Interactive Socio-Technical Practicum

Mitigating Noxious Gases produced by Traditional Cooking Methods

Students: Andrew Baker, Kimberly Codding, Vipul Gupta, Vivek Sharma, Shiva Verma, Mandy Zhang.
Project Advisors: Dr. Rajesh Ghosh, IIT; Dr. Rik Rani Koner, IIT; Dr. Stephen McCauley, WPI; Dr. Ingrid Shockey, WPI; Dr. Ramna Thakur, IIT

For generations, rural village residents in Himachal Pradesh have used traditional cook stoves, or “chulhas”, which rely on irewood. Our project aimed to mitigate the gas production caused by this fuel and to alleviate the negative health effects. We designed an improved cook stove prototype with ventilation. Local women tested our proto‐ type and provided feedback on the design, usability, and ef iciency. Finally, we made a pamphlet of recommendations for the communi‐ ties to mitigate the smoke and toxic gases within their homes.

Project Outcomes

Due to time restraints, we recommend testing our prototype in a village home for a period of several weeks. This will provide a proof of concept prototype that will gauge if it can be adopted over time. The prototype would need to be built to exact local speci ications with a chimney itted to the roof. Other recommendations include adding an eighth‐portion of cement to the cow dung and dirt mixture to prevent cracks from forming during the drying period. Cement will also reduce the maintenance frequency as it will not crack or degrade as quickly as the dirt and cow dung mixture will. Furthermore, we recommend adding a damper to the side pipe to more easily open and close the side pipe when needed. The side pipe must remain horizontal without a bend or an “L” shape in order to properly function as a chimney damper. A bend would distract the pulling of air in and thus damage the back pipe’s performance. When constructing the chimney, we recommend using a lat metal sheet as the means of attachment to the roof. In the case of the typical household slate roo ing, one slate would be replaced with this metal sheet. To secure the pipe, a hole should be cut in the sheet that is to the exact dimensions of the pipe. It is important to run the pipe through the hole and weld it in place so that it its tightly in the metal sheet. Drill holes through the pipe above the metal sheet to allow for smoke to escape and cover the top of the pipe by welding an additional piece of

Please download executive summary, report and poster for more details