Effects of biomass pellet composition on the thermal and emissions performances of a TLUD cooking stove

Zhang Zongxi, Sun Zhenfeng, Zhang Yinghua, Ding Hongyan, Zhou Yuguang, Zhang Yixiang, Riaz Ahmad, Crispin Pemberton-Pigott, Dong Renjie


Indoor air pollution is ranked the 5th in the Global Burden of Disease index of the World Health Organization (WHO). Almost half of the world’s population depends on biomass fuels to meet their basic energy requirements for cooking, lighting and space heating. When fuel is badly combusted in poorly designed stoves, the fuel-stove combination results in high level of noxious emissions entering the home, accumulating to dangerous levels. In this study, a Chinese unvented top lit updraft (TLUD) biomass stove was operated with three different biomass pellets formed from corn stover, cotton stalk and peanut shells. The performance tests were conducted according to the latest standard from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture. The calorific value, moisture level, volatile matter and elemental composition are reported for each. The thermal efficiencies of the stove were 15.3%, 10.1% and 14.4%, respectively. The cooking powers were 2.68 kW, 1.61 kW and 1.57 kW. The exhaust was collected using a hood and tunnel. The CO, NO and NOX were drawn after passing 1.5 m along the tunnel and the Particulate Matter (PM) was sampled after 1.6 m. The Emission Factors (EF) for CO, NO, NOX and PM10 are reported on both a mass per unit energy delivered to the pot (g/MJNET) and a mass per mass of fuel basis (g/kg). The range for CO was 4.56-7.61 g/MJNET (11.25-21.25 g/kg); NO was 0.75-1.23 g/MJNET (2.09-3.04 g/kg); NOx was 1.13-1.90 g/MJNET (3.14-4.86 g/kg); PM10 was 0.59-0.85 g/MJNET (1.67-2.09 g/kg). The range in these values was more significantly influenced by the fuel moisture content and the percentage of volatile matter than by variations in the elemental composition.
Keywords: indoor air pollution, biomass stove, pellets, thermal performance, emissions
DOI: 10.25165/j.ijabe.20171004.2963

Citation: Zhang Z X, Sun Z F, Zhang Y H, Ding H Y, Zhou Y G, Zhang Y X, et al. Effects of biomass pellet composition on the thermal and emissions performances of a TLUD cooking stove. Int J Agric & Biol Eng, 2017; 10(4): 189–197.


Albalak R. Cultural practices and exposure to particles pollution from indoor biomass cooking: effects on respiratory health and nutritional status among the Aymara Indians of the Bolivian Highlands. University of Michigan, MI, USA, 1997.

Smith K R, Mehta S, Maeusezahl-Feuz M. Indoor air pollution from household use of solid fuels. Comparative Quantification of Health Risks, 2004; 18: 1435–1492.

World Resources Institute, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Development Programme, World Bank. 1998-99 world resources: a guide to the global environment. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 1998.

Bruce N, Perez-Padilla R, Albalak R. Indoor air pollution in developing countries: a major environmental and public health challenge. Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, 2000; 78(9): 1078–1092.

Siddiqui A R, Gold E B, Yang X W, Lee K, Brown K H, Bhutta Z A. Prenatal exposure to wood fuel smoke and low birth weight. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2008; 116(4): 543–549.

Po J Y T, Fitzgerald J M, Carlsten C. Respiratory disease associated with solid biomass fuel exposure in rural women and children: systematic review and meta-analysis. Thorax, 2011; 66(3): 232–239.

Pope D P, Mishra V, Thompson L, Siddiqui A R, Rehfuess E A, Weber M, et al. Risk of low birth weight and stillbirth associated with indoor air pollution from solid fuel use in developing countries. Epidemiologic Reviews, 2010; 32(1): 70–81.

Dix-Cooper L, Eskenazi B, Romero C, Balmes J, Smith K R. Neurodevelopmental performance among school age children in rural Guatemala is associated with prenatal and postnatal exposure to carbon monoxide, a marker for exposure to woodsmoke. NeuroToxicology, 2012; 33(2): 246–254.

Truong D L, Jaumard B. Indoor air pollution and blood pressure in adult women living in rural China. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011; 119(10): 1390–1395.

Clark M L, Reynolds S J, Burch J B, Conway S, Bachand A M, Peel J L. Indoor air pollution, cookstove quality, and housing characteristics in two Honduran communities. Environmental Research, 2010; 110(1): 12–18.

John M C, Smith K R, Peter S, Anaité D, Arana B, Schwartz J. Intervention to lower household wood smoke exposure in Guatemala reduces ST-segment depression on electrocardiograms. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011; 119(11): 1562–1568.

Saha A, Kulkarni P K, Shah A, Pate M, Saiyed H N. Ocular morbidity and fuel use: an experience from India. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2005; 62(1): 66–69.

Smith K R, Mehta S. The burden of disease from indoor air pollution in developing countries: comparison of estimates. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 2003; 206(4-5): 279–289.

Díaz E, Smith-Sivertsen T, Pope D, Tlie R T, Díaz A, McCracken J, et al. Eye discomfort, headache and back pain among Mayan Guatemalan women taking part in a randomised stove intervention trial. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2007; 61(1): 74–79.

Kshirsagar M P, Kalamkar V R. A comprehensive review on biomass cookstoves and a systematic approach for modern cookstove design. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2014; 30: 580–603.

Ruiz-Mercado I, Masera O, Zamora H, Smith K R. Adoption and sustained use of improved cookstoves. Energy Policy, 2011; 39(12): 7557–7566.

Bailis R, Cowan A, Berrueta V, Berrueta O. Arresting the killer in the kitchen: The promises and pitfalls of commercializing improved cookstoves. World Development, 2009; 37(10): 1694–1705.

Edwards R D, Liu Y, He G, Yin Z, Sinton J, Peabody J, et al. Household CO and PM measured as part of a review of China’s National Improved Stove Program. Indoor Air, 2007; 17(3): 189–203.

Zhang J J, Smith K R. Household air pollution from coal and biomass fuels in China: measurements, health impacts, and interventions. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2007; 115(6): 848–855.

Kishore V V N, Ramana P V. Improved cookstoves in rural India: how improved are they? A critique of the perceived benefits from the National Programme on Improved Chulhas (NPIC). Energy, 2002; 27(1): 47–63.

Philippone L E. What's cooking?: a mixed methods study of health perceptions and use of improved cookstoves in rural India. Dissertations and Thesis: Gradworks, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA, 2015.

Morrison L. Fueling Demand: The effect of rebates on household purchase of improved cookstoves in rural India. Household Air Pollution Improved Cookstoves Subsidies Rebates India, 2014.

Sawe E N. Wood fuels stoves development and promotion in Tanzania: Some selected experiences. Presentation to the European Biomass/COMPETE Workshop on Bioenergy for Rural Development in Africa and Asia, 30 Jun 2009. Available from: http://www.compete-bioafrica.net/events/ events2/hamburg/Session%202/S2-5-COMPETE-REImpact-Hamburg-Sawe-090630.pdf. Accessed on [2016-08-05]

Beyene A D, Bluffstone R, Gebreegziabher Z, Martinsson P, Mekonnen A, Vieider F. The improved biomass stove saves wood, but how often do people use it? Evidence from a randomized treatment trial in Ethiopia. Social Science Electronic Publishing, 2015.

Bodereau P N. Peruvian highlands, fume-free. Guest Editorial. Science, 2011; 334: 157–157.

Johnson M A, PilcobV, Torresc R, Joshid S, Shresthae R M, Yagnaramanf M, et al. Impacts on household fuel consumption from biomass stove programs in India, Nepal, and Peru. Energy for Sustainable Development, 2013; 17(5): 403–411.

Fiedler F. The state of the art of small-scale pellet-based heating systems and relevant regulations in Sweden, Austria and Germany. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2004; 8(3): 201–221.

Zhang Z X, Zhang Y X, Zhou Y G, Riaz A, Crispin P P, Harold A, et al. Systematic and conceptual errors in standards and protocols for thermal performance of biomass stoves. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2017; 72: 1343–1354.

Smith K R, Gu S H, Huang K, Qiu D X. One hundred million improved cookstoves in China: How was it done? World Development, 1993; 21(6): 941–961.

The Environment Department (Climate Change), the World Bank. Household cookstoves, environment, health, and climate change: a new look at an old problem. World Bank, 2011.

Kumar M, Kumar S, Tyagi S K. Design, development and technological advancement in the biomass cookstoves: A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2013; 26(10): 265–285.

Mestl H E, Aunan K, Seip H M. Health benefits from reducing indoor air pollution from household solid fuel use in China-Three abatement scenarios. Environment International, 2007; 33(6): 831–840.

Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China, General technical specification of domestic biofuel cooking stove. NY/T 2370-2013. Beijing, 2013. (in Chinese)

Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China, Test performance method of domestic biofuel cooking stove. NY/T 2369-2013. Beijing, 2013. (in Chinese)

Li N, Lu G, Li X L, Yan Y. Prediction of NOx emissions from a biomass fired combustion process based on flame radical imaging and deep learning techniques. Combustion Science and Technology, 2016; 188(2): 233–246.

Rogge W F, Hildemann L M, Mazurek M A, Cass G R, Simoneit B R T. Sources of fine organic aerosol. 9. pine, oak, and synthetic log combustion in residential fireplaces. Environmental Science and Technology, 1998; 32(1): 13–32.

Simoneit B R T. Biomass burning-a review of organic tracers for smoke from incomplete combustion. Applied Geochemistry, 2002; 17(3): 129–162.

Zhang Y, Tong D, Song K Y. Study on biomass thermo-chemical conversion techniques. Forest Engineering, 2012; 28(2): 14–17. (in Chinese)

Chomanee J, Tekasakul S, Tekasakul P, Furuuchi M, Otani Y. Effects of moisture content and burning period on concentration of smoke particles and particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from rubber wood combustion. Aerosol Air Quality Research, 2009; 9(4): 404–411.

Mcdonald J D, Zielinska B, Fujita E M, Sagebie J C, Chow J C, Watson J G, et al. Fine particle and gaseous emission rates from residential wood combustion. Environmental Science and Technology, 2000; 34(11): 2080–2091.

Bignal K L, Langridge S, Zhou J L. Release of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter from biomass combustion in a wood-fired boiler under varying boiler conditions. Atmospheric Environment, 2008; 42(39): 8863–8871.

Huangfu Y B, Li H X, Chen X F, Xue C Y, Chen C, Liu G Q. Effects of moisture content in fuel on thermal performance and emission of biomass semi-gasified cookstove. Energy for Sustainable Development, 2014; 21(1): 60–65.

Xie Q Q. Studies on the physical performance and combustion characteristic of the biomass densification briquetting fuel. Nanjing, Nanjing Forestry University, 2008. (in Chinese)

Li S H. To investigate the control of nitrogen oxide emissions. North China Electric Power Technology, 2007; (S2): 1–4. (in Chinese)

Shen G F, Wang S Y, Wei W, Zhang Y Y, Min Y J, Wang B, et al. Emission factors, size distributions, and emission inventories of carbonaceous particulate matter from residential wood combustion in rural China. Environmental Science and Technology, 2012; 46(7): 4207–4214.

Shen G F, Yang Y F, Wang W, Tao S, Zhu C, Min Y J, et al. Emission factors of particulate matter and elemental carbon for crop residues and coals burned in typical household stoves in China. Environmental Science and Technology, 2010; 44(18): 7157–7162.

Jetter J, Zhao Y, Smith K R, Khan B, Yelverton T, Decarlo P, et al. Pollutant emissions and energy efficiency under controlled conditions for household biomass cookstoves and implications for metrics useful insetting international test standards. Environmental Science and Technology, 2017; 46(19): 10827–10834.

Jenkins B M, Jones A D, Turn S Q, Williams R B. Emission factors for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from biomass burning. Environmental Science and Technology, 1996; 30(8): 2462–2469.

Dhammapala R, Claiborn C, Corkill J, Gullett B. Particulate emissions from wheat and Kentucky bluegrass stubble burning in eastern Washington and northern Idaho. Atmospheric Environment, 2006; 40(6): 1007–1015.

Full Text: PDF

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.