Wood is the first biofuel

Wood for cooking and heating is the number one biofuel worldwide;

  • the largest use of wood in India & China
  • largest use of wood harvested in Cambodia.
  • largest use of wood is fuel for cooking in Ghana
  • 97 percent of all wood used in Tanzania
  • The largest use of wood in Brazil is for wood fires

Carrying firewood through the city16 developing countries in South and Southeast Asia use most of their wood supply predominantly for cooking and heat.

The UN says that using wood as fuel is expected to increase in line with population growth. Rising demand for fuelwood and charcoal is causing a halo of deforestation around many cities, towns, and roads. [report]

Grievances are in the news almost daily when commercial firms reduce local wood by harvesting forests for global industrial or consumer uses.

But wood as a fuel is not an important cause of deforestation, because forests are not the sole source of firewood: About two thirds of the world’s firewood is collected outside the forest. (link)

Woodlands, roadside and open yards are alternative sources for collecting fuelwood; residues from logging, wood industries, and tree plantations; wood recovered from construction waste; and waste packaging….

Emerging ideas
“People are very poor and could not possibly afford to buy a normal manufactured solar cooker. There are no stores that sell them because there is no market for them. So it will be necessary to make them. These are cardboard and waste foil.”

“It would be difficult to convince women that “The cooker may take a time to cook, but think of the time you would save by not having to walk so far and so often to bring firewood.

And a cooker may cost you money you think you cannot afford, but consider asking your man to give up drinking beer for a week or two.”

They would laugh and would not be convinced. And the man would growl, “It’s traditional for women to fetch wood. That’s not my problem!” Museum of Technology Mozambique