Heart of the Hearth 
One way of developing clean biomass stoves is to think of the combustion chamber separately from the stove itself.  If a clean robust “heart of the hearth (HOH)” can be developed and mass manufactured, it could potentially be brought to villages where it would be inserted into a stove body customized for local needs.  To try this out, we are contributing to a project to develop a HOH for massive chimney stoves, which have been quite popular in many parts of the world, but have not to date been very clean although good ones save fuel.  It is thus an attempt to try to make the “popular clean” in distinction to trying to make the “clean popular,” i.e. promote new stove designs that have not been proved popular.  Our research group is conducting independent monitoring and evaluation of the first attempt to try such an approach, which is using the popular Patsari stove in Mexico utilizing a HOH chamber modified from the BioLite forced draft two-stage combustion chamber.   This project is supported by the US Department of Energy.

Sagar A and Smith KR (2013). An innovation prize for clean cookstoves. Nature, 497: 317.

Use, Displacement, and Field Performance of Advanced Combustion Stoves
Sizable benefits from the implementation of cookstove programs can only occur when the cleaner and more efficient stoves perform well in the field, are used frequently, and displace the older, less efficient stoves. We used Stove Use Monitors (SUMs) to estimate the levels of usage of advanced stoves and the displacement of traditional fires, in two stove interventions programs in Mexico and India. The specific objectives of this study were to: 

  1. Define metrics of stove use and adoption to link field measurements of fuel consumption and emissions to controlled laboratory performance tests.
  2. Test in-field performance of two advanced-combustion stove combinations: the Patsari-LPG-traditional hearths in Mexico and Phillips-LPG-traditional hearths in India and test the proposed linking metrics using SUMs.
  3. Estimate the health and climate related impacts from the dominant patterns (or clusters) of stove use and fuel-device stacking in Michoacan-Mexico and Haryana-India.

We instrumented with SUMs all the stoves present in the study homes to identify the main stacking clusters and to quantify the levels of combined stove usage. In a subsample of homes at each site we measured in-field emissions simultaneously with the SUMs.