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International Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Technology (IJAERT) 53

Volume 4 Issue 4, April 2016, ISSN No.: 2348 8190

Comparative Analysis of Indoor Air Pollutants Emitted by the Advanced Stove


Relative to the Conventional Bioethanol Gel Stoves
Moses R. Kirumbi*, Cecil K. Kingondu*1
*Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Department of Materials and Energy Science and Engineering, P.O.
Box 447 Arusha, Tanzania
Email: mosesrkirumbi@yahoo.com
*1Corresponding Author: kithongo@gmail.com

ABSTRACT
This study was carried out to establish how the advanced
bioethanol gel fuel cookstove compares with its
counterparts in terms of indoor pollution. The tests were
conducted by using modified WBT where 2.5 L of water
in a 3 L cooking pot were brought to local boiling point
(95.2C). Portable emission monitoring system (PEMS)
with indoor air quality meter, model 7545 and the
University of California Berkeley (UCB) particle
monitor were used for monitoring and recording the
concentration of CO, CO2, and PM2.5. The overall CO
emissions over the entire WBT for the advanced,
motopoa, and motopoa imara stoves were 1.365, 2.13,
and 3.725 ppm, in that order, while CO2 emissions were
found to be 1100, 1065.5, and 1040 ppm, for the
advanced, motopoa, and motopoa imara stoves,
respectively. These values are within the acceptable
limits (6 ppm) for CO concentration and (1200 ppm) for
the concentration of CO2 in 24 h exposure time limit as
per WHO, USEPA, and ASHRAE guidelines. On the
other hand, PM2.5 emitted by the three stoves were 86.89,
82.67, and 133.56 g/m3, correspondingly. These values
are above the recommended limit (25g/m3) as given by
WHO. The CO/CO2 ratio for the advanced, motopoa and
motopoa imara stoves were 0.001 24, 0.001 99, and
0.003 58, respectively.
Keywords - Advanced, CO, CO2, Motopoa, Motopoa
imara, PM2.5.

1. Introduction
The combustion of biomass fuel either in solid or liquid
form produces harmful gases such as carbon dioxide

(CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen


(NOx), and particulate matter (PM) which are the
main sources of indoor air pollution [1-4]. It has
been reported that the exposure to these air
pollutants causes acute respiratory infections

(ARIs), chronic respiratory diseases and other


health problems. Globally, more than 1.3 million
people die every year from indoor pollution related
diseases with women and children being the most
affected [5-13].
Indoor air pollutants have different allowable
concentration and exposure time limits. According to the
World Health Organization (WHO), carbon monoxide
(CO) has the following allowable concentrations with
corresponding allowable exposure time in the bracket:
86 ppm (15 min), 51.6 ppm (30 min), 30.1 ppm (1 h),
8.6 ppm (8 h) and 6.02 ppm (24 h) [4, 13].
The allowable concentrations of PM2.5 as given by
the United States Environment Protection Agency
(USEPA) for 1 year and 24 h exposure time are 15 and
35 g/m3, respectively, [14]. On the other hand, Carbon
dioxide has allowable exposure time limit of 15 min for
the concentration of 5000 ppm [15].
Poor kitchen indoor air quality is associated with the
use of traditional solid biomass and liquid fossil fuels,
inefficient stoves, and poor kitchen designs [16]. To
improve kitchen indoor air quality, the focus has been on
enhancing kitchen ventilation, use of improved biomass
stoves and shifting from traditional solid biomass and
liquid fossil fuels to clean fuels such as bioethanol. [1-3,
17, 18].
The use of improved biomass stoves has been
reported to significantly reduce indoor air pollution [3, 8,
13], however, their emission level for CO, CO2, and
particulate matter is still above the allowable limits as
per World Health Organization (WHO) standards.
Pennise, Brant [12] reported that the introduction of the
improved stoves (charcoal, wood, open fire, and
kerosene) reduced the average kitchen concentration
(PM2.5) from 1250 to 200 g/m3, and the average value
of CO was reduced from 38.9 to 9.2 ppm. These values
are higher than the guideline values (25 g/m3 and 6
ppm) for 24 h exposure time limit [19, 20]. Moreover,
bioethanol gel fuel stoves have been shown to emit air
pollutants well within the acceptable limits for most of

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International Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Technology (IJAERT) 54


Volume 4 Issue 4, April 2016, ISSN No.: 2348 8190

the pollutants, particularly carbon dioxide and carbon


monoxide [13].
Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare air
pollutants emitted by the advanced bioethanol gel fuel
stove relative to the conventional stoves (motopoa and
motopoa imara). Pollutants which were considered are
CO, CO2, and PM2.5 since have been reported to be the
main pollutants produced by the bioethanol gel fuel
burnt [13]. NOx were not considered because the flame
temperature of bioethanol gel fuel is below 1000C [13,
15]. NOx is produced when the temperature approaches
1540C, enough to burn nitrogen in the air (Makonese,
Robinson [16].

2. Methodology
Experiment was carried out at the University of Nairobi
in a special kitchen designed for testing performance of
stoves. The size of the room was 250250 cm, it had two
windows of 8758 cm and one door of 20387 cm.
During the experiments, one window and door were left
open for ventilation and there were no other source of
pollution except stoves and two people who were
monitoring the experiment. Indoor background CO2
varied between 800 and 1000 ppm. At the end of each
experiment, both windows and door were left open for 5
to 10 min to allow air pollutants emitted during the test
to leave the room to prevent interference from residual
pollutants. Stoves were tested by raising water (2.5 L) in
a standard aluminium cooking pot (3 L) to local boiling
point of Nairobi (95.2C) [13].
Emission tests were done by portable emission
monitoring system (PEMS) which comprised of 1)
Indoor Air Quality Meter Model 7545 (IAQ-CAL) for
measuring CO and CO2 concentrations and 2) the UCB
particle monitor for measuring the concentration of
particulate matter (PM) of less than or equal to 2.5
micrometer.
2.1. Indoor Air Quality Meter (IAQ-CALC)
Indoor Air Quality Meter (Fig. 1) was used to measure
and record the concentration of both CO and CO2 in the
room. It measures the concentration of CO2 in the range
of 0 to 5000 ppm, has an accuracy of 3% of reading or
50 ppm, and its made with non-dispersive infrared
(NDIR) sensor for measuring CO2. For the case of CO,
the device measures the concentration of CO in the range
of 0 to 500 ppm, has an accuracy of 3% of reading or
3 ppm, and the type of sensor used for measuring CO is
electro-chemical. Both CO2 and CO concentrations were
recorded in the internal memory of the device and then
downloaded to PC for analysis.

Figure 1: Indoor Air Quality Meter. Source: TSI, 2015


2.2. University of California at Berkeley (UCB) Particle
Monitor
The University of California at Berkeley (UCB) Particle
Monitor (Fig. 2) was used to monitor and record the
concentration of particulate matters (PM) of less than or
equal to 2.5 microns aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5).
Particulate matters of this size have been reported to be
more dangerous than particulate matters of between 2.5
and 10 microns diameter (PM10), because they can
penetrate deep into the lungs and cause various health
problems such as asthma, and tuberculosis among others
[7, 21-24]. The device has the following specifications;
the lower detection limit is between 30 and 50 g/m3
while the upper is 25,000 g/m3.

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Volume 4 Issue 4, April 2016, ISSN No.: 2348 8190

of heat; and 5) Stove body comprising of 5 circular rings


of 290 mm diameter and three flat bars (mild steel) of
440 mm length, 20 mm width, and 4 mm thickness. The
rings were made from 6 mm diameter round bars of mild
steel.

Figure 2: UCB Particle Monitor. Source: Oketch [13]


2.3. Advanced stove
The stove (Fig. 3) consisted of the following main parts
as described in our previous study Kirumbi and
Kingondu [25] : 1) A cylindrical fuel chamber/reservoir
of 90 mm diameter, 180 mm depth, and 2 mm thickness,
made by casting and machining aluminium to form a
hollow cylinder in form of a sleeve; 2) A piston of 89.5
mm diameter and 30 mm length with a 5 mm deep
groove made 10 mm from the top of the piston, for an Oring to prevent fuel leakage. The piston was made for
adjusting the level of the fuel to maintain an optimal gap
between the fuel/flame and the cooking pot throughout
the cooking process, and thus maximize the amount of
heat transferred from flame to the pot. Additionally, the
adjustable piston was used to regulate the temperature
during cooking; 3) Rack and pinion gears made from
tool steel. The rack had 24 teeth and was 150 mm long
and 15 mm wide while the pinion gear had an external
diameter of 30 mm and 15 teeth. The rack and pinion
system was used to move the piston up and down in the
fuel chamber during cooking process in order to increase
or reduce the amount of heat transferred to the pot; 4)
Burner cover made from stainless steel and with four
equally spaced holes of trapezoidal cross-section. The
cover used to regulate the air flow for good fuel
combustion and in conjunction with the piston used to
regulate the strength of the flame and hence the amount

Figure 3: Advanced bioethanol gel fuel cooking stove


2.4. Motopoa stove
Motopoa stove (Fig. 4) was made up of the following
main parts: 1) Fuel reservoir which was a circular
container made of mild steel material and painted to
prevent rust formation. The reservoir had a diameter of
125 mm and 40 mm depth, and was capable of holding
350 g of gel fuel when full;
2) Reservoir cover/combustion chamber cover used to
cover the fuel reservoir had four trapezoidal holes to
allow air flow into combustion chamber and to facilitate
the transfer of heat from combustion chamber to the
cooking pot. The cover was connected to the flame
regulator lever by welding to control/regulate flame
strength; and
3) Stove body was rectangular in shape and was made of
using mild steel sheet and painted to prevent rust
formation.

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Volume 4 Issue 4, April 2016, ISSN No.: 2348 8190

conducted for 1 h. In the beginning of the tests the fuel


reservoirs were full and the fuel levels in the three stoves
were close to the cooking pot. At the end of tests the fuel
reservoirs were nearly empty for the case of motopoa,
and motopoa imara stoves. However, for the case of
advanced stove, the fuel level remained the same as it
was maintained by adjusting the piston.
2.7. Devices arrangements

Figure
4: Motopoa stove

Indoor air pollutants monitoring devices; Indoor Air


Quality Meter (IAQ-CALC) and UCB Particle Monitor
for measuring and recording CO2, CO, and PM2.5 were
set up as shown in Fig 6. The positions of these devices
were approximately to be 1.2 m horizontally from the
top of the stove, 1.2 m from the floor surface and at least
1.5 m (horizontal distance) away from windows and
doors as recommended by Pennise, Brant [12].

2.5. Motopoa imara stove


The stove (Fig. 5) was similar in construction to
motopoa stove except its body was made of using 3
circular rings instead of metal plates; two circular rings
of 290 mm in diameter and one ring of 220 mm in
diameter, both rings were made from mild steel rod of 6
mm diameter. The two rings (of 290 mm diameter) were
welded together with three pieces of mild steel flat bars
of 20 mm width and 4 mm thickness (stove legs) to form
the body, while the ring of 220 mm diameter was fixed
on top of the stove to form pot rest.

Figure 6: Water boiling and emission test layout


Figure 5: Motopoa imara stove
2.6. Experimental setup

3. Results and Discussion

Fig. 6 shows the experimental setup for the analysis of


air pollutants produced by the stoves. Modified WBT
was used where 2.5 L of water in a 3 L standard
aluminium pot were used, the WBT were done in
triplicates for each stove. Each experiment was

3.1. Total carbon monoxide (CO) produced


Carbon monoxide emitted by advanced, motopoa and
motopoa imara stoves in each test conducted were
monitored, recorded and then averaged. The CO average

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International Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Technology (IJAERT) 57


Volume 4 Issue 4, April 2016, ISSN No.: 2348 8190

values were 1.365 ppm for the advanced stove, 2.13 and
3.725 ppm for motopoa, and motopoa imara stoves,
respectively. Fig 7 shows the profiles of CO emission
from the beginning of test when fuel reservoir was full
and the fuel level was close to the pot to the end of test
when fuel reservoirs were nearly empty for the case of
motopoa, and motopoa imara stoves and the fuel level
had dropped significantly. For the case of advanced
stove, the fuel level remained the same as it was
maintained by adjusting the piston. Fig 8 shows average
CO concentrations with their corresponding standard
errors emitted by the three stoves tested: 1.3650.645,
2.130.68, and 3.7250.325 ppm, for the advanced,
motopoa, and motopoa imara stoves, respectively.

The results show that all the three stoves were producing
CO concentrations within the recommended limits (6
ppm for 24 h exposure time) as given by WHO [19, 20].
However, advanced stove emitted the smallest amount
(1.365 ppm) compared to that of motopoa stove (2.13
ppm) and motopoa imara stove (3.725 ppm), this was
attributed to proper fuel-air mixing afforded by piston
adjustment mechanism, which raised and maintained the
fuel at an optimal level thereby ensuring complete
combustion that translate to emission of CO2 and little or
no CO.
Motopoa imara stove gave higher CO concentration
(3.725 ppm) compared to that of motopoa (2.13 ppm),
and the advanced stove (1.365 ppm), because of the poor
design, especially the pot gap which was very small (5
mm) instead of the recommended one (25 to 30 mm)
[13]. Small pot gap limits the flow of air into the
combustion chamber leading to incomplete combustion
and emission of more CO than CO2.
3.2. Total carbon dioxide (CO2) produced

Figure 7: CO profiles for the advanced, motopoa, and


motopoa imara stoves during WBT.

The overall carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by all the three


stoves during the experiment were 1100, 1065.5, and
1040 ppm, for the advanced, motopoa, and motopoa
imara stoves, in that order. These values included indoor
background CO2 concentration (800 to 1000 ppm). Fig 9
shows the profile of the CO2 emissions in the room from
the beginning to the end of test. Fig 10 shows average
concentration of CO2 with their respectively standard
errors given for the three stoves tested: 11001,
106542.5, and 104013 ppm, for the advanced,
motopoa and motopoa imara stoves, respectively.
The high CO2 concentration given by the advanced
stove compared to that of motopoa and motopoa imara
stoves was due to good fuel and air combustion
conditions. On the other hand, the low CO2
concentration given by motopoa imara stove was
attributed to the small pot gap (5 mm) instead of the
recommended size (25 to 30 mm) [13]. The overall
results show that all the three stoves were emitted CO2
well within the recommended limits (1000 to 1200 ppm)
as given by ASHRAE [26].

Figure 8: Average CO concentrations emitted by the


advanced, motopoa, and motopoa imara stoves over the
entire WBT.
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International Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Technology (IJAERT) 58


Volume 4 Issue 4, April 2016, ISSN No.: 2348 8190

Figure 9: CO2 profiles for the advanced, motopoa, and


motopoa imara stoves during WBT

Figure 10: Average CO2 concentrations given by the


advanced, motopoa, and motopoa imara stoves over the
entire WBT.

Figure 11: PM2.5 profiles for the advanced, motopoa, and


motopoa imara stoves during WBT

Figure 12: Average PM2.5 concentrations given by the


advanced, motopoa, and motopoa imara stoves over the
entire WBT

3.3. Total particulate matters (PM)


Particulate matters (PM) emitted by the three stoves
were measured, recorded, and then averaged. The
average PM2.5 concentrations of 86.89, 82.67, and
133.56 g/m3, for the advanced, motopoa and motopoa
imara stoves, correspondingly, were obtained. Fig 11
shows the PM2.5 profiles over the entire test. Fig 12
shows average PM2.5 amounts for the entire test with
their corresponding standard errors as follows: 86.891,
82.6711.31, and 133.5735.79 g/m3, for the advanced,
motopoa, and motopoa imara stoves, in that order.

The average values of PM2.5 given by all the three


stoves were above the allowable limits as given by
USEPA (35 g/m3) [14], and WHO (25 g/m3) for 24 h
exposure time limit [20]. The higher values of PM2.5
were attributed to the nature of fuel (bioethanol gel).
Motopoa imara stove gave higher PM (133.56 g/m3)
compared to that of motopoa stove (82.67 g/m3), and
advanced stove (86.89 g/m3), because of poor stove
design, particularly small pot gap (5 mm) and higher
heat losses which was caused by the absence of
combustion chamber cover.

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3.4. Carbon monoxide carbon dioxide ratio (CO/CO2)


CO/CO2 ratio is been used to determine whether a given
stove and a fuel meets emission standards, and does not
give off excessive unburned hydrocarbons. CO/CO2 ratio
should be less than 0.02 [1, 16, 27, 28]. Results showed
that, the combustion of all three stoves met the emission
standards, since the ratio of CO/CO2 were all much less
than 0.02 as shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Average CO, CO2 and CO/CO2 ratio over the
entire test
Stove type

Average CO
(ppm)

Average
CO2 (ppm)

CO/CO2

Advanced
stove

1.365

1100

0.001 24

Motopoa
stove

2.13

1065.5

0.001 99

Motopoa
imara stove

3.725

1040

0.003 58

The advanced stove gave small CO/CO2 ratio (0.001 24)


in comparison with that of motopoa stove (0.001 99) and
motopoa imara stove (0.003 58). This implies good
combustion of fuel compared to motopoa and motopoa
imara stoves hence gave off small amounts of unburned
hydrocarbons.
4. Conclusion
Emission results showed that the values of CO and CO2
given by all the three stoves tested were within limits as
given by WHO, USEPA, and ASHRAE. But the values
of PM2.5 were all above the limits for indoor condition.
The advanced stove gave low CO concentration (1.365
ppm) compared to that of motopoa stove (2.13 ppm) and
motopoa imara stove (3.725 ppm). And high CO2
concentration (1100 ppm) compared to that of motopoa
stove (1065.5 ppm), and motopoa imara stove (1040
ppm). The average PM2.5 values given by advanced stove
for the entire test was 86.89 g/m3, while that of
motopoa stove was 82.67 g/m3, and motopoa imara
stove was 133.56 g/m3. Results show that all the three
stoves met the emission standards since the ratios of
CO/CO2 were much less than the limit (0.02).
Acknowledgements
Authors wish to acknowledge the financial support from
the government of The United Republic of Tanzania

through the Nelson Mandela African Institution of


Science and Technology (NM-AIST) in carrying this
research.
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