[Gasification] Belonio's Rice Husk Gas Stove Handbook
Paul S. Anderson
psanders at ilstu.edu
Fri Jan 13 18:02:23 CST 2006
Dear friends of small stoves and/or gasification,
The "Rice Husk Gas Stove Handbook" by Alexis Belonio (2005) has now been placed
on the Stove website at
The document in .pdf format is 3.6 meg, 155 pages long, with many photographs.
If you would just read the "Preface" (below) to the Handbook, you will see why I
believe that this is extremely important work concerning stoves and
gasification. I wrote the Preface, but nothing else. (Tom Miles will please
adjust the repp site comment-line.)
Alexis is now (as of a few weeks ago) a subscriber to the "Stoves" list serve
and will receive messages sent to that list. But those on the other list
serves (Gasification, ETHOS, ARECOP) should be sure to send a copy to him at
his personal e-mail address.
"Alexis Belonio - Philippines" <atbelonio at yahoo.com>
I will be bringing one of Alexis's rice husk gasifiers to the ETHOS meeting on
28-29 January in Seattle and I hope to present there about it and the other
T-LUD gasifiers that have been developed.
Please read the Preface (below) and get a glimpse at where the small-size T-LUD
gasifiers are headed!! Those of you in other networks (such as "Boiling
Point," and ProBEC, and Hedon) could please forward this or a related message
to your members/readers. Thank you.
PREFACE (By Paul S. Anderson, to Alexis T. Belonio's "Rice Husk Gas Stove
The importance of this Handbook and the work of Engr. Alexis
Belonio should not be underestimated. I have been given the honor to write
this Preface, and my intent is to illustrate the importance of this work.
The search for technology for clean combustion of low-value dry
biomass in small stoves suitable for residential cooking has been ongoing
for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. One relatively new technology
was identified and initiated in 1985 by Dr. Thomas B. Reed. He originally
called it Inverted DownDraft (IDD) gasification, but recently we have also
called it Top-Lit UpDraft (T-LUD) gasification, a name that more clearly
denotes what is actually happening in this combustion technology. The terms
gasifier and gasification refer to having any type of combustible gases
from dry biomass created distinctly separate from the combustion of
those gases, even if the separation is only a few millimeters and/or
Developments and adaptations of Dr. Reeds IDD or T-LUD
technology during the past twenty years have been slow, mainly without
commercial products, but discussed and shown occasionally as a
combustion curiosity on every inhabited continent. At one
conference/workshop in Thailand in 2003, someone from Sri Lanka gave a
demonstration seen by Engr. Belonio.
Alexis Belonio is an Agricultural Engineer who specializes in rice
husks and had previously made other stoves. For him there was only one
question: Could rice husks be meaningfully combusted in one of these small
gasifiers? For three years he worked in virtual isolation, but not in secrecy.
He simply did not have awareness of what others were doing and writing.
When I first contacted him by e-mail in October 2005, I introduced him to the
specialized literature and to the terminology of IDD and T-LUD gasification,
which he has readily accepted as applicable to his rice-husk stove.
By not having the prior literature, he was unaware that what he was
trying to do had been determined by Dr. Reed, myself and others as not
being possible in a viable T-LUD stove. He did not even know that he
should have been highly surprised that he has succeeded where others have
stopped short of success. Therein reside the three most important aspects
of his work!!!!
A. The Belonio Rice Husk Gas Stove is the first (and currently only) TLUD
gasifier that can utilize a small-particle fuel. This stove will pass
primary air upward through a thirty-five centimeter column of dry rice husks,
allowing the pyrolysis and char-gasification processes to consistently descend
through the fuel column. This means:
1. the ability to use raw unprocessed abundant rice husks as a
fuel for residential cooking, and
2. the positive prospects for accomplishing similar T-LUD
gasification for other small-particle fuels such as sawdust, husks from cacao
and soybeans, and uniformly coarse (not powdery) by-products from other
agricultural and industrial products, perhaps even sugar cane bagasse.
B. The Belonio Rice Husk Gas Stove provides a final flame for
cooking that is distinctly more blue (with the higher quality gases of H2,
CO, and CH4) than in the other variations of Reeds IDD technology with
mainly yellow flames from burning tars and other long hydrocarbons released
in pyrolysis. This means:
1. probably even cleaner combustion than what has been very
favorably measured for Reeds WoodGas CampStove and Andersons
Juntos B T-LUD Gasifier, and
2. favorable prospects for replicating that blue-flame
combustion in other small gasifiers using other fuels.
C. The Belonio Rice Husk Gas Stove can operate with remote
combustion (as opposed to the close-coupled combustion used in all other
T-LUD gasifier stoves). In other words, the top of the gasifier can be closed
and the gases can be piped to remote burners, undergo cooling, and still
produce a wonderful clean blue flame in traditional LPG stove burners. This
1. the batch-fed small-scale T-LUD technology has fully entered
the world of the larger and standard-setting gasifiers, and
2. the gases could probably be cooled, filtered and stored for
use-on-demand, possibly including use in high-value tasks like lighting or
fueling internal combustion (IC) engines for mechanical power or electricity
These three results alone are sufficient to mark Engr. Alexis Belonio as
easily one of the worlds top-ten developers of stoves using the IDD / TLUD
technology. Such stoves form a small pond without many fish, but
he is already a big fish in that small pond which could someday become a
lake or even an ocean for improved cookstoves.
Not everything is perfect. Much work still needs to be done. Already
Dr. Reed, Engr. Belonio, and myself have agreed to close collaboration for
further advances, and all others who are interested are invited to join with us.
The tasks include:
Fuels: greater varieties of fuels and assurance of adequate supplies,
Combustion: further work on both forced-air and natural-draft
versions, plus larger and smaller versions,
Applications: appropriately designed structures for cookstoves, for
space heating, for small heat-use industry, and the high-value tasks of lighting
and IC engines,
Human factors: reduction of cost of the various devices, designs for
specific populations, gaining acceptance by the users, relations with
governments and NGOs for rapid dissemination, and more.
We will be working on these and other issues as fast as we can. But
we will not be waiting for perfection before dissemination of the results. As an
example of this, I have encouraged Engr. Belonio to make minor changes in
the draft of this document and then proceed to release this Handbook as
soon as possible. This is his work, he deserves recognition for it, and the
information should not be delayed while awaiting a re-writing. His future work
is likely to include co-authors with a blending of ideas, styles, and credits.
Let him be recognized now for the major work he has accomplished with so little
The year 2005 is the Twentieth Anniversary of Dr. Tom Reeds
initial revelation and experimentation about inverted downdraft (IDD) or
top-lit updraft (T-LUD) combustion. Two major causes for celebration are
the Belonio Rice Husk T-LUD Gas Stove and the independent testing at the
Aprovecho Research Center that reveals the higher quality (lower emissions)
of the T-LUD combustion technology. Therefore, we look forward to 2006
when the innovative IDD / T-LUD technology comes of age (21 years old)
with expressions and applications in various countries around the world.
Paul S. Anderson, Ph.D. 10 November 2005
Developer of T-LUD gasifier stoves
Associated with Dr. Reeds Biomass Energy Foundation (BEF)
E-mail: psanders at ilstu.edu
Note: For those wanting to accompany the developments of T-LUD
gasifier technology, the best single source is to visit the Stoves website at:
http://www.repp.org/discussiongroups/resources/stoves and then search
Contributions by List Members seeking the names of the authors, or by
searching for the keywords like T-LUD and IDD and gasifiers. Also, consider
joining the Stoves List Serve (via the same website address) and participate
in the wide-ranging discussions and developments of all types is stoves for
developing societies and our resource-challenged world.
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