WAFFCO (Waste-Fuel Free Combustion)

WAFFCO, Waste-Fuel Free Combustion, is a closed biomass burning stove for households. Simple and cheap to produce, it is constructed mainly of clay and metal and designed to replace open-fire stoves. It serves as a free cooking technology since it is fired with the agricultural waste generated as well as domestic and packaging waste material.

Using this garbage as a heat source, the stove helps decrease the growing waste problem and saves households hours of searching for wood for burning. Heat and energy produced by these stoves can be also used for heating purposes and provide warm and sterilized water as well. This stove is so simply constructed that the complete product can be manufactured locally. Materials used for the stove such as burnt clay and high temperature resistant metal are also at hand in the region. The cooking stovetop consists of an upper metal plate for cooking purposes, whereas, the combustion chamber is made of fireproof clay-sidewalls with metal cover and front door. WAFFCO can be integrated with a boiler for the generation of hot and sterilized water.

Not only does the stove ensure a safe cooking atmosphere compared to local conditions, the emission and safety parameters are in accordance to German and European standards.

According to the World Health Organisation, one of the major causes of death and diseases in the world’s poorest countries is the indoor pollution arising from cooking from an open fire using dung, wood and coal. These materials emit pollutants that can double the risk of respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia. The public health burden of indoor air pollution is estimated at around four million premature deaths each year.

The WAFFCO solution adapts health and traditional cooking demands with a biogenic solid fuel-fired stove. Firstly, solid waste management is one of the main critical challenges faced by those in low-income categories. For example, Accra in Ghana produces around 0.6 kg per capita and up to 40-70% of this is biogenic waste on a daily basis. With an unreliable waste management system in the region, most of the waste ends up in the countryside, where it then passes through the rivers and lagoons into the sea creating serious health problems.

However, these burnable organic and packaging waste fractions, such as: crumpled paper and tetra packs do make valuable fire material and, above of all, free combustion material for WAFFCO. Using this waste on the device, these materials will be released into the atmosphere in an environment-friendly way. This is achieved through the innovative and simple flue gas corridor-shaped chicane system which ensures a longer residence time of the burnable gases and enhances the quality of flue gas. As a result, indoor pollution will be significantly reduced through the enhanced oxidation of the toxicological flue gases.

A one-week training workshop will be conducted in Ghana at four pilot manufacturing workshops by a special team of two engineers and a technician from Fraunhofer IBP. Afterwards, 25 WAFFCO stoves will be produced in each workshop on the basis of the stove modules and the training workshop. These stoves will be then distributed in Ghana. Due to the simple manufacturing of WAFFCO stove, the manufacturers are able to produce the stoves with the available tools and materials.

A WAFFCO stove can be purchased at 30-40 USD and lasts up to 10 years. This stove is regarded inexpensive for the consumer, who may earn an average of 3 USD per day in Ghana. The product is also suitable for public facilities and organizations such as schools, kindergartens, camps and other institutions with larger dimensioned stoves and integrated water boilers.



WAFFCO is a universal solid biogenic fuel-fired furnace with closed combustion chamber. It is made of fire-proof clay bricks with a metal cladding on the outer sidewalls and a metal front door. The upper part is the cooking plate connected to a small chimney. The fireplace consists of two space rooms: the main combustion room (39 X 31 X 22) cm and the chicane-corridor which is a combustion gas path above the main combustion chamber. WAFFCO can be integrated with a boiler for hot and sterilized water.

Technical Data:

  • WAFFCO (with and without Backing room) Fraunhofer IBP/Combustion and Exhaust Gas Systems
  • Tested according to                            DIN EN 12815:2005-09
  • Length X width X height                      0.48 X 0.28 X 0.47
  • Weight                                                30-50 kg
  • Fuel                                                     biogenic solid fuel and packaging material
  • Nominal heat output                           5.6 kW
  • Efficiency(with backing room)              80 %
  • Efficiency(without backing room)         75 %

Key Facts

Organization: Fraunhofer Gesellschaft
Website: https://www.fraunhofer.de/en.html
Contact: Mohammad Aleysa
Email: mohammad.aleysa@ibp.fraunhofer.de
Operating in: Germany


Food & Agriculture


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