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How to calculate carbon emissions from a fuel wood cooking stove?

Conventonal biomaas cooking stoveEnergy is one of the key indicators of sustainable development. Major portion of the population of India lives in rural areas and is heavily dependent on biomass for their daily energy needs. India derives a major part of its cooking energy needs from solid fuels such as firewood and cattle dung. Biomass cooking is a major source of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and also releases Black carbon (BC) that leads to severe air pollution. It is also the root cause of millions of cardiovascular & respiratory related deaths. In addition, fuel wood harvesting is a contributing factor to deforestation and is therefore, the most serious environmental issue in the country.

Carbon emission from burning of woody biomass in the cook stoves can be calculated using following formula;

Carbon emission from the non-renewable biomass woody biomass = Quantity of non-renewable biomass X Net calorific value of the non-renewable biomass X CO2 emission factor for the biomass fuel


You can use following default values for the calculation;

  • Net calorific value of non-renewable biomass (NCVbiomass) = 0.015 TJ/tonne  (IPCC default value for fuel wood)
  • CO2 emission factor for the biomass fuel = 109.6 tCO2/TJ (IPCC default value for biomass from IPCC 1996).

For non-renewable biomass weight value, you can take exact weight of the biomass required for cooking stove for family level (5-6) people. This formula will give you exact results with minimum uncertainty level.

Sustainable development involves successful management of natural resources.  Efficient use along with best conservation practices provides prolonged supply of natural resources to satisfy the changing needs of humans while maintaining and enhancing the quality of the environment. Rural population needs cost effective ways to manage their energy requirements and hence require positive attention towards new technology that can improve their lives. Improved Chullahs (Cooking stoves); Introduction of LPG in rural areas; improved biogas plants with community kitchen; use of renewable energy devices like solar cookers and geysers etc. can provide an efficient solution. Many organizations are continuously developing cooking stoves technology with a higher efficiency but their customer-reach in the rural market is still very low due to various factors. One thing is very clear that; driven by low incomes and the lack of access to alternative, modern fuels people from rural areas are still using traditional fuels.

Reference for GHG emission factor : IPCC Emission factor database


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