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Biochar producing gasifier cooking system for enhanced fuelwood efficiency, women’s wellbeing and sustainable agroecosystems in Kenya

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Gasifier cookstoves produce heat for cooking through gasification of dry biomass at high temperature and produce charcoal as a by-product, which is used for further cooking or as biochar for soil amendment. Compared to conventional cooking practices, the gasifier is a cleaner cooking option that improves efficiency, and reduces exposure to smoke and need for firewood collection, a tiring and time-consuming exercise. The cookstove is suitable for fuelling with small pieces of wood, such as prunings from agroforestry trees reducing need for collection of forest residues allowing their accumulation into soil organic matter consequently enhancing biodiversity. When applied to soil, biochar helps to improve the crop yields and when used as fuel, households save money on the purchase of alternative fuels. Users, however, have faced challenges with fuel preparation, lighting and reloading fuel, especially when the fuel chars before the food is ready.

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