Haiti Reconstruction

Rebuilding Haiti must start from the ground up, with agricultural education

Cookstoves, Biochar, Vetiver & Biomass fuels


Cookstoves, Biochar, Vetiver & Biomass fuels

We are looking for Biochar experts and cookstove engineers to see the need for using vetiver and for Haiti Reconstrucion and Vetiver experts to see the need for biochar and cookstoves that produce it.

Members: 11
Latest Activity: Feb 9

Haiti needs billions of vetiver slips for hedgerows to save the land, if people see additional monitary reasons to plant it.  Such as selling cooking fuel instead of making charcoal.  They will be willing to plant more.

Once it is established they will realize it is producing more food as the biochar fertilizes the soil.

Biochar increases water holding capacity, nutrient retention, and creates beneficial conditions for soil microbial life thereby increasing soil quality and plant productivity.

Biochar production that can generate electricity or produce heat for cooking, boilers for manufacturing, and refrigeration through absorptive refrigeration technologies.

It effectively sequesters carbon from the atmosphere safely locking it in the soil restoring Haiti’s climate

We need experts in these fields to come together discussing best solutions using the enormaous amount of vetiver grass cuttings we should have some day.

Suggested subjects are:


Building efficient stoves & ovens for family, institutional and commercial cooking.


Boiler for commercial food processing. 


Biochar from human waste under anarobic conditions to make terra preta


Any other offshoots from Vetiver Grass uses and Biochar production you can think of

Discussion Forum

Making vetiver grass into Briquette pucks or Pellets? 1 Reply

Most TLUD stove designers seem to prefer wood or grass pellets rather than pressed briquette pucks. My experience in Haiti tells me that in order for new programs to succeed they must be implemented…Continue

Started by Mike Mahowald. Last reply by Robert Fairchild Jul 10, 2011.

Biogas - Septic Tank 1 Reply

  Biogas Generated From Organic Waste in An Ozeki Septic Tankhttp://www.ecohouse.co.nz/old/ebiogas.html…Continue

Started by Philip Wagner. Last reply by Philip Wagner Jul 6, 2011.

Alternative fuel sources 3 Replies


Started by Mike Mahowald. Last reply by Mike Mahowald Jun 14, 2011.

Universal Nut Sheller and use of Jatropha for small production of bio diesel fuel both in generators and in cookstoves 6 Replies

Presented by Philip Wagner It helps to have a nut sheller for easier ppo production. It…Continue

Started by Mike Mahowald. Last reply by Philip Wagner Jun 13, 2011.

Comment Wall

Comment by Jean-Luc Giraud on April 4, 2011 at 9:59pm
When it comes to Bio-char makers and Open Source Technologies please visit The Gasifier Experimenters Kit who are helping people learn about their machines, offer opportunities for people to learn the assembly of their machines so as to offer that service and the machines also produce electricity. They have dedicated people...
Comment by Natalie Moricette on April 5, 2011 at 2:15pm
Hey Mike, I was wondering has anyone on the Aquin side (across the river) of Cotes de fer planted any vetiver plants.  If so, did they take well?
Comment by Natalie Moricette on April 5, 2011 at 3:57pm

Lets say someone wants to plant the vetiver, who would they contact to purchase in Haiti? 

Comment by Robert Fairchild on April 5, 2011 at 6:17pm

The Biomass Energy Foundation   Stove & Biochar Workshops in 2011:


Comment by Robert Fairchild on April 5, 2011 at 6:30pm
Haitians already know how to make charcoal. Unfortunately their technique produces lots of smoke and wastes all the combustible gasses generated by pyrolysis. These gasses could be used for cooking or engine fuel. It will be something of a challenge to convince them to bury charcoal rather than burn it. One way to start would be to use the dust and scraps of charcoal that cannot be burned. Biochar needs to be mixed with compost and/or urine before being added to the soil.
Comment by Robert Fairchild on April 5, 2011 at 6:32pm

The Biochar Solution is an excellent book on the subject. See:


Comment by Robert Fairchild on April 5, 2011 at 6:41pm

I have built a few rocket stoves in Haiti. Ten so far  have been for school lunch programs in and around Gros Morne. We used imported firebrick, insulating firebrick, perlite, vermiculite, and castable refractory as we have not been able to find anything comparable locally. Excluding the shipping cost I think they have cost less than $100 each in materials. Shipping cost might double the cost. Still less than $200 each. See more on the stove construction at:


Comment by Mike Mahowald on April 6, 2011 at 12:41pm

Hi Natalie, yes I am sure they have planted vetiver west of the river from cotes de fer,  Most of the vetiver planted for oil is near Les Cayes.  Just ask the local people where you want the vetiver I am sure they will show you plants.  They will be in clumps not rows, these clumps can be cut and divided to multiply as shown by the young man cutting digging and cutting them on the home page.


 Vetiver International has tons of material on click here.   https://picasaweb.google.com/VetiverClients/VetiverSystemPropagatio...


Comment by Philip Wagner on June 8, 2011 at 12:57am


This my first comment since joining the group.

Cholera has raised it head again in Haiti with four dead. The rainy season has begun there which means more deaths will begin as effluent is spread over a greater area. What does this have to do with this group?

Water purification
One recently discovered attribute of vetiver is its capacity to purify water, and thus to help in wastewater treatment. Vetiveria zizanioides, a species widely present in India, can absorb many heavy metals, nitrogen and phosphorous from water. In studies conducted in China using vetiver to treat effluents from piggery farms, the results were quite encouraging. Using vetiver to purify water bodies is easy, too. Being hydrophyte, the plants don't require a separate medium to grow in water. The only arrangement required to make vetiver plants survive in water properly is a float to maintain the balance between roots and shoot and to make the plant stand erect. Cut pieces of bamboo make a good float.
Water ponds and tanks that are being cleaned and desilted would benefit from surrounding vetiver hedgerows to prevent future siltation, and floating platforms of vetiver on the ponds would significantly increase water quality. Spring heads can also be very effectively protected by vetiver. Additionally vetiver could be used in villages to help clean up household effluent.


Comment by Philip Wagner on June 8, 2011 at 11:19pm

As a follow-up of my first comment please click on the link below.



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