Biomass as a fuel for cooking is a common practice in rural India, and about 700 million people use traditional stoves to meet their energy demand. However, the thermal and the combustion efficiencies of these stoves are very low, leading to an inefficient use of biomass, and also, resulting in significant indoor air pollution. Research development has however led to the development of some improved stoves viz., natural draft and forced draft for both domestic as well as large scale cooking applications and government is trying to promote them. Forced draft stoves using processed biomass fuels (pellets) have received more prominence due to their superior performance, however, higher initial cost and limited fuel distribution networks have remained the key challenges. Improved natural draft stoves too have gained attention for being relatively inexpensive, and they are more likely to hit the rural households. In this paper, we have examined the environmental benefits obtained by the use of improved stoves for two important scenarios: traditional stoves are replaced by (i)improved natural draft stoves and, (ii) by improved natural draft as well as forced draft stoves. In the best case scenario (case ii), i.e., by shifting 111 million households who currently use wood to the forced draft stoves, and another 45 million households who are dependent on dung cake and agro residues to the improved natural draft stoves, the emission reduction that can be achieved are as follows: particulate matter (PM) 875 kT, black carbon (BC) 229 kT, organic carbon (OC) 525 kT, methane (CH4)1178 kT and non methane hydrocarbon (NMHC) of 564 kT. With the promotion of only natural draft improved stoves, the total reductions would be ∼12% lower than the combinational promotion. The CO2 equivalent reduction is estimated to be ∼70–80 MT per year.
Journal of Environmental Management – Elsevier
Published: Dec 15, 2017
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