2018 Progress Report: Experimental Interventions to Facilitate Clean Cookstove Adoption, Promote Clean Indoor Air, and Mitigate Climate Change

EPA Grant Number: R835421
Title: Experimental Interventions to Facilitate Clean Cookstove Adoption, Promote Clean Indoor Air, and Mitigate Climate Change
Investigators: Bailis, Robert , Chandar, Mamta , Dwivedi, Puneet , Grieshop, Andrew P , Marshall, Julian D. , Talashery, Pradeep , Unger, Nadine , Zerriffi, Hisham
Institution: Stockholm Environment Institute , Jagriti , North Carolina State University , SAMUHA , University of British Columbia , University of Exeter , University of Georgia
EPA Project Officer: Keating, Terry
Project Period: September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2018 (Extended to September 30, 2019)
Project Period Covered by this Report: September 1, 2017 through August 31,2018
Project Amount: $1,499,985
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 objectives of the project are as stated in the original proposal. Specifically, the project has four broad objectives linked to improvements in clean stove design and dissemination and impacts on health and climate: 1) assess the acceptability and availability of stove technologies and fuels, 2) experiment by offering stoves for free or at a subsidy and under varying social interactions to determine the impact of these factors on stove adoption rates and outcomes, 3) measure impacts of stove adoption on air pollution, and climate-forcing, and 4) model impacts of stove adoption on regional and global climate through a range of scenarios. Fieldwork will occur in Himachal Pradesh (HP) and Karnataka (KA). The experimental stove sales and giveaways are funded by a grant from the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC). EPA funding is used only for surveying, monitoring, and field measurements of baseline conditions, and interventions in households with non-vulnerable populations.

Progress Summary:

During the fourth year of activities, the research team completed fieldwork and data collection. Specifically, the team finalized stove change-outs, household surveys, air quality and stove emission measurements, and continuous stove-use monitoring. In addition, we provided stoves to control households as agreed in their terms of participation. Data analysis had been ongoing throughout the previous year, but the pace has picked up since the completion of field work. Several papers have been submitted and/or published, as detailed below. Finally, the team requested and received a no-cost extension.  Here we report results from air quality and stove emission measurements, stove switch-outs in both locations, fuels consumption, and climate modeling.

Stove switch-outs

During recruitment, it became apparent that there was already significant penetration of LPG and electric stoves in HP communities but very limited penetration in KA communities. Despite the presence of aspirational stoves, 96% of HHs enrolled in the study reported that wood was their primary cooking fuel prior to our intervention. When initially offered a range of stoves, we found the majority of participants at all sites choose either LPG or electric stoves. A considerable minority selected other types of stoves.

Studying variation in baseline stove ownership and preliminary stove preference revealed that wealth and higher caste were significant predictors of pre-intervention ownership of non-solid fuel cooking options as well as preference for cleaner technologies offered through the intervention. The experimental treatments also influence preferences in some communities. When given the opportunity to exchange, households in one region were more likely to choose solid fuel stoves (p<0.05). Giving free stoves had mixed results; households in one region were more likely to select clean options (p<0.05), but households in the other region appeared to prefer solid fuels (p<0.10). When offered to exchange stoves in subsequent stove bazaars, nearly every household that did not initially select LPG selected it. By the end of the study, 86% of households in Karnataka had LPG. Among the households that were allowed to exchange, 98% had selected it.

However, selecting LPG does not mean that HHs forego solid fuels. The data we collected will allow us to determine this. At this time, we have preliminary results, which indicate that HHs used, on average, about 2.0 cylinders during the first year and 3.4 cylinders during the first year of the project. HHs cooking exclusively with LPG consume 7-12 cylinders per year. Thus, the average HH in our study probably cooks 25-50% of their meals with LPG. We will conduct further analyses in the coming year.

Air quality and stove emission measurements

This study had three ~3-month-long measurement periods (baseline: BL, follow-up-1: F1, follow-up-2: F2) for each location. Overall, 254 emission measurements were carried out, divided between traditional and improved woodstoves and LPG. We also conducted 1,673 days of real-time and gravimetric PM2.5 measurements in all participating households: 794 days in Kullu (235 BL; 338 F1; 221 F2) and 879 days in Koppal (364 BL; 277 F1; 238 F2). HHs usually cook 3 meals/day, which resulted in measurements of ~5000 events.

PM2.5 emission factors (EFs) from traditional stoves show strong seasonality. Similar patterns from organic carbon (OC) suggests that OC dominate PM2.5 mass and OC variability drives PM2.5 seasonality. Some variability between study sites is also evident. Among alternative biomass stoves tested, Envirofit rocket stoves had lower CO and OC EFs than traditional stoves during F1. EFs of all pollutants were lowest for LPG in all seasons and locations.

Indoor PM­2.5 measurements indicate that households with LPG as a primary or secondary stove are significantly less polluted than those without LPG stove. 24-hr average PM­2.5 concentrations were about 2 times lower in households having LPG relative to those without; this trend was consistent across both the locations.

Wood consumption

During the course of the study, we carried out over 300 3-day Kitchen Performance tests to determine whether the intervention resulted in a measurable impact on fuelwood consumption. For each 3-day test, fuelwood was identified by species and source (farm or forest), and daily consumption was measured controlling for wood moisture and family size. We found that wood consumption declines in both locations during the study; however, it declined in all monitored HHs, including the control group. As a result, although HHs that received stoves through the study used slightly less wood during follow up measurements, the treatment effect is not statistically significant. However, when the source of wood is disaggregated between farm and forest, we find a significant impact on demand for farm trees in Koppal (p < 0.1), indicating that treatment households used significantly less wood sourced from farmland as a result of the intervention.

Climate modeling

The atmospheric modeling component of the project has made significant progress in the past year. Using the NCAR CAM5-Chem within the Community Earth System Model (V1.2.2), team members performed 3 sets of model simulations using the configurations with and without solid fuel emissions globally and from India.

Future Activities:

This year the team will focus on data analysis, write up, and publications.

Journal Articles on this Report : 3 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 20 publications 3 publications in selected types All 3 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Huang Y, Unger N, Storelvmo T, Harper K, Zheng Y, Heyes C. Global radiative effects of solid fuel cookstove aerosol emissions. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 2018;18(8):5219-5233. R835421 (2018)
  • Full-text: ACP-Full Text-PDF
  • Abstract: ACPt-Abstract
  • Other: ResearchGate-Abstract & Full Text-PDF
  • Journal Article Jagadish A, Dwivedi P. In the hearth, on the mind: cultural consensus on fuelwood and cookstoves in the middle Himalayas of India. Energy Research & Social Science 2018;37:44-51. R835421 (2016)
    R835421 (2018)
  • Abstract: ScienceDirect-Abstract
  • Other: ResearchGate-Abstract
  • Journal Article Singh D, Pachauri S, Zerriffi H. Environmental payoffs of LPG cooking in India. Environmental Research Letters 2017;12(11):115003 (8 pp.). R835421 (2016)
    R835421 (2018)
  • Full-text: IOP-Full Text-HTML
  • Abstract: IOP-Abstract
  • Other: IOP-Full Text-PDF
  • Supplemental Keywords:


    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2014 Progress Report
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • 2016 Progress Report
  • 2017