Biomass cookstoves are a significant source of various pollutants, such as CO2, CO, and particulate matter (PM). To mitigate the issues surrounding cookstoves, significant research has been undertaken on improved cookstoves (ICS). This research can be performed in a laboratory setting, in the field, or a combination of both. This work concentrates on the purely laboratory testing. Laboratory testing has both advantages and disadvantages when compared to field testing (e.g. decreased cost and increased consistency). However, field applications are variable, environments can be significantly different (for example wind and ambient temperature can be very different in the field vs. a controlled lab environment) and the personal preferences of the users of the cookstove can also be difficult to predict when only using laboratory testing. It is typically preferable to narrow down the possible cookstove choices by using laboratory results before heading to the field. This work concentrated on assessing the limitations of laboratory testing of cookstoves as presently constituted, as well as finding new ways to improve and expand upon the testing methodologies. Sources of error during testing was considered, leading to recommendations on how to adjust testing to decrease that error. Of note, it was found that higher thermal efficiencies led to increased propagated errors, which complicates the comparison of this efficiency among cookstoves. Additionally, a method for estimating the transient thermal efficiency was developed. Further, the effects of changing some of the key testing parameters were explored and the results showed that the overall thermal efficiency was minimally affected by parameter variations within the WBT or ISO 19867-1 guidelines. Finally, two methods were explored and compared for finding kinetic parameters associated with transforming food from the uncooked state to the cooked state. It was found that physical testing was more effective for samples that started in a harder physical state, whereas DSC testing was more effective with samples that had lower water content. This analysis was done with the intention of using transformation kinetics in future applications of cookstove models so that researchers could gain additional insights into which stoves may be best for their target market.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Chemical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





biomass cookstove, cookstove, thermal efficiency, specific consumption, water boiling test, WBT, ISO 19867-1



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Engineering Commons