More healthy living, no dangerous life: The Fortune Cooker
|October 31st, 2015|
|by:||Jan van de Nes|
|tags:||Fortune Cooker, Maarten Romijn, plastics for fuel, wood fires|
Half the world’s population, some 3.5 billion people, depend on biofuels. They need on average 3.5 kilos per person per day or about 1.28 tons per year for cooking and (drinking) water heating. If nothing is done, some 7 billion people may depend on biofuels for cooking and (drinking) water heating by 2050. Some of the rich may suffer many inconveniences. Many of the poor may die.
Collection (frequently poaching) of non-sustainable biofuels already now causes severe deforestation, desertification and loss of biodiversity and add to scarcity./high cost. And it is even worse, says university skilled engineer Mr. Maarten Romijn from The Hague, Dutch inventor of the Fortune Cooker.
He completes the list of misfortune as follows: “Women and girls must make ever longer marches to far away wood, roots, shrubs because of shortage in their own neighbourhood. They meet hostility from land owners, aggression from other seekers, stealing their fuel and sometimes raping the women or children”. He tells about their tiredness, the weight of the fuel, their backache, thirst and hunger. About accidents on bad roads or with wild animals. The suffering of snake bites, scorpions and wasps. “Don’t forget they are most of the time leaving small children unattended at home. And in their homes more misery occurs”.
Romijn knows that toxic emissions from cooking fires cause lung, heart and eye diseases. “Black Carbon is the most lethal”, he says. Each year some 3 million women and children die prematurely, each year some 30 million start getting sick for life. Countless other living species are killed and/or are made very sick. Also cooks and children suffer frequent burns from cook fires and/or kerosene lamps. “Besides all that the quality of meals is poor. Local overheating causes acrylamides (poisonous) in food. Smoke spoils the taste of food”, according to Mr. Romijn.
Also for coals fuels in his opinion is misery the result. “They produce – apart from Black Carbon – often poisonous emissions, such as mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic and chromium. And Black Carbon emissions cause “black snow” on the “third pole” – the Himalayas, the Alps, the Andes – causing premature glacier melting, floods and/or water shortages, resulting in food shortages”, Romijn continuous. “Black Carbon emissions cause “dirty ice” on the North Pole and Greenland, changing the albedo, causing fast melting, sea level rise”.
But Help Is Nearby
Romijn developed the Fortune Cooker, a family sized solar power plant which makes it possible to generate and store heat and electricity. People in the sunbelt of the world (35ºN to 35ºS) can cook with this device. Its water-boiling test show good results compared to the well-known cast iron stove from India. Mirrors reflect solar radiation to the downside of a pot which makes it possible to use different cooking techniques. It is also possible to cook with more than one pot. A photovoltaic (PV) solarpanel attached to the front is used for electricity generation. A battery inside the device stores the electricity. Combining The Fortune Cooker with WiFi technology could provide people in rural areas with a communication network.
Using the Fortune Cooker frees women and girls from the daily drudges of biomass gathering and cooking on poisonous fires. It gives them time to do better things. For sunless days of the year they could use sun dried wood, dried on The Fortune Cooker, in clean cook stoves, attached to the Fortune Cooker, so that the stoves cannot capsize and cause fire or burns of children.
Reading and working under electric light after darkness as enabled by the PV option on the Fortune Cooker means possibilities as looking television to become informed, use computer to get educated, use mobile phone/charge batteries.
Ir. Maarten Romijn has retired and has assigned as his successors the Department ENGINEERS WITHOUT BOUNDERIES (in Dutch: INGENIEURS ZONDER GRENZEN, IZG)) which is part of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Engineers (KIVI). Leader of the Department is Ir. Jan Kluiver. The department is very active and organizes on October 31, 2015, a workshop, called BUILD YOUR OWN WOOD GAS STOVE. This is an extreme economical and clean cooker using wood chips but combined with solar cooking for regions where daily sunlight is not available. Building such a stove only costs 59 euros!