This solution is especially for those regions of the world where wood-fired cooking stoves are used.
It will help save the respiratory health of a large number of women folk in backward regions where home cooking is considered the sole job of female gender.
Main idea of less smokey cooking stoves
The students of MTU not only created a design of wood-fired cooking stove that will emit less smoke from burning process but also they found ways to improve the kitchen environment to control indoor pollution
at its source.
Earlier efforts were made in India to make less smoke-emitting cooking stoves and were also distributed in communities on subsidized rates. But their design was not much user friendly and needed a little technical hand to use them for the best results.
How the idea was conceived?
The newly designed cooking stoves actually ensure best ventilation from it and from the cooking place as well.
This idea was actually conceived in a small town on the Guatemalan border with Mexico. A MTU environmental engineering student Kelli Whelan watched a kitchen over there with attic (double roof) to save the direct heat from the sun. The heat usually reaches the kitchen intensely after going through the one roof.
Despite full-scale burning of wood-fired stove in that kitchen, heat was not intense. The only problem was low ventilation which she with other class-fellows designed the kitchen with maximum exhaust to keep it safe from indoor pollution.
Students later on developed several models of kitchen and used in them biomass cook-stoves with different intensity.
They found the ventilation is the main challenge to combat the indoor pollution. If there is maximum exhaust space in kitchen then smoke will not stay in the kitchen either you use biomass stove or wood-fired stove.
Design of kitchen is equally important
It shows that apart from the design of the stove, the design of kitchen is also important. The study further revealed that maximum ventilation does not mean a lot of windows and exhausts but fewer or at least two windows in opposite direction.
In this way wind pressure from one direction comes in the kitchen and exhaust away the smoke emissions of the stove with it through the opposite window.
It may be pointed out that such stoves cannot be used in open air because of the wind pressure otherwise they can be least polluting stoves in the world.
The design of this project is under review of US EPA
and soon after its certification it will be publicized to help reduce indoor pollution in backward regions of Asia and Africa.
In many countries of Asia and Africa especially in their upcountry areas still wood-fired or dung-fired cooking stoves are used because of no supply of gas to these remote regions.
This newly discovered solution will help them a lot to reduce indoor air pollution if this way-out is communicated to them through their governments and community-based organizations.
So the need is just to pass on this solution to them with easy to understand tips.