Today at Berkeley Lab

EHS Retiree Bruce King Donates 57 Darfur Stoves as a Parting Gift


EH&S Division’s Bruce King (center in Hawaiian shirt) recently retired from Berkeley Lab after 23 years with UC but he had one parting gift to make. At his retirement party on May 15, King announced that he and his wife, Joan, were donating a Berkeley-Darfur stove for every party attendee, a total of 57 stoves. The donation was made to Potential Energy, the Oakland-based non-profit that distributes Berkeley Lab-designed Berkeley-Darfur Stoves to refugees and villagers in Darfur, Sudan.

The Berkeley-Darfur Stove, a fuel-efficiency wood-burning cookstove that was designed and developed at Berkeley Lab, has continued to make a deep impact in Darfur. In addition to the stoves being given free to refugees in camps, the cookstove is in such high demand that some stoves are sold to local villagers. Potential Energy has distributed more than 47,000 stoves to women and families in Darfur and is well respected for their ability to provide real solutions in one of the hardest-to-reach places in the world.

As part of the festivities, a Darfur stove was used for chocolate fondue.

As part of the festivities, a Darfur stove was used for chocolate fondue.

King had always appreciated the impact of the stoves so he and his wife decided to generously provide more stoves to Darfur. “The best gift is a gift that is given to someone who needs the gift the most,” said King. “Solution? Have fun at a retirement gathering and give a stove honoring each person I worked with, to celebrate each person, our researchers, our energy research, and our EHS values while improving the lives of others, especially those in greatest need.”

With support from DOE and USAID, the Stoves Group at Berkeley Lab has continued to further advance biomass cookstoves research beyond the design of the Berkeley-Darfur Stove. The group has built and operates a world-class stoves research laboratory that participates in the development of standard protocols for validating proof-of-performance for advanced-cookstove prototypes for the worldwide cookstove research community. It is also developing and designing a next-generation ultra-low emissions cookstove that reduces harmful smoke (technically called “PM2.5 emissions”) by a factor of 10 compared to the traditional three stone fire. The knowledge gained from developing this cookstove will be transferred to the greater cookstove community through publications, presentations, and design guides.