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Energy, Air Pollution and Health Research


Optimising upscale of improved energy technologies

Evaluation of acceptability and performance of stove options for reducing household air pollution in rural west Kenya

the simple kerosene lamps that are common across Africa and other regions without electricity were found to make a substantial contribution to air pollutionThis mixed methods study aimed to identify whether one or more solid fuel stoves, would be capable of delivering low HAP levels, and also meeting user needs. The study was conducted in rural western Kenya and the stoves tested included two rocket, one rocket with chimney, two electric fan-assisted, and one rocket with thermo-electric fan. Stoves were placed in homes for two-week periods in a cross-over design in 43 homes. Following baseline measurement of fuel efficiency, kitchen concentrations (CO, PM2.5), personal women (cook) and youngest child (< 5 years) CO, and stove use with SUMS, were measured over 48 hour periods.

Preliminary results for kitchen and personal HAP show reductions for all stove types, but not to the low levels sought. SUMS data provide evidence on extent of multiple stove use, and the high emission rates from kerosene lamps suggest their contribution to post-intervention HAP levels. Qualitative interview findings indicate a preference for the improved stoves, the women reporting visible smoke reduction and finding them cleaner, more fuel efficient and easy to use. However, a number of stove improvements are suggested, which could potentially reduce multiple stove use which was common.

one of the 6 intervention stoves tested (an ‘Envirofit’ rocket-type stove)

For the majority of women, being able to afford a new stove was reported as a potential barrier, but the FG discussions identify ways in which they could be made more affordable and appropriately marketed to the community. The results will help guide further development of technologies that are capable of delivering health benefits at scale.


The research is being led by CDC, Atlanta. Members of the University of Liverpool involved in the research include Nigel Bruce (UK research lead), Debbi Stanistreet (qualitative lead).


World Bank £200,000

Publications/ dissemination

WorldBank (2011) Ethanol as a Household Fuel in Madagascar