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2022 February 11

Leading entrepreneurs discuss developments in use of pellets in gasification cookstoves in Africa and India

Webinar Recording: Link


Christian Rakos, World Bioenergy Association: Link

Dave Lello, Ekasi Energy: Link

Ketaki Kokil, Ecosense: Link

Mattias Ohlson, Emerging Cooking Solutions: Link

Ruben Walker, African Clean Energy: Link

Agenda: Link

World Bioenergy Association is pleased to inform about a new Working Group on Advanced Biomass Cooking (ABC) bringing together actors from around the world that are engaged in Advanced Biomass Cooking. It has also recently published the website Pellets.Africa and has selected the transition to advanced biomass cooking as a focal area of engagement.

In this regard, WBA initiated a new webinar series on advanced biomass cooking which started on 10 February with a webinar focussing on gasification cooking technology. Companies building and marketing gasification cookstoves presented their products and experiences in the market: 


Christian Rakos, President of World Bioenergy Association, welcomed the participants to the webinar and provided a scene setting presentation. According to the International Energy Agency, it is critical to replace the traditional use of biomass for cooking (accounting for 40% of all bioenergy use) with modern forms by 2030 to meet the demand for net zero energy system by 2050. Advanced Biomass Cooking – a combination of radical innovation of cookstoves and upgrading of fuel use – offers a significant opportunity to meet the demands for cooking in emerging economies. In this regard, a combination of pellets and gasification technology are a great opportunity due to benefits of fuel flexibility (use of agro residues), improved efficiency and reduced emissions. 

After the scene setting, leading entrepreneurs in the building and marketing of gasification cookstoves presented their products and experiences in the market.

Dave Lello, CEO of Ekasi Energy dispelled myths surrounding the use of biomass/wood fuel in Africa. Ekasi Energy supports local biomass fuel production, provides hybrid energy appliances for electricity and clean cooking and provides digital solutions for finance and carbon tracking. Recent developments in the sector show that biomass fuel can be burned cleanly and efficiently, it can be produced sustainably and will remain the dominant fuel for many years. Moreover, the sector contributes a lot to local economies, supports livelihoods of both men and women, and is largely carbon neutral.

In the context of India, 819 million people are still without access to clean cooking fuel and residential biomass burning is responsible for more than 2.6 million deaths. Ketaki Kokil of Ecosense Appliances Pvt. Ltd shared the company experience over the past 9 years in development of clean cooking solutions. The company product uses forced draft methodology and has many innovative solutions to cater to the needs of residential sector. The company also set up a pellet manufacturing unit which utilizes local agro residues. Research is ongoing to utilize other densified fuel including briquettes as well as testing cookstoves at higher altitudes. 

Mattias Ohlson is the CEO and Co-Founder of Emerging Cooking Solutions Group and has been selling gasification stoves in Zambia for many years. They currently run a 2.5 t/hr pellet factory and are one of the most experienced companies in gasifying stoves and pellets in Africa. After various iterations, the current 4th generation cookstove is low cost, remotely connected and has significant performance improvements including duration, heat range and emissions. The next steps include securing carbon financing, working with manufacturers and distributors to grow the pellet industry in Africa. 

Finally, Ruben Walker, Founder and CEO of African Clean Energy showcased the ACE One – a integrated high-quality solution for both thermal and electricity needs for low-income households.  The solution has a sophisticated technology platform through Android integration and enables customers to substantially save on energy expenses including reduction in cooking fuel use, lighting, phone charging in shops, batteries etc. 

In summary, the speakers were optimistic in the opportunity presented by the challenge of replacing traditional biomass use with modern fuels and cookstoves. Challenges remain in terms of financing, technology and fuel supply which can be overcome by collaboration of stakeholders along the entire biomass to energy value chain.