How will cleaner cooking and lighting practices impact regional air quality and climate in the Sahel of Africa?

EPA Grant Number: R835424
Title: How will cleaner cooking and lighting practices impact regional air quality and climate in the Sahel of Africa?
Investigators: Hannigan, Michael P. , Monaghan, Andrew , Wiedinmyer, Christine , Dickinson, Katie , Hayden, Mary , Dukic, Vanja
Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder , National Center for Atmospheric Research
Current Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder , National Center for Atmospheric Research , Navrongo Health Research Center
EPA Project Officer: Keating, Terry
Project Period: June 1, 2014 through May 31, 2017 (Extended to December 31, 2018)
Project Amount: $1,500,000
RFA: Measurements and Modeling for Quantifying Air Quality and Climatic Impacts of Residential Biomass or Coal Combustion for Cooking, Heating, and Lighting (2012) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Global Climate Change , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Tribal Environmental Health Research , Climate Change , Air


The overarching goal for this proposed work is to develop a better understanding of the social, physical, and climatological determinants of regional emissions and air quality linked to cooking and lighting practices in the African Sahel. To reach that goal we have four specific objectives: (1) test hypotheses about the impact of different cooking technologies on behavior and emissions at the local scale, (2) develop a comprehensive set of emissions measurements from traditional cooking and lighting practices, as well as from cleaner burning alternatives, (3) develop realistic scenarios of regional-scale technology adoption and emissions by scaling up the observed social data and derived emissions relationships, and (4) assess how clean cooking and lighting practices could impact regional air quality and climate.


For this study, we will leverage an existing stove intervention study of 200 households in the region; randomly selected rural households received pairs of improved wood cookstoves. We expand that intervention study to assess stove use behaviors and emissions for an entire year and add urban households and commercial cooking activities.  In addition, we will assess other non-cooking combustion emissions, including lighting, heating and trash disposal. Household surveys will be given at multiple time points to assess use of, demand for, satisfaction with, and impacts of cooking and lighting technologies across the intervention as well as the urban area.  These surveys will be supplemented with direct observations of cooking related behaviors to aide in assessment of time use (e.g., time spent cooking and gathering fuel) as these are not accurately determined through surveys. Using the next generation of novel, inexpensive air quality monitors, we will continuously monitor concentrations of CO2, CO, NO2, and VOCs in the households throughout the year as well as seasonal subsets of direct emissions measurements from actual cooking events.  We will include PM and VOC speciation as part of the direct emissions assessment. This data will be used to assess the relative importance of cooking emissions on ambient air quality. The resulting dataset will be used to create relationships between key controls and emission rates. The results from the observations, surveys and air quality measurements will be used to develop baseline and realistic technology adaption scenarios and their associated emissions. Finally, we will use those emissions estimates in WRF-chem to simulate atmospheric concentrations of both primary emissions and atmospheric products like ozone.

Expected Results:

The study will result in new knowledge about the links between human behavior, as related to cooking and lighting practices, and air quality and climate. One-of-kind emissions measurement database will be created and allow for more in depth understanding of the parameters that affect emissions. The population of this region of the world is projected to continue to grow at alarming rates, which will result in ever increasing emissions from cooking and lighting. Therefore worsening air quality conditions and associated health impacts will occur; this study seeks to find and evaluate potential solutions.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 14 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 8 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

willingness-to-pay, PM2.5, biomass burning, cooking, lighting, emissions, air quality, regional climate;

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2014 Progress Report
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • 2016 Progress Report
  • 2017 Progress Report
  • Final Report