2014 Progress Report: A Global Map of Feasible Residential Solutions, Emphasizing Stoves with Space Heating Uses

EPA Grant Number: R835423
Title: A Global Map of Feasible Residential Solutions, Emphasizing Stoves with Space Heating Uses
Investigators: Bond, Tami C. , Bauer, Susanne , Edwards, Rufus D. , Francisco, Paul W , Masera, Omar , Princevac, Marko
Current Investigators: Bond, Tami C.
Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , Columbia University in the City of New York , University of California - Irvine , University of California - Riverside
Current Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
EPA Project Officer: Keating, Terry
Project Period: March 1, 2014 through February 28, 2017 (Extended to February 28, 2019)
Project Period Covered by this Report: March 1, 2014 through February 28,2015
Project Amount: $1,499,998
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: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Global Climate Change , Tribal Environmental Health Research , Climate Change , Air


This project addresses the questions: What are the effects of solid-fuel combustion in the residential sector on indoor air quality, outdoor air quality, and climate? What environmental benefits could result from a change in technology or fuels?

This work intends to change the evaluation paradigm for interventions in solid-fuel combustion by developing a map—that is, a spatially distributed analysis—of where emitters are located, which household services they provide, and what interventions can provide the same services. We seek to (1) understand fuel quantities used in and emission rates resulting from particular combustion devices, especially those that provide heating; (2) produce spatially distributed estimates of emissions under both “business-as-usual” and replacement scenarios; and (3) use comparative emission estimates, combined with computer modeling, to infer reductions in environmental impact.

The objectives of this project are to (1) produce a global resource-driven map of current emissions and plausible interventions for all residential uses of solid fuel; (2) improve understanding of emission rates and emissions attributable to space heating by adding measurements to four existing residential-energy projects; (3) incubate a Regional Testing and Knowledge Center with community presence and demonstrate successive improvement in interventions; and (4) model relationships between emissions, outdoor concentrations and global radiative forcing. 

In this project, a large number of partners are working together to achieve a common end. Abbreviations that appear throughout this report are: ICRT (Indoor Climate Research and Training) and CRT/N (Centre for Rural Technology—Nepal).

Progress Summary:

Task 1.1: Connect technology and emission map with woodfuel model

Three activities are proceeding in parallel to produce a global-resource driven map of emissions and plausible interventions. First, the current spatial-distribution model (Winijkul, Bond, and Fierce, submitted) has been finalized and papers have been submitted during the first year of the project. Figure 1 shows identification of the land types and emissions in the submitted paper. 
Second, the model described is being optimized to improve usability and reduce computation time. In the current model, we overlay global maps of forest cover, urban extents and nightlights to define global land types at a resolution of 2.5 arc minutes. Performing spatial analyses at this scale is computationally intensive. However, simplifications to speed this process, such as breaking the globe into smaller regions or simplifying polygons, add uncertainty and reduce model transparency. Using a Geographic Information System (GIS), we are evaluating the steps used to define five land types (urban, and electrified and nonelectrified rural with forest access), outlined in Winijkul, et al. (submitted). We are examining the extent to which assumptions affect the final land type definitions and ultimately emission estimates. We are nearly at the point where land type analyses can be run using a set of predefined GIS models, so that any user can recreate the same result and also see exactly the assumptions involved at each step. The calculation can be accomplished in about 20–25 hours without disaggregating the global domain of the original datasets, a requirement in the previous model iteration. While this runtime is considerable improvement, we are continuing to explore ways to improve the computational burden further. This will be especially important as more model inputs are added, increasing complexity. While spatial constraints are a critical component of the map development, considerable analysis occurs outside of GIS, such as estimating energy service requirements, and harmonizing with top-down energy inventories from the International Energy Agency. We are beginning the process of streamlining these calculations.
The final path is exploring new data resources that will incorporate new spatial constraints in the model, including income and access to roads. We are in the exploratory phase of this step and have consulted with GIS specialists and librarians at the University of Illinois to identify data resources. 
Task 2.1: Conduct intensive emission measurement campaigns in four locations
Development of emission sampling box
An emission sampler has been developed at the University of Illinois over the last 10 years with feedback from field-testing campaigns. Under another U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) STAR project (R. Edwards, PI), the emission box was reduced in size, and under the present project, further revisions to the datalogging were made. All data now log to an SD card, obviating the need for a laptop in the field and reducing theft risks. The emission box (minus accessories) now weighs less than 10 kg. It is described further in Appendix B.
Following instrument acquisition, home recruitment, and development of data collection instruments, the University of Illinois team responsible for the Alaska portion of the project (ICRT) traveled to Juneau, Alaska, to conduct the training, and then to Kake, Alaska, for testing. One of the primary tasks of the project is to develop local capacity for measuring emissions from wood stoves. Training included three people from two villages—Kake and Angoon—as well as project partner Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority (THRHA) staff. Following this training and in-field testing, the Kake staff were able to perform emission testing on their own, thereby achieving the goal of developing local capacity for stove emission testing.
In Kake, 15 homes were selected for testing. These homes were chosen because they had older, non-EPA certified wood stoves and were owned by residents who met low-income eligibility requirements that would allow them to qualify for new stoves through programs run by THRHA. By the end of February 2015, seven homes had been tested with the existing heating stoves while ICRT staff were onsite. Additional testing was scheduled for Kake staff in March 2015 (after the end of Project Year 1). Blower door tests were completed to evaluate home tightness, and fuel use monitoring was done. 
Stack measurements were done for a minimum of one complete burn cycle. Real-time data showed spikes of PM2.5 emissions and other combustion products. Sharp increases in PM2.5 concentrations in the stack were sometimes, but not always, associated with increases in indoor air concentrations. Although preliminary, the average PM2.5 emission factor of 15 g/kg fuel is quite similar to that summarized in an EPA synthesis report (18.5 g/kg, Houck and Tiegs, 1998). Overall, PM and CO emission factors were correlated (R2 = 0.84). Further details of the testing along with preliminary results are given in Appendix C of the progress report submitted to EPA. Appendix D of that report shows the fact sheet that we provided to the residents. 
Task 2.2: Improve fuel consumption estimates through surveys and monitoring
The original proposal described the development of a new Fuel Use Assessment Survey (Seasonal Kitchen Performance Test). Designing such a survey, however, requires preexisting knowledge about individuals’ and households’ behavior throughout the year. Following early discussions with CRT/N, we recognized that we lacked knowledge in this regard, and added development and implementation of a Semi-Structured Survey (Appendix E of the progress report submitted to EPA) to the activities. Following several discussions with CRT/N and Berkeley Air Monitoring Group, it became apparent that updates to the current Kitchen Performance Test to incorporate heating and other noncooking energy services and seasonality would benefit from a pilot survey. 
This survey was intentionally designed in a semistructured format that would allow more openness to participant response than occurs in the rigid survey structures required for efficiency within larger survey samples. The primary goal of the pilot was to identify a greater breadth of energy uses and habits. This information would be used to refine questions of the Seasonal Kitchen Performance Test (SKPT), prior to piloting in-field. It also was motivated by information suggesting that homes in this region engage in seasonal migrations for agricultural purposes. Understanding the extent of these migrations would be important for capturing seasonality of household fuel-use habits. Other questions of particular interest included which household member should be interviewed about different energy activities; specific behaviors that should be captured in the SKPT; seasonal migration practices in the village; fuel types for various activities; and how this changes over seasons, heating for animals, fuel collection practices, fuel storage, and differences across villages and districts. 
We conducted 20 semistructured surveys in the mid-hill region of Nepal, in villages from which the main study participants will be recruited. An initial assessment of survey results (in Appendix F of the report submitted to EPA) revealed qualitative insights into seasonal fuels and technology habits and fuel-use activities. Overall, the information gathered from this survey was quite informative. As a result, we have begun considering use of semistructured surveys for planning of future large-scale household assessments. 
Task 3.1: Initiate Regional Testing and Knowledge Center in Nepal
The original proposal postulated development of a Regional Testing and Knowledge Center (RTKC) with partners CRT/N. As described in the proposal to EPA, we assisted CRT/N in requesting support for an RTKC from the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and the proposal was successful. CRT/N installed an emission testing hood in 2013 and has provided testing results for stoves developed within Nepal. Illinois personnel visited CRT/N on three occasions: July 2013 (Bond, preliminary inspection of laboratory, and multiorganization “Training and Capacity Building Workshop”); June 2014 (Bond, discussion of RTKC objectives; Weyant, training on laboratory procedures); and August 2014 (Bond, participation in South Asia RTKC forum organized by CRT/N). 
An ongoing activity not envisioned in the original proposal is the Nepalese “Clean Cooking for All” program. Under this program, cooking stoves are being developed and tested throughout Nepal, not just at CRT/N. Dr. Bond’s visits to Nepal include meetings with players in this field, particularly the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), Rural Energy Testing Centre (RETS), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and Winrock. Continued engagement with these organizations will lead to a much broader identification of potential solutions (Task 3.2) than envisioned in the original proposal. 

Products from this project to date are:

  • High-resolution emission inventories for the residential sector of particulate matter, black carbon, organic carbon, carbon monoxide, methane, nonmethane volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide. These are done for the year 2010 and will be made publicly available when the papers are accepted.
  • Semistructured survey that can be used in any project to characterize residential energy consumption.
  • Design of emission sampler (partly supported by other funding, including EPA STAR). Schematics to support construction, instruction manuals and protocols will be made publicly available. 

Future Activities:

Task 1.1: Technology and emission map; Task 1.2: Fuel use and heating demand—Following optimization of the current model version, we will incorporate roadway layers and an uncertainty analysis of spatial parameters used to downscale reported national emission inventory data. In the next 3 months, we will begin discussion with coinvestigators at GIRA to improve the model components specifically related to forest access. We also will continue to explore new methods to reduce computational time. 
Task 2.1: Intensive emission measurements—In collaboration with Berkeley Air and the Center for Rural Technology–Nepal, we are finalizing study instruments and design to begin fuel use, indoor air quality, stove usage and emission sampling in July 2015. This will be the first of four seasonal monitoring sessions, which will represent the monsoon season. The earthquake that occurred near Kathmandu in late April 2015 did affect activities at CRT/N, resulting in some delays. The earthquake did not affect the households where field sampling is scheduled to take place. Further analysis of emission samples from Alaska is ongoing, including estimates of elemental and organic carbon emission factors and adjustment of PM2.5 emission factors with gravimetrically determined PM2.5 mass. Improvements to the Fumitron emissions sampler protocol and components currently are ongoing. During Year 2, we will complete the initial testing, analyze the data from these homes, and work with THRHA as they replace the heating stoves in all 15 homes. This will be followed by testing on the new stoves in the early part of the next heating season (winter 2015). In Year 2, initial testing at another site (Inner Mongolia) will begin. 
Task 2.2: Fuel consumption estimates—Tsinghua University conducted a rural energy survey during February 2015. Ms. Liqun Peng will visit the University of Illinois from June to August 2015 to incorporate the analysis of these surveys into the global map. Analysis of data from yet another site (Ulan Bataar, Mongolia), taken by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, will begin. 
Task 3.1: Regional Testing and Knowledge Center; Task 3.2: Progressively improved solutions—Training materials for all project components will be developed in collaboration with CRT/N over the next 6 months. Stoves from a nationwide testing effort will be recommended for implementation.
Task 4.2: Model global radiative forcing—Global emissions from the first round of mapping will be introduced into the Goddard Institute for Space Studies climate model with aerosol microphysics to estimate climate effects of scenarios. 


Journal Articles on this Report : 2 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 6 publications 2 publications in selected types All 2 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Winijkul E, Fierce L, Bond TC. Emissions from residential combustion considering end-uses and spatial constraints:Part I, methods and spatial distribution. Atmospheric Environment 2016;125(Part A):126-139. R835423 (2014)
R835423 (2015)
R835423 (2016)
  • Full-text: ScienceDirect-Full Text HTML
  • Abstract: ScienceDirect-Abstract
  • Other: ScienceDirect-Full Text PDF
  • Journal Article Winijkul E, Bond TC. Emissions from residential combustion considering end-uses and spatial constraints:Part II, emission reduction scenarios. Atmospheric Environment 2016;124(Part A):1-11. R835423 (2014)
    R835423 (2015)
    R835423 (2016)
  • Full-text: ScienceDirect-Full Text HTML
  • Abstract: ScienceDirect-Abstract
  • Other: ScienceDirect-Full Text PDF
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    emissions, size distribution, aerosol speciation, aerosols, clouds, radiative forcings, ambient air, regional air quality, regional climate, global climate

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
    2015 Progress Report
    2016 Progress Report