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Aerosol optical properties and climate implications of emissions from traditional and improved cookstoves

TitleAerosol optical properties and climate implications of emissions from traditional and improved cookstoves
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsSaliba G., Subramanian R., Bilsback K., L'Orange C., Volckens J., Johnson M., Robinson A.L
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Date Published2018/11
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0013-936X
Accession NumberWOS:000451245700074
Keywordsblack carbon aerosols; combustion; dependence; Engineering; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; field-measurements; fires; light-absorption; organic-carbon; particles; particulate matter; wood

Cookstove emissions are a major global source of black carbon but their impact on climate is uncertain because of limited understanding of their optical properties. We measured optical properties of fresh aerosol emissions from 32 different stove/fuel combinations, ranging from simple open fires to high-performing forced-draft stoves. Stoves were tested in the laboratory using the firepower sweep protocol, which measures emissions across the entire range of functional firepower. There is large variability in measured optical properties across the entire range of firepower. This variability is strongly correlated with black carbon-to-particulate matter mass ratio (BC/PM). In comparison, stove type, fuel, and operational metrics were poor predictors of optical properties. We developed parametrizations of the mass absorption cross-section, the absorption angstrom exponent, and the single scattering albedo of fresh emissions as a function of BC/PM. These parametrizations, derived from laboratory data, also reproduce previously reported field measurements of optical properties of real-world cooking emissions. We combined our new parametrizations of intensive optical properties with published emissions data to estimate the direct radiative effect of emissions for different stove technologies. Our data suggest that so-called "improved" stove reduce CO2 equivalent emission (i.e., climate benefits) by 20-30% compared to traditional stoves.

Short TitleEnviron. Sci. Technol.
Student Publication: