May 24, 2018
According to estimates from the World Health Organization, exposure to smoke from traditional cook stoves burning biomass (wood, animal dung, crop waste) and coal – the primary means of cooking and heating for nearly three billion people in the developing world – causes more than four million premature deaths per year (2012).
India alone accounts for more than 1.2 million such deaths annually. Traditional cooking practices are also thermally inefficient and contribute to climate change through emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, and aerosols such as carbon black.
Fuel efficient ICS lowers emissions
To counter these effects, a New Delhi based non-profit research organisation, The Energy Research Institute (TERI), designed an energy efficient, improved cook stove (ICS), TERI SPT 0610. The ICS can operate with a range of traditional biomass fuels. Made from stainless steel, the inner core is fabricated from Type 304 (UNS S30400) where the combustion takes place, with Type 202 (S20200) for the outer structure and base as well as nuts and bolts.
Recent laboratory tests by the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi showed that the nickel-containing stainless steel stove performed significantly better than traditional cook stoves. Emissions are lower and it is more fuel efficient. The ICS demonstrated a combustion efficiency of 37%. When compared to a traditional mud stove, the tested model showed a reduction of 72% in particulate matters emission (PM 2.5), 80% in carbon monoxide emission, and 54% in fuel consumption.
Cooking up cleaner air
The deployment of 20,869 ICS between 2009 and 2015 has resulted in 43.6% reduction in cooking time and an estimated annual fuel wood saving of nearly 24,000 tonnes. Research conducted by University of California at San Diego, TERI and Nexleaf Analytics, suggests that switching to a clean biomass stove could reduce approximately five tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per household per year and will also reduce air pollution by 60-70%.
Through innovations like ICS, nickelcontaining stainless steel is contributing to cleaner air and better health in the developing world.