraged all the participants to take active part in spreading the Clean Cooking awareness as much as possible.


Dr. Priyadarshini Karve, Managing Director of ‘Samuchit Enviro Tech’ also the keynote speaker of this webinar, spoke about climate-ready cooking energy system and discussed the health effects and emissions of various cooking fuels. She also emphasised that if we use the standard of "Safe for people and the planet," access to "cooking energy" will be near zero percent. The social enterprise "Samuchit Enviro Tech," which she and her team work for, are already producing, testing, and distributing various types of biomass-based cook stoves that take into account factors like cooking time, convenience, cost, safety, fuel/energy source, and usage, primarily for rural kitchens. She explained the problems that are faced in institutional cooking, urban cooking, and rural cooking in addition to their potential for improvement.


Mr. Risto Isomaki, Vice Chairman of InSIC, gave a special address on clean cooking, public health, and global warming. He identified that one of the most crucial things to think about right now might be giving the world's poorest families access to clean or cleaner energy for cooking. He highlighted that, a traditional cook stove emits a significant amount of emission, which also increases the risk of global warming. The massive consumption of biomass around the world results in huge carbon emissions. Clean cooking is crucial for issues related to public health as well as the environment and climate.


In his discussion on the biogas cooking system, Dr. A Saji Das, the managing director of Biotech Renewable Energy, made it clear that as rapidly the population is increasing, so is the amount of waste, which also leads to a significant rise in energy demand. This problem can be solved by using biodegradable wastes that can be converted to biomanure using biomethanation technology. Due to the fact that anaerobic digestion is a technology that is widely used and well-established and has minimal or no ongoing costs. There are environmentally friendly ways to treat all biodegradable wastes. He mentioned that cooking, producing electricity, and other uses could all be done directly with biogas. Anywhere there is human activity, organic waste is produced that can be used to produce biogas, primarily in the food processing industry, livestock farms, etc. He explained the various types of readily available digestors and how they are used. The use of portable biogas digesters in homes is increasing, which will lead to more business and employment opportunities. Installing similar decentralized biogas plants will aid in reducing the impact of climate change.


The lecture on the Thermal Battery cooker powered by Solar Electricity was delivered by Dr. Ajay Chandak, founder of PRINCE (Promoters, Researchers & Innovators in New & Clean Energy). He talked about the difficulties in using conventional solar cookers, whether they are thermal or solar-powered. While using thermal storage for cooking instead of conventional solar cookers or solar powered cookers, results in use of significantly smaller batteries and also lower the cost with high reliability. A small battery for charging mobile devices and other small appliances is included in the integrated system, which also has a hot plate with a thermal heat storage component that can store energy. He further illustrated that how successfully preparing lunch and dinner in the convenience of the kitchen is already achieved. He acknowledged and expressed gratitude to InSIC for supporting the project funded under the InSIC Small Grants scheme.


Saurya Randhuni- Efficient cooking and clean lighting for rural homes was the topic of Mr. Richik GhoshThakur's presentation. The principal investigator, Mr. Subhadeep Bhattacharya, and his team executed this project for InSIC. In rural areas, it is common for households to use low-efficiency biomass cookstoves, which deteriorates indoor air quality and cause health issues. It was crucial to develop technology that can combine clean lighting and efficient cooking. It includes an improved cookstove that is more fuel-efficient, as well as a blower fan that acts as an artificial draught with controllable RPM and a micro solar dome that is used for indoor lighting. The blower fan and the micro solar dome are both powered by a single charge controller that is charged using the solar panel. Use, maintenance, and repair are simple. The Sundarbans region was where the pilot installations were completed.  As a result of this project, 68 beneficiaries from 10 households saw a reduction in their monthly cooking and lighting expenses as well as a significant decrease in carbon emissions.


In his presentation on the Thermal Battery Cooker with direct Sunlight, Dr. Dwaipayan Sen, Asst. Prof. of Heritage Institute of Technology Kolkata emphasised that the project's focus is on the thermal battery, which can be charged in direct sunlight before being used for cooking. A portable unit is created to combat the process of producing enormous amounts of emissions from the conventional cook stoves, taking into account the economic circumstances of the households. As the people living in rural as well as urban sectors use indoor cook stoves and biomass is used as the main source of fuel, this causes significant indoor air pollution. He explained how thermal battery cookers and conventional solar cookers both depend heavily on focal length adjustments. A tracker must be fixed in order for the thermal battery cooker to capture and store the most solar energy possible.  To improve the cooker's efficiency, the device has two reflectors, one primary and one secondary. He added that testing at the pilot level would proceed quickly after addressing the challenges encountered during the planning stage. He acknowledged InSIC's support for this endeavour.


In the interactive session Dr. Lal Singh raised his query about operation of biogas in high altitude for cooking, water heating etc. He also said Indoor fireplaces operated with biomass produces more indoor pollution and causes health problems. He asked for an innovative approach to meet the requirement of fuel in the high-altitude regions. Dr. A. Saji Das given his consent to help him out in all possible ways.

Various questions were asked by the other participants, the Eminent speakers were also delighted to answer the queries of the other participants.


Mr. Markku Tahkokorpi concluded the webinar session by giving his concluding remarks.


To view the Webinar, click the link: International Webinar on 'Innovations in Clean Cooking' - YouTube

28 Feb 2023

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