By Kim, Flint Lab Inc.
Updated November 28, 2017
It was 2016 summer when Flint Lab Inc. first visited in Laos to improve the condition of local houses and to distribute the clean cookstoves that recycle waste resources. This time, we began to work with 'The Bridge Company', an NGO that aims at making the bridge between Korea and Developing Countries with the support of KEITI (Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute).
During the two projects in six months for two years, Flint Lab has provided with stoves for the pilot test and trained how to use them in a total of 30 houses. In addition, we have laid the foundation for local optimization research with the National University of Laos and REMI (Renewable Energy and new Materials Institute).
'Flint Lab' with 'REMI'(L) and 'NUOL'(R)
Laos, especially when it comes to the urban areas, the public generally possess more than one stove beside wood stoves, to choose and select proper stove for the condition of time and purpose. Specifically, in the case of rural areas, charcoal / wood-fueled cookstoves are mainly used. In the case of Laos, the cost of gas or electricity is quite high that even if people have gas or electric stoves, they can't actually use them for a long time because of the expensive fuel cost. To make matters worse, when using the charcoal or wood stoves, they take plenty of time and make heavy smoke.
Smoke rising from the conventional stoves.
On the other hand, Flint's clean cookstove burns WASTE COOKING OIL or PLANT OIL. This stove is very new and different from conventional cook stoves. Particularly, it is advantageous on high thermal efficiency and a small amount of smoke & soot emission.
Hence, Flint cookstoves with reasonable price and high efficiency were ranked high in terms of the consumer's satisfaction rate, compared with the existing stoves. Ms. Thavisone, who prepared Laotian dinner with using Flint stove, said "When making the rice, it takes 1 hour by the charcoal stove, but only 30 minutes by this. The taste is even greater, and I also feel like healthier without smoke".
Users of the Flint stove say it had changed their life for the better.
In all process, local people who have experienced Flint stove suggested improvements, and feedbacks actively. The issues like utilizing batteries when cooking outside of the house or multiple layers for more efficient heat delivery have risen. In addition, to receive feedback on inconveniences during use, students from the National University of Laos consisted of a monitoring team, who conducted regular monitoring once a week.
Based on these data and the results of the studies that were conducted with the National University of Laos, a seminar was held under the theme of 'Comparing the Effectiveness of Clean Cook Stove Using Waste Cooking Oil from Different Sources' at the Environmental Engineering Dept., National University of Laos, in 2017. At that time, Flint Lab was invited along with ‘The Bridge’ to present the business and demonstrate the product. About 50 people attended and showed great interest in eco-friendly energy technology.
Feedbacks are given by NUOL monitoring team(L) and Seminar with the Environmental Engineering Dept.(R)
Now Flint Lab is preparing next year's business to spread cleaner energy to Laotian community. Let's see how Korea's Clean Cook Stoves are being spread through the second project, ‘Laos eco-friendly cookstove business’, which has made a good start in the prior project. With the eco-friendly combustion technology, we will make the residents of Laos use cleaner and more efficient alternative energy.
This project was held together with below organizations / institutions.