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Air pollutant emissions and mitigation potential through the adoption of semi-coke coals and improved heating stoves: Field evaluation of a pilot intervention program in rural China

Liu, Yafei, Zhang, You, Li, Chuang, Bai, Yun, Zhang, Daoming, Xue, Chunyu, Liu, Guangqing
Environmental pollution 2018 v.240 pp. 661-669
air pollutants, air pollution, burning, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, coal, combustion, emissions, emissions factor, energy, energy use and consumption, heaters, households, issues and policy, nitrogen oxides, particulates, sulfur dioxide, winter, China
Pollutant emissions from incomplete combustion of raw coal in low-efficiency residential heating stoves greatly contribute to winter haze in China. Semi-coke coals and improved heating stoves are expected to lower air pollutant emissions and are vigorously promoted by the Chinese government in many national and local plans. In this study, the thermal performance and air pollutant emissions from semi-coke combustion in improved heating stoves were measured in a pilot rural county and compared to the baseline of burning raw coal to quantify the mitigation potential of air pollutant emissions. A total of five stove-fuel combinations were tested, and 27 samples from 27 different volunteered households were obtained. The heating efficiency of improved stoves increased, but fuel consumption appeared higher with more useful energy output compared to traditional stoves. The emission factors of PM2.5, SO2, and CO2 of semi-coke burning in specified improved stoves were lower than the baseline of burning raw coal chunk, but no significant NOx and CO decreases were observed. The total amount of PM2.5 and SO2 emissions per household in one heating season was lower, but CO, CO2, and NOx increased when semi-coke coal and specified improved stoves were deployed. Most differences were not statistically significant due to the limited samples and large variation, indicating that further evaluation would be needed to make conclusions that could be considered for policy.