470184 Low-Cost, Potassium-Based, Catalytic Biomass Cookstove for Improved Indoor Air Quality

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Alex D. Paulsen, Tyler Kunsa, Andrew Carpenter, Nicholas R. Schwartz, Brett Alcorn, Ted J. Amundsen and Paul E. Yelvington, Mainstream Engineering Corporation, Rockledge, FL

An estimated 2.5 billion people regularly cook with biomass fuels such as wood or charcoal. Emissions from biomass cookstoves contribute to global climate change, indoor air quality issues, and related health effects. Exposure to high indoor air pollutant levels from cooking with biomass fuels is responsible for an estimated 1.6 million deaths annually and about 3% of the global burden of disease. Recently developed forced-air and “rocket” stoves offer improvements but are unable to consistently meet World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for indoor air quality.

Similar to the evolution of emissions controls for automobiles, advanced biomass cookstoves have progressed to the point where inclusion of an oxidation catalyst is the logical next step. However, the widely used noble-metal catalysts are prohibitively expensive. Recent work has identified potassium as an inexpensive soot oxidation catalyst, but potassium is limited by its stability. In this work, additional elements were used to stabilize potassium and promote its catalytic activity. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was used to determine both catalytic activity and catalyst stability. The most promising catalysts were then supported on cordierite monoliths and tested in a cookstove operated under common cooking conditions. Emissions monitoring equipment was used to demonstrate real world emissions (CO and soot) reduction by nearly 90% compared to traditional open fire stoves.

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