Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/187779
Authors: 
Wilson, D. L.
Talancon, D. R.
Winslow, R. L.
Linares, X.
Gadgil, A. J.
Year of Publication: 
2016
Citation: 
[Journal:] Development Engineering [ISSN:] 2352-7285 [Volume:] 1 [Year:] 2016 [Pages:] 45-52
Abstract: 
Three billion people cook their food on biomass-fueled fires. This practice contributes to the anthropogenic radiative forcing. Fuel-efficient biomass cookstoves have the potential to reduce CO2-equivalent emissions from cooking, however, cookstoves made from modern materials and distributed through energy-intensive supply chains have higher embodied CO2-equivalent than traditional cookstoves. No studies exist examining whether lifetime emissions savings from fuel-efficient biomass cookstoves offset embodied emissions, and if so, by what margin. This paper is a complete life cycle inventory of 'The Berkeley-Darfur Stove,' disseminated in Sudan by the non-profit Potential Energy. We estimate the embodied CO2-equivalent in the cookstove associated with materials, manufacturing, transportation, and end-of-life is 17kg of CO2-equivalent. Assuming a mix of 55% non-renewable biomass and 45% renewable biomass, five years of service, and a conservative 35% reduction in fuel use relative to a three-stone fire, the cookstove will offset 7.5 tonnes of CO2-equivalent. A one-to-one replacement of a three-stone fire with the cookstove will save roughly 440 times more CO2-equivalent than it 'costs' to create and distribute. Over its five-year life, we estimate the total use-phase emissions of the cookstove to be 13.5 tonnes CO2-equivalent, and the use-phase accounts for 99.9% of cookstove life cycle emissions. The dominance of use-phase emissions illuminate two important insights: (1) without a rigorous program to monitor use-phase emissions, an accurate estimate of life cycle emissions from biomass cookstoves is not possible, and (2) improving a cookstove's avoided emissions relies almost exclusively on reducing use-phase emissions even if use-phase reductions come at the cost of substantially increased non-use-phase emissions.
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Creative Commons License: 
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Document Type: 
Article

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