Journal of
Mechanical Engineering Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Mech. Eng. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2383
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMER
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 118

Full Length Research Paper

Towards sustainable energy utilisation: An analysis of various cooking fuel options in Malawi

Nkhonjera L. K
  • Nkhonjera L. K
  • Department of Sustainable Energy Science and Engineering, Nelson Mandela Institute of Science and Technology, P. O. Box 447 Arusha, Tanzania.
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Hameer S.
  • Hameer S.
  • Department of Sustainable Energy Science and Engineering, Nelson Mandela Institute of Science and Technology, P. O. Box 447 Arusha, Tanzania.
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Kosamu I. B. M
  • Kosamu I. B. M
  • Physics and Biochemical Sciences Department, University of Malawi - The Polytechnic, Private Bag 303, Blantyre 3, Malawi.
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  •  Accepted: 06 March 2013
  •  Published: 31 March 2013

Abstract

 

In Malawi, nearly all (95% rural and 55% urban) households depend on firewood and charcoal for cooking. Consequently, domestic cooking is contributing to unsustainable exploitation of forests which result into various adverse socioeconomic and environmental effects. On the other hand, recent scholarship has shown that cooking using other energy sources such as electricity, biogas, ethanol/gelfuel, liquefied petroleum gas, kerosene and jatropha oil is viable. The objective of this study was to find out if the available energy alternatives would be sustainably viable for cooking in Malawi. A sustainability analysis of the potential cooking fuels was conducted. It was found that a combination of electricity, ethanol/gelfuel, biogas, solar, and wood fuel (firewood and charcoal) from sustainably managed sources and use of energy efficient wood fuel stoves can provide sustainable energy for cooking in Malawi with wood fuel remaining dominant in the supply mix.

 

Key words: Sustainable energy, wood fuel, household energy, cooking, Malawi.