Palawan farmer invents low-cost rice hull stove

By Anna Valmero

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, PALAWAN—Necessity truly gives birth to a lot of inventions and one good example of this is the rice hull-powered stove invented by Emil Abilong, a native of Quezon town in Palawan.

According to Abilong, the idea to invent the stove came from seeing that most people in remote communities in Palawan have no access to electricity such as those in some parts of his town.

He was looking for an alternative to expensive LPG (liquiefied petroleum gas) or kerosene that fuel traditional stoves when he passed by a stack of rice hull from a newly harvested farm.

“Since we have a lot of rice hull in the province, I thought why not use them for fuel since it is free and we don't need to travel far to get them. The only problem is how to use them more efficiently,” said Abilong.

In most parts of the Philippines, rice hull, coconut husks and tree branches are often used as fuel sources. Technically, these are called called biomass, a renewable energy source.

To fabricate the stove's parts, Abilong used scraps of steel plate and steel rods to form his prototype stove.

The stove, which sells for P1,700,  measures 20 inches in diameter on top and the base is made solid by reinforcing it with four steelrods.

To use the stove for cooking rice, one can fill it with two cups of dried rice hull. One can simply burn the rice hull and continue adding for a longer cooking time. The ashes are collected in the base and can be mixed as fertilizer for making compost.

“This is very sustainable because there is no waste after using the rice hull and you don't need gas or electricity to run it. It is very simple to operate,” added Abilong.

During the Palawan trade fair, Abilong was able to sell a handful of his stove. Over time, he eyes to mass produce his invention and partner with the provincial government, since he named the stove “Baham kalan” after Palawan Governor Abraham Khalil Mitra.

The governor said he has seen Abilong's invention and was impressed by it. He pledges to help the inventor find a way to mass produce his low-cost stove and distribute it to remote areas in Palawan.

(For those interested in purchasing this rice hull-powered stove, you may contact Quezon agricultural offier Urduja Saspa at 0908-2760777.)

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