Rocket Stove Basics

I have been following the development of rocket stoves for over 20 years. Recently I have been doing more experimenting with them. I must say they are very impressive.

A rocket stove is an efficient cooking stove using small diameter wood fuel which is burned at a high-temperature because of the insulated fire box and chimney.

Cooking stove
The rocket stove was originally developed for cooking, where a relatively small amount of continuous heat is applied to the bottom and sides of a cooking pot. Stoves can be constructed from brick, recycled steel cans, or steel sheet metal, or can be purchased.
Although rocket stoves are found more commonly in third world countries where wood fuel sources are more scarce,  in recent years their use has increased in developed countries, such as the United States. Some are small for portability, with insulation inside a double-walled design and a chamber for partial biomass gasification and additional mixing to increase BTU production and to provide a cleaner, more complete burn. The advantage of rocket stoves is the very little fuel they need, such as wood and dry weeds, to be able to cook a whole meal with it, keeping the air cleaner with less hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide.

Rocket mass heater
The rocket mass heater uses the rocket stove principle within a system designed to both heat air directly and also to transfer much of the heat from the flue gases into a thermal energy storage, often made of cob. These heaters are becoming popular with DIY builders, in natural buildings and within permaculture systems.

Water heater
Rocket stoves can be used to heat water via a heat exchanger which transfers heat to a body of water in a nearby container.

If you prefer to  purchase one.

Design Principles for Wood Burning Cook Stoves. This manual covers the principles of Heat Transfer and Combustion Efficiency pdf file.

Designing Improved Wood Burning Heating Stoves. Various types of Heating Stoves are discussed in this illustrated booklet pdf file.

Aprovecho Research Center Publications
For over 30 years, Aprovecho Research Center (ARC) consultants have been designing and implementing improved biomass cooking and heating technologies in more than 60 countries worldwide. The Center was formally established in 1976, and is dedicated to researching, developing and disseminating clean cookstove technologies for meeting the basic needs of refugees, impoverished people, and communities in the developing world. For decades, ARC has been the world's leader in open source development of all aspects of improved cooking stoves.