The Story of Fishbone stoves
The story of the Fishbone stoves begins in Taiwan where portable stoves are popular. Portable stoves are often used in Taiwan for cooking, making tea, camping, and by restaurants. The most common fuel used in the stoves is butane gas. Gas stoves are clean, and do not stain the bottom of the pot with soot.
However, butane has two major weaknesses. Since butane does not vaporize below 0 °C, the gas stoves will not work in freezing temperatures. The other problem is more serious. If the butane container overheats, it may explode if the pressure rises too high.
An accident of this nature occurred in 1995. A fire in a restaurant in Taichung, Taiwan, caused 64 deaths and 11 injuries due to a gas leak in a restaurant. This made Taiwanese inventor Jianlin Wu ponder that there must be a safer way to design a stove. He started working on a stove that would be safe for indoor use. In addition to safety, the stove had to be easy to use, aesthetically pleasing, and use an easily available liquid fuel.
Mr. Wu was committed to the research and development of liquid fuel stoves and established Yayi Art Products Company in 1997. His first-generation stove was fueled by methanol. Methanol is low cost, easily available in Taiwan, and burns with a clean flame when mixed correctly with air. Mr. Wu refined his design over the years, until he came up with an exceptional design. He applied for multiple patents for his innovations in the years 2017-2019.
Even though the stove was only sold in Taiwan, it was noticed in Finland as well. The CTO of Jangport Oy, Matti Kokki, had identified a clear gap in the market exactly for this type of a stove. Jangport Oy acquired stoves from Taiwan in 2019 and quickly understood the value of the innovations, and the opportunities opened up by the unique technology and refined appearance. However, some further development work was needed: the stove was optimized to burn methanol, which is toxic and can be life-threatening if swallowed. The global stove market could clearly use such a new type of stove if it was redesigned to burn ethanol. Ethanol is a safe environmentally friendly fuel that is available everywhere.
Jangport Oy contacted Mr. Wu who was already familiar with Finland and its history, and was happy to start the cooperation. A joint venture between Jangport Oy and Yayi Art Products Company was established to develop an ethanol burning version of the stove and bring it to the global market. Despite the physical distance between the two countries and the worldwide pandemic that prevented travel, an ethanol version of the stove was successfully finalized after two years of research, development, and testing.
The result is the only ethanol stove on the market that has been designed to be used both indoors and outdoors. The new stove, sold under the Fishbone brand, has already been patented in Taiwan. The two companies have submitted a joint international patent application on the stove.
The manufacture, sales and marketing, and continued development of the stoves is done in cooperation between Jangport Oy and Yayi Art Products Company.