CSU Startup Envirofit Expands Clean Burning Cookstoves to Meet Global Demand

Note to Editors: Photos associated with Envirofit can be found at http://picasaweb.google.com/envirofit.international; video is available at http://www.youtube.com/envirofit.

Envirofit International, a technology leader using sustainable, scalable business models to solve global health and environmental problems, is introducing its next generation of clean cookstoves for emerging markets. Featuring the EnviroFlame Combustion System and Envirofit Cooking System, the Envirofit G-Series represents a revolutionary change to traditional cookstoves paradigm, enabling Envirofit to enter new global markets and meet increased demand around the world.

According to World Health Organization, nearly half the world’s population – nearly 3 billion people – cooks their daily meals indoors using traditional fire and stoves, burning biomass fuels like wood and crop waste. These traditional cooking methods are inefficient, waste fuel and are deadly, converting the burning biomass into toxic substances. The resulting Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) kills 1.6 million people every year, more than 85 percent of which are women and children under five. In addition, recent research has revealed that the soot from developing world cooking fires is second only to CO2 in affecting global warming. As such, government agencies and global leaders have been promoting improved cookstoves as a potential stop-gap solution to slow global warming effects.

"Indoor Air Pollution is a poverty, energy, health, climate change and gender issue that impacts half the world’s population. If we can find a financially viable, sustainable, scalable solution we will – in one go – have a positive impact on all of these areas. Envirofit’s new stove represents a significant step forward in this endeavour," said Chris West, Director of the Shell Foundation, Envirofit International’s global cookstove partner.

Since unveiling its first line of clean cookstoves in May 2008, Envirofit has sold more than 60,000 cookstoves in India. Over the next five years these 60,000 cookstoves could keep over 400,000 tons of CO2 and over 85,000 kg of black carbon from entering the atmosphere, while garnering savings of over 900 million rupees ($18M USD) for some of India’s lowest-income consumers.

"Our stoves are clean-burning and incredibly efficient, reducing cooking time by at least half and reducing smoke and toxic emissions by up to 80 percent. Our stoves also use up to 60 percent less fuel than traditional stoves. These benefits significantly improve the lives of customers in the developing world, while having a net positive impact on the global environment," said Ron Bills, Envirofit chairman and chief executive officer.

Working with the Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory at Colorado State University and the Materials Science and Technology Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Envirofit researchers have developed the EnviroFlame Combustion System, the heart of the new line of Envirofit cookstoves. The design was developed using advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics, heat transfer modeling, and robust emissions and durability testing to optimize the geometry and materials of the stove. The result is a patent-pending design that makes the stoves clean-burning, efficient, light-weight, and affordable; while also strong and durable. Envirofit offers a five-year warranty on the G-series cookstoves – the longest-duration warranty ever offered on cookstoves sold to emerging market customers.

In addition to the research and development behind stove performance, Envirofit is also launching the Envirofit Cooking System.  After purchasing the core G-3300 single-pot cookstove, this integrated system allows customers to purchase matched accessory products that expand their cooking options and improve cooking efficiency. For example, the Envirofit G-3355 accessory adds a second cooking surface and chimney option, while the G-33LPG accessory gives users the option to use a second fuel source – LPG. With expansion into new global markets, the Envirofit Cooking System allows Envirofit to quickly develop appropriate accessories to match the varied cooking styles of customers around the world.

Envirofit cookstoves are engineered not only to be high-quality, but also affordable for emerging market consumers, costing the equivalent of one to three weeks wages. However, based on fuel savings alone, the stoves pay for themselves in less than six months. In addition by partnering with reputable microfinance groups, Envirofit has enabled some of the lowest-income customers in the world the opportunity to purchase stoves and improve their lives.

"Envirofit provides Grameen Koota members a clean cookstove that not only reduces Indoor Air Pollution, but uses significantly less wood and saves time and effort in cooking," said Suresh Krishna, Managing Director of Grameen Koota Bank – ranked by Forbes as one of the top 20 microfinance groups in the world. "This partnership represents the ideal combination of providing sustainable products that contribute to the livelihood of our clientele while providing credit to those that do not have access to formal financial services."

In addition to MFI groups, Envirofit has partnered with global distributors, international NGOs, carbon development managers, and government agencies in more than a dozen developing countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Mali, Ethiopia, Philippines, China, Honduras, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. Envirofit is formally launching large-scale operations in Africa in 2010, hosting an international Clean Cookstoves Expo to meet new partners in Kenya this November. For photos and videos of the G-series cookstoves or further information visit Envirofit International’s new website at http://www.envirofit.org.

About Envirofit International

Founded in 2003, Envirofit International is a non-profit organization that uses a sustainable, scalable enterprise-based business model to solve global health and environmental problems. Envirofit develops and distributes products that provide economic, social and environmental benefits to emerging market consumers. The company’s signature products include a direct-injection retrofit of dirty two-stroke engines and a line of clean cookstoves. Envirofit is interested in working with international distributors, NGOs, and government agencies to expand into new markets. Visit www.envirofit.org for further information.

About Shell Foundation

Shell Foundation was established by Shell Group in 2000 as an independent, UK registered charity operating with a global mandate. It focuses on enterprise-based solutions to poverty and environmental challenges linked to the impact of energy and globalization. It acts like an investor, identifying financially sustainable solutions to these challenges that can be taken to scale and replicated to achieve global impact. By 2010 the Foundation will have used $75 million to leverage $350 million from other organizations. Visit www.shellfoundation.org for further information.

About the Colorado State University Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory

The Engines & Energy Conversion Laboratory (EECL) at Colorado State University is one of the world’s largest university-based engines/combustion laboratories, containing more than $10 million dollars in specialized equipment for energy conversion, engines, and fuels research. In 2002, the EECL launched an international technology development program aimed at increasing energy efficiency and reducing the health and environmental impacts of transportation, electric power production, and cooking/household energy in developing countries. Products developed by the EECL and its partners have reduced pollution in the atmosphere by millions of tons and have saved more than 15 billion cubic feet of natural gas. For more information, go to www.eecl.colostate.edu.