• Field research in Jilin province, China
  • Use of nephelometer in rural field setting
  • Characterization of indoor air quality and driving factors
  • Case study: three village-scale clean energy interventions


  • nephelometers promising, but must be used with caution
  • High-humidity samples or dense, poorly mixed plumes create nonsystematic optical distortion
  • Conventional measures of central tendency sensitive to distortion when high-humidity samples are not censored

Indoor air quality and driving factors in a rural Chinese village

  • Time-resolved CO and PM data enable characterization of peak pollution periods.
  • Diversity of fuels within single village facilitate investigation of fuel- and stove-related factors as well as tobacco smoking as determinants of indoor air pollution.

Though 24-h CO well within standards, a substantial fraction (27%) of peak 1-h episodes exceed WHO’s 1-h guideline & outliers surpass OSHA’s evacuation threshold. Short-term resolution is critical for characterizing acute risks posed by CO exposures in rural kitchens.

Adoption of “improved” cooking fuels does not suffice to reduce indoor air pollution where heating dominates fuel use. Health-oriented interventions limited to provision of improved cooking fuel are insufficient in cold climates.

File attachments: 

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott & Christa Roth, December, 2009

Chinese Draft Enhancer

Dear Friends

Working on advice brought by Cecil Cook from Lusaka, Peter Coughlin in
Maputo has tried using a short vertical tube (about 400mm) held over the
lighting charcoal to accelerate ignition. This tool is widely used in
Lusaka. It is typically 50mm in diameter and can be made from an piece of
scrap pipe or rolled metal sheet.

Peter reports that people using it have reported faster lighting and a
reduction in emissions during ignition (which is the smoky part of a
charcoal fire).

I tried a similar though larger tube over coal in a bucket and achieved a
dramatic reduction in particulate emissions - certainly more than 90%.


This principle is not only limited to Zambia, it is pretty widely applied by other charcoal users in the region.
Though the most perfect 'chimney' I have got is from China: It came as a standard accessory packed in the carton of the Chinese coal-briquette stove marketed in South Africa under the name of 'Lotti stove'. I think the stove is manfuactured by Shengzhou. So it could be standard chinese practice. The conical shape with the two little air-holes on both sides shortly below the top works much better than a straight tube. We used one at stove camp this year on a two-can TLUD instead of the upper straight can and draft increased considerably. Foto attached, but not sure if it makes it on the list. regards, christa

Hello stoves community,

At ETHOS 2009 we held a panel on stove safety, bringing in viewpoints from corporate standards development, national standards certification, and small to medium scale developers. The team led by Nathan Johnson (Iowa State University) included Crispin Pemberton-Pigott (New Dawn Engineering), Casper Thijssen (Philips), and Karabi Dutta.

The panel gave a comparative analysis of how different stove industries (multinational corporations, medium-scale companies, NGOs, small developers, etc.) addressed fundamental stove safety questions. These topics included:

a) applicability of standards and regulation;
b) incentives and benefits
c) facilities and equipment availability
d) cost vs. benefit
e) resulting action

We determined that each type of industry has a different perspective that influences their path or actions towards a safer stove. And that all sub-industries may not produce safer stoves given the same incentive mechanisms or policies. As such more than one path to safety may be needed to reach the greatest amount of end-users (and producers). The panel ended the discussion with an overview present work in stove safety with recommendations for next steps.

Please view the attached file for more details. I will be leading a group in 2009 to work on the following: assemble database of injury data, b) analyze incentive mechanisms, cost/ benefit, c) development of lab testing procedures for different stove categories, d) publication of findings/ results, and e) look for partnerships with international agencies to support safer stove design and production.

Please contact me if you have any questions. There will be more updates to follow. Best,
Nathan Johnson
PhD Candidate, Mechanical Engineering, International Development
Iowa State University

Charcoal Producing Microgasifier
Robert Flanagan, SAFFE, China, July 2007

This is a simple way to convert fibrous material with moisture of less than 25% to clean energy and charcoal or Carbon Negative Energy!!!

Manually-operated biomass pelletizer - clay as a binder?
Charlie Sellers, May 10, 2008
Honeycomb CoalHoneycomb Coal

Wood-Charcoal: Two Door Rocket Stove
Dean Still, Stoversource, May 2008

Dean Still shows the new two-door rocket stove designed by Aprovecho Research Center and being made in China.


Making Rocket Stoves in China
Dean Still, Aprovecho Research Center, March 28, 2008

Hi Stovers!

A lot of the folks on the List saw the Rocket stoves that we are making in China at ETHOS. John Page and I just spent ten days at the factory near Shanghai. Here’s a quick update on the China project.

The big news is that the lightweight, refractory ceramic combustion chambers are now being extruded at the rate of about one thousand per day. You can imagine that John and Dean were grinning ear to ear, watching the materials being mixed three times in the big grinders. When thoroughly mixed, the clay is extruded into the combustion chamber shape, pushed by a 100HP motor, and every twenty seconds or so, another combustion chamber is ready for drying. (There are photos of all this.) Drying takes about 30 days and then firing takes place in the huge coal fired kiln, as big as a supermarket. I think that we can fire about 20,000 combustion chambers at one go. The kiln is being fired and emptied simultaneously. The clay deposit is located one kilometer from the kiln.

The cast iron stove top was adjusted; raising the pot supports two millimeters, after further emission testing in the lab showed a reduction in CO and PM with a little higher clearance.

We have the first order for a container of stoves, which is going to India. The factory has arranged for a good set up price (about $600) for the packaging. The six sided box can be printed in the local language with desired designs and logos.

We are investigating shipping costs to and duties for all countries. There are different duties for whole stoves and for stove parts. We’re going to write up our experience and send it around to everyone, bit by bit, trying to share what we learn from this project.

You can contact me for the stove catalog, questions, etc…

All Best,

Aprovecho Research Center
541-767-0287 Oregon, USA

New Factory Under ConstructionNew Factory Under Construction

How to Make Charcoal
Robert Flanagan, SAFFE, January 30, 2008

I've just been playing around with my natural draft stove to see how easy it would be to use it for cooking and making charcoal.

I fed some extra fuel in the side to show the pyrolysis reaction taking place.

TLUD Gasifier in Ashden Award for Enterprise
Paul Anderson September 21, 2007
Shenzhou DaxuShenzhou Daxu


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