Adoption and use of improved biomass stoves in Rural Mexico

Kathleen Pine, Rufus Edwards, Omar Masera, Astrid Schilmann, Adriana Marrón-Mares, Horacio Riojas-Rodríguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


In households that rely on biomass for a large percentage of their energy needs, adoption of improved biomass stoves can result in significant reduction of indoor air pollutants and emissions of greenhouse gasses with concurrent health co-benefits. To maximize the effectiveness of the stove dissemination process, promoters should choose target populations that are both likely to adopt the new technology and to influence the opinions of other potential adopters within a social group. In the current study a longitudinal analysis of adoption patterns and intensity of use of a Patsari improved biomass cookstove was conducted in 259 randomly selected households of a community intervention study in rural communities of Michoacan, Mexico. Health promoters classified households into one of several stove user groups during a series of monthly follow up interviews after Patsari installation, based on physical traces of use and household self-reporting by questionnaire. Multinomial logistic regression was used develop a model of household and community characteristics associated with early adoption of the Patsari, leading to the development of bi-level model for targeting improved stove dissemination efforts. Factors including community of residence, number of adults in household, suffering from irritated eyes, using wood scraps for fuel, and cooking with certain types of traditional fogons were associated with early adoption of Patsari cookstoves. Maximum saturation of the Patsari in the study population was reached four months after installation; after this point, stove use decreased until eight months but remained relatively steady with 55% of the sample using the Patsari regularly from month eight onwards. Results highlight the importance of utilizing effective targeting strategies to maximize NGO resources and increase the robustness of the diffusion process, resulting in more stoves in actual use. Additionally, results point to the importance of evaluating the success of an improved stove program in terms of stove use over time, rather than the total number of stoves disseminated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-183
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy for Sustainable Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Developing countries
  • Indoor air pollution
  • Stove dissemination programs
  • Technology adoption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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