The Rocket Stove, a wood-burning stove with exceptional performance!
Rocket Stoves are designed to operate at high temperatures with virtually no combustion smoke. They allow you to burn wood that is generally considered too small (twigs and branches) to be used as firewood. Rocket Stoves, for example, use twigs to boil water much faster than an open fire. In this article we tell you all about how it works!
A little history
The ancestor of the Rocket Stove is the Argand lamp, patented in 1780. This oil lamp introduced a major innovation to provide more smokeless light by increasing air flow through a glass chimney above the flame.
The concept was revived in the ’80s by Larry Winiarski, technical director of Aprovecho, who first designed a Rocket Stove for cooking tortillas. This Rocket Stove won several awards in the 2000s thanks to its incredible efficiency.
What’s the difference between a conventional stove and a Rocket Stove?
Compared with a conventional fireplace or wood-burning stove, combustion is almost complete in a Rocket Stove. In fact, when wood burns, it releases volatile compounds such as smoke and soot, which are normally evacuated by the chimney. In a Rocket Stove, these compounds are drawn into the hot, insulated “combustion tunnel” where they burn, releasing even more thermal energy to fuel the process. The particular suction of the flames in the combustion tunnel and the “roar” that can be heard are the origin of the Rocket Stove name.
How does a Rocket Stove work?
They feature a compact, vertical combustion chamber into which the wood is fed: air is drawn in from beneath a grate and rises over the fuel and through the flue. They are open, so they can absorb a lot of oxygen. In fact, when the combustion tunnel heats up, the hot air rises rapidly in the “combustion tunnel”, drawing in a large quantity of air. This air then passes through the burning wood – creating the same effect as a chimney bellows on your fire.
No smoke without fire, but fire without smoke!
In conventional wood-burning stoves, the air intake is small and can be adjusted to be even smaller. This lack of oxygen stifles combustion and results in a lot of smoke. Smoke is synonymous with incomplete combustion or wasted energy. The Rocket Stove’s combustion chamber is highly insulated to prevent premature heat loss, and with its efficient combustion process it produces an enormous amount of heat. We’re used to associating smoke with fire, but with this type of stove, there’s fire even without smoke!
Watch out! The Rocket Stove is so efficient that care must be taken not to burn yourself when handling the dishes. A good stove can reach 150-200°C in 5 minutes. A transportable stove like the Ecozoom can produce up to 4.4 kW of heat, weighing less than 8 kg!
Easy to use
Paper balls and kindling are all you need to light a small fire at the bottom of the flue. Next, you need to ensure that the stove is supplied with enough dry wood during cooking: that’s all! You can cook your meal, heat water or mace to spread heat, while using much less fuel than a conventional wood-burning stove. The Rocket Stove can be used at home on the terrace or when camping.
Alternative cooking without fossil fuels
Rocket Stoves can be used in combination with solar cookers and Norwegian kettles. These combinations allow you to cook without fossil fuels whatever the season or weather conditions.