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A Laboratory Comparison of Emission Factors, Number Size Distributions, and Morphology of Ultrafine Particles from 11 Different Household Cookstove-Fuel Systems


Shen, G., C. Gaddam, S. Ebersviller, R. Vander Wal, C. Williams, J. Faircloth, Jim Jetter, AND M. Hays. A Laboratory Comparison of Emission Factors, Number Size Distributions, and Morphology of Ultrafine Particles from 11 Different Household Cookstove-Fuel Systems. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 51(11):6522-6532, (2017).


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.


Ultrafine particle (UFP) emissions and particle number size distributions (PNSD) are critical in the evaluation of air pollution impacts on human health and climate change. Residential cookstove emissions are a major source of many air pollutants; however, data on UFP number emissions and PNSD for cookstoves are limited. In this study, eleven fuel-stove combinations covering a variety of fuels including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), alcohol, kerosene, pellets, rice hulls, charcoal and wood, and different stove types including natural- and forced-draft wood-fueled stoves are investigated for UFP emissions and PNSD using a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS, 14.6 to 661 nm). Combustion of LPG and alcohol (~1011 particles per useful energy delivered, particles/MJd), and kerosene (~1013 particles/MJd) produced emissions that were lower by 2-3 orders of magnitude than solid fuels (1014-1015 particles/MJd). Wood combustion in the 3-stone fire produced the highest emission of 2.3×1015 particles/MJd. UFP emission rates were ~1011-1012 particles/hour for LPG and alcohol, ~1014 particles/hour for kerosene and pellets, and ~1015 particles/hour for other tested systems. Differences observed are results of both fuel and stove effects, and particle number emissions should not be simply related to particular fuels given the convolution between fuel composition, fuel components, stove types, and convection design. Three types of PNSDs were observed: 1) a unimodal distribution with a peak in the nucleation mode around 30-40 nm; 2) a bimodal distribution with a high peak in the nucleation mode at ~20 nm and a second peak of ~80-100 nm; and 3) a unimodal distribution with the highest number concentration in the finest measurable size range. The fractions of particles smaller than 30 nm (F30) varied among the tested systems, ranging from 13% to 88%. The burning of LPG and alcohol had the lowest PM2.5 mass emissions, UFP number emissions and F30 (13-21% for LPG and 35-41% for alcohol). Emissions of PM2.5 and UFP from kerosene were also low compared with solid fuel burning, but a relatively high F30 value of approximately 73-80%.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 06/12/2017
Record Last Revised: 06/02/2020
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 337586