Rocket stoves burn hot and clean, using very little wood or other combustibles. Vancouver industrial designer Liz To has designed a new version for Tibet, where they use dung as fuel. Liz notes that 1.6 million people die from indoor pollution from traditional "Three Stones" type fires every year. Meanwhile, in the west, 3.5 billion wire hangers end up in U.S. landfill every year.
Designboom describes it:
Canadian designer Liz to has repurposed unwanted wire hangers from north america as an opportunity for remote communities to build their own stove. The 'thab stove' is a template based on the portable dung stove used by tibetan nomads, created through a weaving of wire hangers to produce a vessel-like framework. this design can then be filled with stones and boulders to fabricate - from inexpensive rudimentary materials - a workable cooking stove that reduces the amount of smoke produced from burning fuel, reduces cooking time, reuses waste, and provides local jobs.
It is a really clever idea; wire hangers don't take up a lot of space, (200,000 to a shipping container) but woven into the stove shape and filled with rocks, they become a stable and effective stove. When it is time to move, you toss away the rocks and you have a light and portable framework of wire, that's it.
The stove won a few Canadian industrial design awards when Liz presented it at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and deserves more. See more at Designed by Liz and watch her make one in the video below, using a simple plywood jig, a vice and a hammer.