Scientists at the Dehradun-based CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP) have developed a special cooking stove for piped natural gas (PNG) that yields a higher fuel efficiency than a regular stove that runs on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
The stove could soon be rolled out in most metros in the country where PNG for cooking is available. The IIP has held preliminary talks with officials of the Maharashtra Natural Gas Limited (MNGL) in this regard. “The MNGL has purchased some stove units and is carrying out trial operations. In the coming months, we will have discussions with more state governments,” said a senior IIP official.
The calorific value of natural gas is lower than LPG’s. “Using this principle, we could design our stove so that it has a higher standard of fuel efficiency than an LPG one,” said a scientist from IIP, who displayed a model during the recently held annual meet of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) in Goa.
India spends crores every year to import LPG, which is one of the most widely used cooking fuels. There have been efforts to reduce the imports, but PNG has not penetrated everywhere. So far, it is available in a few metros and big cities. According to official records, there are approximately 35 lakh registered users of PNG, most of them in Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Delhi-NCR region. But the number of subscribers is increasing rapidly, say officials.
According to the IIP team, the overall cost incurred to a user can decrease even more upon switching to this stove from a traditional stove. “Natural gas is cheaper than LPG. We have calculated up to 15 per cent improved thermal efficiency when this stove is used. It has specially deigned holes that release the fuel,” said a member of the team.
Compared to a regular LPG stove, the IIP scientists have attempted a different design, where precision has been maintained in the diameters of holes on the burner, the number of holes and the height at which a vessel should be placed on the burner to receive optimum heat.
When asked if LPG can be used in this stove, an IIP researcher said, “The efficiency would not be appreciable and it would not be advised. This stove is best suited for domestic purposes.”
The IIP has given the stove to at least 39 stove manufacturing companies in India and the product is commercially available in Delhi-NCR.
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