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Study finds emissions from widely used cookstoves vary with use
Date:5/29/2012

in operation, not accounting for variation in use. Bond's team developed a real-time analysis technique called Patterns of Real-Time Emissions Data (PaRTED) that allows researchers to compare emissions under different operating conditions and to measure how often a stove operates under certain conditions in the field.

"Wood burning is like a dance," Bond said. "A movie gives you a better understanding than a photograph. This is a way to make movies of how users change as they make fires, and that can help people understand emission rates and make better stoves."

Using PaRTED, Bond's team tested cookstoves in use in a village in Honduras and compared the field results to lab results. The researchers found that operation under less-than-ideal conditions produces the highest emissions. They also found that in the field, stoves are rarely used under optimal conditions, a scenario not reproduced in laboratory tests.

The team compared emission profiles, or the chemical makeup of the smoke, from traditional cookstoves and two types of improved stoves: insulated stoves and stoves with chimneys. They found that although stoves with an insulated combustion chamber could increase overall efficiency, they did not significantly reduce emissions per mass of fuel burned. Chimneys did reduce certain types of particle emissions but chimneys did not cut down on black particles, the type most harmful to climate.

"Our measurements confirm that changes in stove design cause a change in the way they operate," Bond said. "I think people weren't aware that changes in design actually change the profile of the emissions rather than just reducing emissions."

Next, the researchers will use PaRTED analysis to study variations in cookstove use in different regions of the world. Bond hopes that PaRTED and this study will inform future testing protocols for cookstoves in the lab, enabling researchers to more accurately test under realistic conditions a
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Contact: Liz Ahlberg
eahlberg@illinois.edu
217-244-1073
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

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