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Test Report, BioLite Home Stove with Wood Fuel, Air Pollutant Emissions and Fuel Efficiency
Jetter, Jim AND S. Ebersviller. Test Report, BioLite Home Stove with Wood Fuel, Air Pollutant Emissions and Fuel Efficiency. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/625/R-16/001, 2016.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) cookstove testing program was first developed to assist the EPA-led Partnership for Clean Indoor Air and is now part of the U.S. Government’s commitment to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (the Alliance). Goals of the testing program are to: 1. Support the development of testing protocols and standards for cookstoves through ISO TC (Technical Committee) 285: Clean Cookstoves and Clean Cooking Solutions. 2. Support the development of international Regional Testing and Knowledge Centers (many sponsored by the Alliance) for scientifically evaluating and certifying cookstoves to international standards. 3. Provide an independent source of data to Alliance partners. This work supports EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. Household air pollution, mainly from solid-fuel cookstoves in the developing world, is estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to cause approximately 4 million premature deaths per year, and emissions of black carbon and other pollutants from cookstoves affect regional and global climate. A coordinated multi-national multi-disciplinary approach, including the development of standards and testing, is designed to improve global health and the environment through clean cooking solutions.
Test results were obtained in accordance with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) IWA (International Workshop Agreement) 11:2012 that was unanimously affirmed by more than 90 stakeholders at the ISO International Workshop on Cookstoves on February 28-29, 2012 in The Hague, Netherlands. IWA 11:2012 provides guidelines for rating cookstoves on tiers of performance for four important indicators:  Efficiency/fuel use,  Total Emissions,  Indoor Emissions, and  Safety. Tier ratings range from 0 (baseline) to 4 (best). Tier 0 represents the performance of typical traditional open three-stone fires used for cooking, and Tier 4 represents aspirational goals for solid-fuel cookstoves. Efficiency/fuel use, total emissions, and indoor emissions are tested at high- and low-power operating conditions, and sub-tier values and ratings are reported for the two power levels, while the overall rating is the lowest sub-tier rating. Sub-tier values and ratings for many different stove types are compared in this report. Efficiency/fuel use is an important indicator, especially for cookstoves used in areas where fuel is scarce or expensive or where forest degradation is an issue due to unsustainable harvesting of wood for fuel. Greater fuel efficiency is desirable, but increased efficiency does not always correlate with reduced emissions of air pollutants. Efficiency/fuel use tier levels are based on thermal efficiency at high power and specific energy use at low power, per the IWA. The BioLite HomeStove was rated at Tier 2 for efficiency/fuel use. Total emissions of air pollutants from cookstoves have potential impact on human health and climate change. CO (carbon monoxide) and PM2.5 (fine particulate matter) are indicator pollutants specified in IWA 11:2012, and emissions of additional pollutants are quantified in this report, including gaseous pollutants CO2 (carbon dioxide), THC (total hydrocarbons), CH4 (methane), and NOX (nitrogen oxides), as well as particulate OC (organic carbon), EC (elemental carbon), and BC (black carbon). Total emission tier levels are based on the mass of pollutant emitted per useful energy delivered at high power and the specific emission rate at low-power, per the IWA. The BioLite HomeStove was rated at Tier 3 for total emissions. Indoor emissions have a potential direct impact on human health, and emissions may be reduced by stoves with cleaner combustion and/or with chimneys (flues). Stoves without chimneys are tested for total emissions into the indoor space, and stoves with chimneys are tested for fugitive emissions from the stove. Indoor emissions tier levels are based on emission rates, per the IWA. The BioLite HomeStove was rated at Tier 2 for indoor emissions. Safety is also an important indicator included in IWA 11:2012 for evaluation of stoves for protection from risk of burns and other injuries, but safety is not evaluated in this report. Cooking power is reported, because it is important consideration for meeting user needs. Cooking power for the BioLite Homestove was 1313 Watts. This report provides an evaluation of a cookstove system consisting of the stove, cooking pot, fuel, and operating procedure. During testing, the stove was operated as intended by the manufacturer. Actual performance of a cookstove used in the field may vary if the system is different (e.g., a different fuel is used) or is not operated as intended.