In the developing world, close to 3 billion people cook and heat their homes with biomass fuels such as charcoal. Typically charcoal burning stoves have relatively shallow and exposed charcoal beds which ignite slowly due to interference from the wind and a lack of air flow through the stove body and charcoal bed. As the combustion rate of charcoal is heavily dependent on the extent to which oxygen can reach its surface, devices that increase the amount of oxygen reaching charcoal surface can greatly speed its ignition, reducing the amount of time needed to begin cooking.
In many countries, such as China, Zaire, and Mozambique, a device referred to as a lighting cone is used to decrease the ignition time of charcoal. The goal of this research was to examine the lighting cone and its basic usage to identify important design parameters as well as to provide a basic model for field researchers to use when developing lighting cones.
Lask, K. (2013). Lighting Cones for Haitian Stoves, Master’s Thesis – Applied Science & Technology, University of California Berkeley.
The thesis may be found here: Lighting Cones for Haitian Stoves, Master’s Report