Thursday May 29, 2014 0 commentsFORT COLLINS - Researchers at Colorado State University are using a $1.5 million grant from the EPA to examine the atmospheric effects of smoke from cookstoves used by 3 billion people in the developing world.
"About half of the world's population wakes up and starts a campfire in their kitchens to keep their families warm and fed," said John Volckens, the study's lead investigator and director of the CSU Center for Energy Development and Health, part of the CSU Energy Institute.
"Eventually, it all goes up in the sky and we inhale it, too."
CSU said researchers want to understand if atmospheric pollution could be significantly lessened by reducing the use of biomass cookstoves and how much of a reduction in cookstove use may be needed to cause a meaningful impact on climate change.
The three-year project will include laboratory testing of cookstove emissions, field visits to four developing nations where cookstove use is common and atmospheric modeling based on data collected.
For three weeks in August, Volckens and his team will gather an array of cookstoves and -- along with experts in airborne emissions-- will analyze the smoke from about 30 stove-and-fuel combinations. The project will eventually study hundreds of cookstove combinations, CSU said.
Partners in the project include the CSU colleges of Engineering and Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the Berkeley Air Monitoring Group, EPA Office of Research and Development and Carnegie Mellon University Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Also taking part in the study will be Envirofit International, a CSU spinoff company that makes clean-burning stoves for the developing world.