"Cookstove-Biochar Ecosystems" for Clean Cooking and Soil Restoration in Bangladesh

Julien Winter
Publié: 26 juillet 2021
Dernière modification: 03 août 2021
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Bangladesh faces harsh challenges as it loses land to rising sea levels. However, the impact can be buffered if we raise the productivity of inland soils. Presently, yield is being limited by low soil organic matter.  We can increase soil humus by applying biochar fertilizers.  We have seen dramatic increases in crop yield. The challenge has been to make biochar, because good biomass in high demand for use as cooking fuel. We make biochar sustainably as a by-product of cooking by using a culturally-appropriate top-lit updraft (TLUD) gasifier stove for rural homes. When implemented in villages, we call this “the cookstove-biochar ecosystem” wherein the women with their cookstoves are ‘keystone’ species that make biochar possible, and farmers with their biochar are ‘ecosystem engineers’ that make ‘permanent’ increases in soil organic matter and biological productivity. Improved crop yields incentivize the adoption of cookstoves and the production of biochar.   


Asie du Sud
Échelle de la mise en œuvre
Terres cultivées
Écosystème agricole
Adaptation au changement climatique
Atténuation du changement climatique
Financement durable
Gestion des déchets
Gestion des terres
L'intégration du genre
Moyens d'existence durables
Réduction des risques de catastrophes
Santé et bien-être humain
Science et recherche
Sensibilisation et communications
Services écosystèmiques
Sécurité alimentaire
Traitment des eaux usées
Énergies renouvelables
Précipitations erratiques
Dégradation des terres et des forêts
Montée du niveau des mers
Manque d'accès au financement à long terme
Chômage / pauvreté
Objectifs de Développement Durable
ODD 1 - Pas de pauvreté
ODD 2 - Faim "zéro"
ODD 3 - Bonne santé et bien-être
ODD 5 - Égalité entre les sexes
ODD 6 - Eau propre et assainissement
ODD 7 - Énergie propre et d'un coût abordable
ODD 8 - Travail décent er croissance économique
ODD 12 - Consommation et production responsables
ODD 13 - Mesures relatives à la lutte contre les changements climatiques
ODD 15 - Vie terrestre
Obectifs d'Aichi
Objectif 4: Production et consommation durables
Objectif 7: Agriculture, aquaculture et sylviculture durable
Objectif 8: Pollution réduite
Objectif 14: Services des écosystèmes
Objectif 15: Restauration et la résilience des écosystèmes
Cadre d'action de Sendai
1: Réduire nettement, au niveau mondial, d’ici à 2030, la mortalité due aux catastrophes.
2: Réduire nettement, d’ici à 2030, le nombre de personnes touchées par des catastrophes.
3: Réduire, d’ici à 2030, les pertes économiques directes dues aux catastrophes en proportion du produit intérieur brut (PIB).
Approches pour l’engagement des entreprises
Engagement direct avec des associations
Indirect par le biais des consommateurs
Indirect à travers des gouvernements


Dhaka, Bangladesh | Shibalaya, Manda, Daudpur, Monohardi


Our project is complex and multidisciplinary. In a proof-of-concept intervention, challenges were addressed, but all aspects need continued research and broader participation by scientists and development workers.

Env1: Demand for fuel wood is greater than the supply, so compressed biomass fuels should be developed.

Env2: Locally appropriate agronomic use of biochar has to be researched and demonstrated.

Soc1: Villagers have to be acquainted, and have practical experience with several technologies at the same time.

Soc2: The knowledge has to take root in the village.  We deliberately target recipients who are innovators and curious to adopt new technology.

Soc3:  Women have to prepare fuel for the TLUD stove, but that can be somebody's livelihood.

Ecn:1:  The cookstove has to be affordable.

Ecn:2:  The 'ecosystem' will not develop its postive feed-back loops until biochar has acquired a 'commercial' value by virtue of farmers' experiences with yields.



Women and household:  healthier, livelihoods.  

Farmers: higher yields, lower costs.  

Country:  rural to urban migration; climate refugees. 

Planet: C sequestration.

Comment les blocs constitutifs interagissent-ils entre eux dans la solution?

The TLUD Cookstove - Biochar Ecosystem


There are many 'building blocks' in an ecosystem, but a only few of the play a predominant role.  Ecosystems are usually named after dominant features or species, such as the Sundarbans or Sal Forests.


In our ‘ecosystem’ women with their cookstoves are ‘keystone’ species that make biochar. Farmers with their biochar are ‘ecosystem engineers’ that make ‘permanent’ increases in soil organic matter and biological productivity.   


They interact through positive feed-back loops that reinforce each other through the flow of materials (biochar, manure, composts, foods, fuel) and money.  Biochar could increase Akha acceptance


Biochar increases the productivity of the ecosystem, with creates new opportunities for livelihoods.   Increases in cash income make it possible for families to purchase imported technologies such as photovoltaic energy, electronics, school supplies and medicines.  


Other minor 'species' or 'building blocks' in the ecosystem include women making TLUD fuels, agri-businesses making biochar fertilizers, and university professors.  This is called biodiversity.

Les impacts positifs

Top-Lit Updraft (TLUD) Gasifier Cookstoves compared to traditional biomass cookstoves:

  • Drastically reduced exposure of women to cooking smoke.
  • Automatically makes biochar as a by-product of cooking.
  • Uses half as much fuel, despite producing biochar.
  • Provides income through the sale or use of biochar.
  • Improves women's qulaity of life and empowerment.


  • Sequesters atmospheric carbon into soil organic matter.
  • Increases soil biodiversity and productivity by building humus in organic matter-depleted soils.  Soils with higher organic matter have:
    • better aeration
    • better retention of plant available water
    • a buffered supply of plant nutrients
  • Combined with urine and manures, conserves plant nutrients:
    • reducing damage cause by eutrophication of water and NOx emission to the atmosphere.
    • increases the efficiency of recycling plant nutrients
    • reduces the need (cost) of commercial fertilizers.
  • Improved crop growth
    • increases household income and village economic activity
    • increases the resiliance of crops to drought.
    • allows Bangladesh - a densely populate country - to compensate (partially?) from land lost to rising sea levels.

Contribué par

Julien Winter Bangladesh Biochar Initiative

Soumise par

Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh
Bangladesh Biochar Initiative