Performance characterization of biomass-fueled camp stoves

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Juan Jose Endara Loaiza (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Wes Stone

Abstract: Camping is one of the United States’ preferred outdoor activities, attracting 40.5 million participants in 2016. Biomass is any plant or animal material used for energy production. Campers prefer fossil-fueled stoves over biomass-fueled stoves because they emit less smoke and perform well at high-altitudes. Emission of smoke and formation of creosote are disadvantages of wood-fueled stoves which are linked to thermal efficiency. Biomass-fueled stoves allow campers to harness sustainable fuel, such as branches or leaves, to use when cooking. Biomass is readily available in the wilderness, so the user does not have to carry conventional fuels. In this research, eight commercially available wood-fueled camp stoves are tested using the water boil test. Their performance is compared with each other and with a prototype stove. The water boil test is used to answer five research questions in this study: What is the boil time? What is the thermal efficiency? What is the firepower? What is the specific fuel consumption? And what is the burning rate? Tests are performed in an open environment to simulate campsite aerodynamic conditions. Sticks of white pinewood were kiln-dried down to a moisture content of 6% and used as fuel. Results determine thermal efficiencies range from 4 to 22%; boil times range from 8 to 65 minutes; firepower values range from 2.3 to 6.5 kW; specific fuel consumption values range from 0.1 to 0.5 grams; burning rate values range from 7 to 20 grams. Biomass energy accounts for roughly 9% of the primary energy consumption in the World. Over half of the consumption is connected to cooking and heating, often using inefficient fires that impact user health. Woody biomass has a net energy gain ratio greater than 1, which means that the energy input is less than the energy produced from the fuel. The cost of producing energy from woody biomass feedstocks, compared to fossil fuel feedstocks remains a major barrier. Technological developments can improve the methods used to grow and harvest biomass. The increased use of efficient biomass-fueled stoves can reduce health impacts on users, fossil fuel dependency, and deforestation due to lessened fuel consumption.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Biomass, Camping, Combustion, Emissions, Renewable energy, Stoves

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