The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif., gave out its annual awards on Wednesday night to companies and organizations that have created breakthrough devices for helping the environment and emerging nations. In this slide show, we present the winners.
Engineer Don O'Neal of Helps International invented this stove for families in Guatemala. A chamber in the stove is lined with ceramic bricks that can raise the temperature of the combustion chamber to 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the wood burns, and the oil from the wood vaporizes, too. As a result, the amount of firewood needed for a family is cut down 70 percent, says O'Neal.
That's hugely important in a country trying to deal with a growing population and deforestation. It alleviates poverty somewhat, as well--families have to spend about $28 a month on firewood, he says, and often have to transport it on their backs. A lot of people also get respiratory diseases or die from carbon monoxide poisoning, he added. Kids also frequently get burned on open fires.
The stove costs $120. "It pays for itself in six months," he said. Approximately 42,000 of the stoves have been installed in the country and nearby regions. The factory is in the coastal town of Rio Bravo because the cement, a part of the stove, cures better in that climate.
Caption text by Michael Kanellos, CNET News.com.