As a Hanoian, Nguyen Tuan Anh, a Fulbright scholar with master’s degree in business administration, thought of using the straw to create energy instead of burning it.
“Obviously, anything burnt will generate energy. People burn straw and then have to spend money to buy gas and electricity to serve their cooking and daily life activities. This is a big waste,” he said.
Anh’s biogas gasification stove which uses cobs and agricultural by-products was launched in 2014, one year after he began working on the ‘green stove’.
There are several kinds of green stoves. “All the stoves can use firewood. Some stoves are designed to better fit some different types of fuel. For example, cob-stove is the best if fuel is cob,” he explained.
“The product may not be optimal in terms of performance but optimal for the user: farmers can burn all the miscellaneous items found around the house,” he said.
|Hanoians who live in the inner city can smell the smoke from the burning of rice twice a year. Rice is harvested outside the city twice a year, and the straw is burned.|
Anh, who is now director of The He Xanh (green generation) Company, said he visited many different localities throughout the country to find out what kind of agricultural waste there is to introduce suitable stoves.
In Sapa, a mountainous area, husk stoves will not sell because farmers there don’t grow rice. The stoves need to be suited to the input materials available in localities.
According to Anh, the stove uses gasification technology. It’s two other outstanding features are fuel savings and emission reductions. It can cut 30 percent of CO volume and 90 percent of PM2.5 dust in comparison with traditional wood stoves.
When asked about similar products available in the market and the competition among stove manufacturers, Anh said the manufacturers all have one common competitor – the fence of a traditional stove.
A fence is enough to create a simple traditional stove. It is just VND30,000. Those, who don’t have money to buy fence can use three bricks to create a stove. Anh’s green stove is priced at VND150,000.
In 2017, Anh’s company sold 20,000 stoves with revenue of VND2 billion. As the target clients are in remote and rural areas, he needs special marketing methods to sell stoves. Ads on Facebook or internet will not work in this case.