Our mission: To eliminate Air Pollution from cooking and heating fuel usage in Bhutan.
Dazin provides both fuel & gasifying stove combined cooking/heating energy solution for institutions/households to save lives, reduce carbon emissions and help rural households to earn in Bhutan.
Dazin is a cooperative enterprise operating in partnership with Happy Green Cooperative in Bhutan.
Around 3 billion people in developing countries still use traditional fuels in open fires for cooking and heating such as firewood, charcoal and animal dung - the way it has been practiced since we discovered fire. Deadly smoke from open cooking fire kills 490 people every hour (4.3 million per year) globally, which is more than AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis deaths combined. South Asia suffers staggering loss of 41.7 million Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) due to Household Air Pollution. (Source: WHO)
Open cooking fires produces black carbon, which is second biggest contributor to climate change. Open fire cooking contributes more black carbon than all the cars and trucks black carbon emissions combined in the world. Dazin's focus area, Bhutan has one of the highest firewood consumption per person globally.
Dazin provides free Fuel Cookies and Smokeless Stoves combined solution to rural households in exchange of forestry wood waste. This collected wood waste is densified into fuel cookies in local factory.
The efficiency of our combined solution allows us to produce fuel cookies in excess compared to the wood waste collected. These surplus fuel cookies are sold in cities to offset the free services provided in rural areas.
Dazin follows an inclusive circular economy model to provide clean, reliable and renewable fuel in Bhutan while reducing greenhouse gases and generating jobs.
Born on May 8th, 1986, Deepak is the founder and the catalyst of “Dazin”. He comes from Punjab, India. He received his bachelor degree in Engineering in 2007 after which he went on to join a multi-national French-Italian company (STMicroelectronics) as an Electronics Engineer in New Delhi. During this time, he travelled extensively to rural India. He noticed that most people were trapped in the vicious cycle of energy poverty due to many time-consuming tasks, open cooking fires being one of the highest. He grew his interest in social and environmental issues. He resigned from his job in 2010 and got enrolled in Environmental Management (Master’s) in Aalborg, Denmark. He researched the problems of open cooking fires, found the leaders in this sector (Eric Reynolds and Mattias Ohlson) and spent time working with them (in Rwanda and Zambia) until he was confident to launch the most optimized solution for clean cooking in 2014.
Yes, we are super-serious. Fuel Cookie is nothing but compressed renewable forestry wood waste (without using any additives). Compressing agricultural waste can also make fuel cookies. It produces enough heat and burns without any smoke from the stove. Users in rural areas can count the fuel cookies and use them optimally to make their meal. Within a week of usage one can understand how many fuel cookies they need to make a particular meal.
The key to success for any startup is a cause and motivated team members. Deepak happened to found some like-minded people (Sangay Rinchen and Kinley Namgay) in Bhutan. Deepak was attending a conference on Organic Agriculture in Thimphu where he first met a farmer Sangay Rinchen. A short meeting ended up in a long partnership. They happen to share the same thoughts and they together envisioned Dazin and its mission in Bhutan. Later, Deepak also met Kinley Namgay in Tsirang. Kinley is the chairperson of a Community Forest in Tsirang and is well known for his service to the local community. There were other reasons too for selecting Bhutan as the ground for initiation. Bhutan is one of the highest firewood (per capita) consumers in the world mainly for its fodder, cooking and heating requirements. In fact, The Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) is totally dependent on unreliable and limited supply (only 700 tons/month) of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) provided by Indian Government. In July 2013, Indian Government had cut the LPG subsidy resulting in cooking energy crisis in Bhutan. According to Bhutanese Forest experts, the country is blessed with dense forests yet the forestry waste resources are under-utilized and inefficiently used.
Bhutan was a logical choice. By 2018, we aim to extend our work in Assam (North-East India), in the border region to Bhutan. We have selected places on few criteia. One is the right kind of locals that will participate and support our initiatives and the widely used open cooking fires and deforestation caused from it in densily populated communities around Assam.
Yes, each rural household signs an agreement with us in which the maximum limit of wood waste collection is mentioned and it is explained to them by our out-reach team. We carefully study the region’s availability and the requirements of each household to decide the limit for that region. There is no incentive for bringing more wood or forest waste. The rural households also have an easy target of minimum limit per year, so that they do not keep the stove unused. This is to make sure that only those who need the stove should use the stove with our fuel cookies.
Dazin has developed an inclusive supply-chain to access raw material, distribute fuel cookies and provide after-sales services. We ask people to arrange the wood waste collected in cubic meter near to the road at pre-defined location identified by the household and Dazin together. Our truck goes once in a month on every route, measure the volume of the wood waste collected and issue corresponding amount of fuel cookies to that household. Same channels are used to provide after-sales support and re-cycle any spare parts replaced in the stove.
About 2-6 pieces of fuel cookies are placed in the stove chamber and lighted from top using a bit of kerosene or small piece of paper. In less than 10 seconds, the stove’s small fan (somewhat similar to a computer fan) can be turned on, which blows air through holes at the bottom and the top of the chamber. The fire temperature increases until it reaches ~800°C/1472°F, causing the fuel cookies to gasify. Hot gas (same as smoke in open fire) floats to the top and meets more air to combust completely – without producing any smoke. This is based on a simple thermo-dynamics principle.
One can also use fuel pellets or dry wood twigs in the stove. The twigs will burn out quickly due to their lower density and higher moisture compared to fuel cookies. The stove produces 5 kW worth of energy, and the outer cover still does not become hot to cause any injury. The stove runs of rechargeable battery and powers the fan for 21 hours of cooking. The battery is charged using a solar panel or by plugging the charger in the grid. The combination of fuel cookies and gasifying stove consume 80% less fuel compared to an open fire cooking setup.
Dazin manufactures fuel cookies, however our customers get a combined solution of Fuel + Stove, in which stove is leased to them after taking nominal deposit amount. We buy the best fuel cookies burning gasifying stoves from our ethical stove-manufacturing partners in India.
Most of the people involved in Dazin are from the local community itself. Households have a high degree of trust when they deal with our people. The local people are trained in fuel production, raw material collection and after-sales services provided to the users.
Well, Bhutan is already 97% electrified and our products are still on high demand over here. We are not competing with electric cooking or any other cleaner form of cooking, but to give alternative for cleaner cooking and heating energy solution and to diversify the energy source at regional level.
Dazin is not just restricted to household cooking demands. It still has a high demand from industries that have replaced the coal in their boilers with the cleaner fuel. The demand for densified biomass (agricultural and forestry waste) is increasing globally every year in regions like India, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The transition is not easy yet in our experience people switch to our products mainly for the reasons:
Dazin is a project started in partnership of BoilingPoint in Denmark and Happy Green Cooperative (HGC) in Bhutan. HGC implements Dazin’s model as a farmers group project owned by community members in Tsirang, Bhutan. Anyone who actively provides raw material to us become our member and after 1 year of membership becomes a part owner. This also means that people who are not providing wood waste actively (urban customers, foreigners, etc.) cannot become owners of Dazin. HGC makes sure that the project is practicing effective community ownership model in Bhutan. There will be different legal structure in different countries depending on the local requirements.
Not many Bhutanese are aware of the revolutionary work in area of clean wood technology being launched by Dazin in Tsirang. This project has the potential to create a new wood based industry and significantly contribute to national energy security for cooking and heating purposes.
~ Dr. Phuntsho Namgyel, Former Cabinet Director & Forest Policy Analyst in Bhutan
Dazin addresses the complexities of open fire cooking with a comprehensive sustainable solution that tackles the root of the problem. Huzzah! Not only that, their replicable model significantly promotes environmental conservation with a financially sustainable model to provide affordable cooking energy solution for all. I feel very lucky to have connected with Deepak.
~Jerry Greenfield, co-founder Ben & Jerry’s
I and Ashoka have been delighted to support Dazin as a winner of our social entrepreneurship competition. Open cooking fires cause huge social and environmental challenges around the world and we need innovative scalable solutions to change the sector for good. Dazin is doing just that by providing affordable, reliable and renewable fuel while also generating jobs.
~Rob Wilson, Director, Ashoka UK
Our fuel facility funds came from:
With every $100 of investment, Dazin leases a stove to a rural family in exchange of continuous supply of forestry waste from this family. This collected wood waste is densified into fuel cookies in local factory. The family gets enough fuel cookies in return, which is used, in the leased stove without any smoke. The surplus fuel cookies saved from the contribution is sold in cities, allowing us to recover the cost of stove within 6 months. We use this money to buy another stove, so that another family can experience smokeless cooking. Imagine the ripple effect of doubling the stoves almost every 6 months just with a $100. Still not convinced, each stove also saves about 4 tons of carbon emissions per year. This carbon savings also gets doubled every 6 months.
We will make you part of our family. Become Dazin’s Passionate Cookie and contribute in following ways:
Donations can be made to BoilingPoint, a support association for Dazin based in Denmark.
If you are pitching in from outside of Denmark
We are based in Bhutan and Denmark:
Happy Green Cooperative, Bldg. No. 47, Gakyi Lam, Chamzamtog, Thimphu (PO Box Number 1771), Bhutan.
Phone No: +975 7710 2949 (Sangay T. Dorji, Representative)
BoilingPoint, Moseranden 2, 2970 Hørsholm, Denmark.
Phone No: +45 2127 9110 (Susanne T Nielsen, Chairperson)
+45 2245 2111 (Peter M Jakobsen, Co-chairperson)
Dazin is looking for new sources of seed funding to increase its impact.
Are you a student or newly graduated and want to make an impact? Join our Spark Team! You can send your reasons about ‘Why are you interested in Dazin?’ along with your resume. Write us to Dendup Namgyel, at hello.cookie [at the rate] dazin.org