Monday, March 24, 2014

Traditional & Smokeless Stoves

Smoke inhalation from a traditional, open-fire stove is commonplace for 3 billion inhabitants of developing countries, according to the World Health Organization. Respiratory health problems can evolve from smoke inhalation. According to WHO, over 1.5 million people die each year as a consequence of inhaling smoke from indoor wood-burning stoves, most of them women and children. Replacing traditional stoves with smokeless ones decreases air pollution and improves the quality of life for countless residents in the developing world.

Traditional vs. Smokeless Stoves
Traditional stoves typically burn wood, dung, coal and agriculture residue. These makeshift stoves are sometimes nothing more than a metal grid over an open fire, resulting in billowing smoke that isn't properly ventilated. Improved stoves that optimize combustion and vent smoke properly to the outside can reduce indoor smoke by as much as 90 percent, notes WHO. Both non-profit and for-profit organizations are involved in spreading the new, though still simple, technology of smokeless stoves.

Chulha Smokeless Stoves
Chulha smokeless stoves were designed by Philips Design with a chimney assembled in sections, making it easier to manufacture and transport. Models of the Chulha smokeless stove include the Sampoorna and Saral, which are both made of concrete coated with clay. The Sampoorna is an all-in-one cooking unit. The Saral has a basic cooking block, which allows the addition of more modular blocks for steaming or warming food. Both Chulha stoves can reduce indoor smoke pollution by up to 90 percent over traditional stoves.

The Smokeless Stove Project was organized to curtail the deadly effects of open-fire, traditional stoves used in a majority of homes in rural India. Open-fire stoves contribute to air pollution that can trigger deadly respiratory health problems. High concentrations of carbon monoxide, black carbon and respirable particles are emitted by open-fire stoves. Traditional stoves are replaced with more efficient ones, using local materials, such as brick, cement and stoneware pipe. A smokeless stove expels smoke from a house through a chimney, reducing the release of respirable particles by up to 80 percent.

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