IMPROVING THE BIOFUEL UTILIZATION EFFICIENCY IN THE RURAL VILLAGES BY MODIFYING THE FIRE STOVE 'CHULHA Anupam Tewari and Ashwani Kumar* Kautalya Institute of Technology and Education, Sitapura, Jaipur, India. *Bio-Technology Lab Department of Botany University of Rajasthan, Jaipur - 302 004, India. Energy Plantation Demonstration project and Biotechnology Center ABSTRACT : Around 70 percent of the rural population of India relies on burning the bio-fuel in the form of fire wood, cow dung cakes, saw dust, crop residues, sugarcane remnants, coconut shell in various forms. The fireplace or the local language word “chulha” used for burning such bio-fuel is wasteful and uneconomic procedure besides causing the health damage due to incomplete combustion releasing lot of smoke which remains inside the kitchen which is generally devoid of any ventilator in the villages. With the result rural women encounter severe lungs problems. The dual loss of bio-fuel on the one hand due to improper burning and health damage to the hand prompted this study to work on alternative of the traditional system of bio-mass utilization in villages. Initially a survey was carried out on the type of “chulha” employed in the villages and bio-fuel utilized in Jaipur District of Rajasthan. Most of the villages utilize fuelwood stolen from the forests which gives poor fuel efficiency as it is not properly dried. A large section of villagers utilize cow dung mixed with some straw which results in waste of valuable FYM and disturbs the carbon cycle. Attempts were made to educate the villagers on the proper design of “chulha” to improve the fuelwood utilization efficiency and solving the health problems by designing the improved “chulha” which is under study now in several villages. Details shall be presented. 1 INTRODUCTION Around 70 percent of the population of India lives in Villages and is engaged in farming and agricultural activities. Greater proportion of this rural population depends on the biomass for its fuel requirements. Considerable amount of wood is collected from the forests legally or illegally for their daily needs (1-5). The total wood requirements far exceeds the total supply(6). This leads to deforestation at a very fast rate and according to some estimates this rate is 1.6 million ha. At the global level, according to recent estimates by FAO the annual tropical deforestation rate for the decade 1981 to 1990 was about 15.4 million ha (Mha). According to the latest data published in 1994, for the assessment period 1989-1991, the total area under forests is 64.01 Mha accounting for 19.5 percent of India's geographic area. The fire wood collected from the forests is largely in the form of partially dried wood or sometimes twigs and even green plants are cut for meet the fuel requirements in the rural as both the meals in India are cooked meals. The rural farming requires the oxen and other household animals which also require the “Baat” special meal prepared to them by boiling the “Binola” the seeds of Gossypium sp, “Khal” i.e. Oil cake from some of the common plants like mustard. It takes several hours to boil these materials and all this has to be done on poorly improvised stoves in the rural household. Although attempts have been made by Government of India for providing the rural electrification, rural gas supply of LPG, and also to develop Biogas plants. However the social consciousness about the use of cow dung in the Biogas plants gives a feeling that a smell is coming from the biogas which is the smell of cow dung and in most of the places in India the Biogas plants based on cow dung have not met with the desired success and there is a need of change of social outlook with respect to the use of cow dung in the Gober Gas plants in the rural area. The slurry left after the use in the Gober Gas Plant is rich in nutrients but the villagers out of ignorance don’t use it in the fields saying that the energy of this cow dung has been taken in the Gas plant and now this is of no value. There is largely joint family system and also the purdah system in rural India and for this reason the cooking stove is generally in the closed hutmant generally made up of mud and thatched roof. It is the womenfolk in the household who have to collect the firewood and also to cook in the house and also take care of the cattlefeed also. More often the women working on the gas stoves suffer from the respiratory diseases, eye infections. As the mothers keep their very young children in their arms due to lack of any baby care arrangements in rural areas the small children are also exposed to the smoke and fumes. 2544 2nd World Conference on Biomass for Energy, Industry and Climate Protection, 10-14 May 2004, Rome, Italy 2 METHDOLOGY Rural area in the Vicinity of Jaipur District in Rajasthan was selected for the detailed survey and investigation. This included Balabala in Sanganer area, Sitapura, Phagi, Jobner and Jhalana. The houses of the people were inspected and information on use of biofuel and the type of stove was collected. 3 RESULTS In all the areas under investigation the two type of houses were observed. One which were centrally located in the village belonging to the village officials or Government officials or relatively rich people who were largely engaged in the profession other than agriculture production, the use of LPG gas stoves, Karesone stoves, iron stoves was seen. However it amounted to less than one percent of the population using these resources in the vicinity of Jaipur, which is the capital of biggest state of the country. Some of the fuelwood species used for burning in the rural areas included trees like: Cassia fistula (Amaltas), Butea monosperna Capparis aphyll, Cassia siamea, Casurina equisitifolia, Cordia dicotoma, Delbergia sisso, Eucalyptus, tereticornis, Gravellia robosta, Hardwickia binata, Holoptelia integrifolia. Azardiracta indica. Prosopis chinensis, Prosopis juliflora, Sesbenia grandiflora, Salvadora oleoides, Stercularia urens, Temaris aphylla, Terminalia bellirica. Beside the tree species certain shrubs or annuals are also used for fuel purposes which include Crotolaria juncea, Cymopsis tetragonoloba, sesbnia, Aegyptiaca Calotropis procera, Jatropha curcas. These plants are used directly for burning in the rural areas of the country. Although the gas supply in cylinders was possible in the area of study and some of the rich people were using the same but the villagers have the common belief that use of gas reduced the nutrient value of the food and this social feeling prevents them from using the gas which may be much convenient to them. The cost of the gas supply had considerably been reduced and its availability has been increased by the Government still it is also beyond reach of the rural poor. Most of the rural poor are landless workers who keep on migrating depending on the job availability to them. They live in makeshift houses which have poor aeration. The cooking stove is make from the sand, clay, cow dung and some straw mixed in equal proportions and some bricks could be used to provide the supporting structure for larger “chulhas”. The cooking stoves were mostly housed in the closed thatched roofs of small hutmants measuring around 3m X 3m which had only one gate for entry and exit but now window. Once the stove was lit with the poor quality fuelwood the smoke was evident and soon the room was filled with the smoke as there was no proper aeration or provision of air supply to the “chulha” and no provision of exit of fumes from the closed room. In most of the cases observed it was the the youngest women in the family probably daughter-in law of the family who was responsible for cooking. Generally she had one to three children which remained in her company in the closed room during the working period of mother. The smoke emitting from the “chulha” resulted in tears in the eyes and reddening of the eyes. The smoke filled the lungs of the women as well as the children accompanying the women causing coughing and allergic reactions. Almost all the cooking stoves had no provision for the exit of fumes leading to accumulation of fumes in the room only. Due to poor construction there was great amount of heat loss from the “chulha” which rendered them inefficient. The model was prepared and used in the village on experimental basis. But there is greater need of popularising this “chulha” as the villagers are glued to the traditional “chulha” and generally do not accept any alteration in their cooking systems or “chulhas” easily. Attempts to popularise the modified “chulha” are underway and the help of the social scientist and some NGOs is sought in this area. 4 DISCUSSSION The global biomass energy potential is large, estimated at about 107 EJ/a. Hence, biomass has the potential to avoid significant fossil fuel consumption, potentially between 17% and 36% of the current level and CO2 emissions potentially between 12% and 44% of the 1998 level. Modern biomass energy use can contribute to controlling CO2 emissions to the atmosphere while fostering local and regional development. The use of biomass as fuelwood is leading to deforestation in the tropical regions at a very fast pace. In a country like India where 70 percent of the population is based on agriculture and related activities the shortage of fuelwool leads to use of poor quality fuel or sometime green fuel also, the device used for cooking in villages of poorly equipped “chulha” and emits a lot of smoke and suspended particulate matter. 2545 2nd World Conference on Biomass for Energy, Industry and Climate Protection, 10-14 May 2004, Rome, Italy There is urgent need to improve the construction of the “chulha” and during the present work a model “chulha” was developed for the use in the villages. However despite of the fact that it was very efficient the people were not willing to adopt this improved “chulha” for their homes. The rural people are also not willing to change the traditional methods of cooking. Help of some of social scientists is sought to study and induce the change in their attitude towards alternative sources of energy. 5 REFERENCES [1] A. Kumar and S. Roy, Biomass resources of semi-arid regions : Production and improvement of wood energy sources. Biomass for energy and environment. Eds Chartier, P. et. 1996, 721-724. [2] A.Kumar, Biomass energy crops of semi-arid regions of India and their energy potential. Biomass for energy and Industry. Eds. Kopetz, H. et al. 345- 348. 1998 [3] A. Kumar, 2001. Bioengineering of crops for biofuels and bioenergy. In : From Soil to call – a broad approach to plant life, (eds. L. Bender and A. Kumar). Gie Ben Electronic Library (GEB) www.Bibd.uni-giessen. de.14-30. [4] Roy, S. and Kumar, A. (1998) Potential of different tree species as source of biomass in Rajasthan IN; Sharma, R. N., Vimal, O.P.and Mathur, A. N. (Eds). Proc. bioenergy society fourth convention and symposium , 87 . Bioenergy society of Indian publication. New Delhi.62-66. 2546 2nd World Conference on Biomass for Energy, Industry and Climate Protection, 10-14 May 2004, Rome, Italy