Project status for the biochar rocket stove please

I am a new member that joined because of my specific interest in the Forest Biochar Stove. I see there has been no or minimal activity in the last two years. I would appreciate a current project update and contact point so I can better know how I might help move this project forward.

Pinging Darren

Hello @Sebastopol, welcome. This project, as far as I know, is not dead but “slow burning”. Anyway I pinged @Darren to make him aware that you requested the update…


Hello @Sabastopol,

The Stove was up and running last winter doing all the cooking for 20-30 people.  The stove was modified a bit during this time to make it more useful (added an extra cooking surface on the fire box).  This summer its been demonstrated at three different events, one of which it was used, along with a TLUD stove to do the catering for the whole camp (150 people)

Its shortly to be delivered to a market garden project where it will live, and be used, for a while.

It would be nice to improve the documentation  eg. More/better photos, the design of the cooking  module could/should be 3D modelled (there are photos I added a couple of months back on the Appropedia page) etc.

There are possible improvements to the design that could be implemented, but this is probably more suited to a new build rather than modifying the existing stove.

Im also planning to interview some of the people that have regularly used it for cooking to see if they have any thoughts about improvements.

Interested in what you make of everything and how you may like to be involved?

Forest Biochar Stove


I’m new to the site and also don’t use social media much. I once joined something where I was the only one using my real name. Anyway, I am Marvin and live in San Francisco and Sebastopol CA. My experience is in international marketing and research. For the last few years I have been engaged in charitable purposed projects. I believe the “Revill” biochar stove has its best potential as a cooking device in the poorest countries. It is better than TLUD for the reasons Ed Revill has detailed. However, for the application I have suggested, it provides a potential for higher flexibility in selection of biomass and also would be much more feasible in terms of developing a fuel supply system than TLUD.

I would like to see a protoype for a simplified version of the stove that could cook corn meal mush and beans and that is convenient to load biomass and unload charcoal. Ideally, the unit would have some ability to control temperature and of course be safe to use indoors. This may be too much, but it is good to start with a wish list. To have a product that is ultimately going to be manufactured in a country such as Kenya or Haiti, it has to be as simple as possible and also have as much cost driven out of it as possible. I will be very happy to provide supporting material and justification for the opinions I have expressed which may sound controversial.

Regads, Marvin.

Simplified Stove

Not sure if the stove could be simplified much.  The cooking surface could be.  Or you could cook directly on the open flame on top of the rocket, although the stove would not burn quite as efficiently, tests suggested that a 2 meter riser was necessary to get the best burn.  Stove construction requires a skilled welder as the welds on the retort need to be gas tight to stop the retort leaking noxious gases.

Heat regulation, if you are talking about cooking heat, can be achieved by moving pans to a cooler part of the hot plate (away from the top of the stove riser).  The stove is designed to burn fuel fast and hot (when combustion is most complete)

Good post. Your points are duly noted, particularly about gas leaks. The stove needs to be designed assuming people will attempt to use it indoors even if that is not recommended.