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Fabrizio Caputo's Fundraiser:

Unaterra Climate Project

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Fabrizio Caputo



Smokeless stoves mitigate climate change

Open fires and rudimentary cook stoves are inefficient, unhealthy, and unsafe while inhaling the acrid smoke and fine particles they emit leads to nearly two million deaths a year worldwide, primarily among women and children.

The project intends to develop a network of NGOs in developing countries that will contribute to replace 500,000 traditional stoves with pyrolytic ones within 10 years.

Pyrolytic stoves are smokeless: each new stove will contribute to reduce two tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year. In fact, CO2 is sequestrated in the charcoal residue instead of being released into the air as a pollutant. This residue is called biochar and is used as soil fertilizer.

In developing countries, about 730 million tons of biomass are burned each year, amounting to more than 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. Pyrolytic cook stoves may represent a soft way to mitigate climate change while improving households living conditions.



How does the pyrolytic stove work: syngas and biochar

Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of biomass occurring in the absence of oxygen. The products of biomass pyrolysis include biochar and syngas (a gas including methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide).

Combustion and decomposition of woody biomass and agricultural residues result in the emission of a large amount of carbon dioxide. Biochar can store this CO2 in the soil leading to reduction in the emission of GHGs and the enhancement of soil fertility. In addition to its potential for carbon sequestration, biochar has several other advantages.

> It can increase the available nutrients for plant growth, water retention and reduce the amount of fertilizer by preventing the leaching of nutrients out of the soil.

>  It reduces methane and nitrous oxide emissions from soil, thus further reducing GHGs emissions

>  It can be utilized in many applications as a replacement for other biomass energy systems

>  It can be used as a soil amendment to increase plant growth yield.



Key partnerships and beneficiaries

Unaterra Project is a UK based organization whose main focuses are climate change and sustainable development. Unaterra has created a worldwide network of NGOs committed to the proliferation of pyrolytic stoves throughout developing countries. To this day 24 organizations have endorsed the project.

Project partnerships include a global microfinance institution and an international carbon project developer.



Health, climate, poverty reduction

Today, an estimated 2.5 billion people, or about one-third of the world’s population rely on biomass fuel for cooking.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), exposure to smoke from these open fires and cook stoves leads to pneumonia, chronic respiratory disease, and lung cancer causing an estimated 1.6 million deaths each year. In the developing world, the disease burden from indoor smoke is comparable to the burdens from malaria, tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS.

Improved cook stoves with reduced emissions and greater fuel efficiency can achieve the following:

Reduce disease and save lives by decreasing exposure to indoor air pollution (IAP).

Reduce the risk of violence against women and children gathering fuel in areas of conflict.

Reduce the time and cost of procuring fuel, thereby freeing individuals for other productive activities.

Empower women and communities via engagement in the production, use, and distribution of cook stoves.

Mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including black carbon (BC).

Reduce pressure on forests and other vegetation and facilitate sustainable harvesting of biomass fuels.



Micro-programmes to ensure sustainable development

Eligible communities come from developing countries, use wood fuel for inefficient cook stoves or open fires and are close to a biomass residue source.

The project priority is to create the production conditions to enable communities to manufacture their own pyrolytic stoves in small factories. Once the foundations of this micro-industry are in place it will create opportunities to scale the trade more commercially.

The first operative step will be biomass identification and bio-briquettes production. Crop residues can be classified into two main groups: agricultural post harvest waste (rice straw, cane trash, peanut shell, corn leaves and cobs, cassava stem, coconut shell and leaves), and post processing agro-industry residues (rice husks, bagasse, cassava peels, peanut shells, coffee husks). Bio-briquettes will fuel pyrolytic stoves in place of wood fuel.

Households will purchase stoves under a microfinance scheme. The sale price will be between $10 and $30 according to local production costs. Families would have the option to pay a monthly instalment of $1-3 for 12 months. It is calculated that this expense would be generated from the savings made through the switch in fuel type.

On average a household will spend $37.50 to buy fuel wood (1,500 kg per year at 0.025 $/Kg with a combustion efficiency of 45%) but moving to pyroltyic stoves would buy 750 kg of bio-briquettes (efficiency 90%) at 0.015 $/kg saving about $2.20 monthly. Consequently, households would be able to fully pay for the stove within one year. In the case of open fires, with an efficiency of 15%, the annual saving is $ 112.50.

The intention is to start with 50 programmes able to produce 1,000 stoves each annually. We have identified 24 pilot projects in the following countries:

Africa: Botswana, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Sao Tome e Principe, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda

America: Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Peru

Asia: Bangladesh, Birmania, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal

Oceania: Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands

The development phase will cost just $105,000. We have approached social crowdfunding to raise funds for project development while the funding strategy for full project implementation will be based both on microfinance and international grants. Each project unit shall be self-sufficient based on projected profits. The sale of cook stoves and biobriquettes as well biochar commercialisation will ensure the community receives scalable revenue to further the development of the project. In addition to those profits, an alternative revenue stream will be generated through carbon finance. Every stove could avoid the emission of about 2 tonnes of CO2 enabling to issue two Verified Emission Reductions (VERs) which can be traded in the carbon market at price between 1.00 $/VER and 6.00 $/VER).



Where the money goes

Project development staff costs . . . . . . . . . . . . $15,000

Proof-of-concept expenditure . . . . . . . . . . . . . $30,000

Staff travel expenditure to project sites . . . . . . . $15,000

Legal fees for agreement and contract advice . . . . $5,000

Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4,000

Website development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $3,000

In-country coordinators expenditure . . . . . . . . . . $15,000

Dissemination activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $8,000

Miscellaneous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3,000

Fundraising fees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10,000

TOTAL                                                                             $105,000




You will make the difference

Your help will enable us to develop pilot programs .

The project will positively impact one million people in developing countries.

We will ensure better living conditions by reducing health risks caused by carbon monoxide.

We will reduce wood fuel gathering time for families. Time is a crucial factor for livelihood procurement.

We will stop pressure on forests.

Help us make a difference!!





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