Integrating Improved Sustainable Technologies into the Heart of the Home — The Kitchen

EPA Grant Number: SU835088
Title: Integrating Improved Sustainable Technologies into the Heart of the Home — The Kitchen
Investigators: Bormann, Noel E , Ferro, Patrick D , London, Mara , Nowak, Paul , Stevens, Christopher E.
Current Investigators: Bormann, Noel E , Bannister, Ethan , Elmenhurst, Sidney , Ferro, Patrick D , Fry, Spencer , London, Mara , Matsumoto, Andrew , Nowak, Paul , Stevens, Christopher E. , Walter, Melanie
Institution: Gonzaga University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2011 through August 14, 2012
Project Amount: $15,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , P3 Challenge Area - Water , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Develop a simple ventilation system for kitchens in rural dwellings using electrical power generated from thermoelectric cells driven by waste heat from cooking fires. Develop and test a ceramic drinking water filter system that uses less fuel-wood to fire the kiln. Test the performance of a biofuel for cooking made from corn stover as a replacement for fuel-wood. A systematic integration of these technical developments will provide an effective and innovative approach to health challenges in the home.


The project will integrate technologies to: better the health of women and children via improved indoor air quality, develop a new and improved geometry for a ceramic water filter system, and enhance sustainability by reducing the amount of fuel-wood consumed for cooking and the production of filters. An electrical fan powered by a thermoelectric cell mounted on the cooking hearth will provide ventilation in the kitchen and improve the health of the inhabitants. A ceramic drinking water filter with improved manufacturability and simpler shipping requirements will reduce the need for fuel-wood in the kilns. The potential for use of a sustainable cooking fuel made from corn stover will reduce demands on the planet and having lower costs promises to increase the prosperity of the household and the communities.

Expected Results:

Students in the capstone design course sequence will produce a proof-of-concept implementation of the project devices as a course requirement, and will present the results both at the annual Gonzaga Center for Engineering Design Project Exposition and the Annual National Sustainable Design Expo. A publication will be prepared on the project findings.

Supplemental Keywords:

Filtron filters, biomass fuels

Relevant Websites:

Phase 2 Abstract

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • P3 Phase II:

    Integrating Improved Sustainable Technologies into the Heart of the Home-the Kitchen