Mainstream Engineering Awarded Contract from the National Institutes of Health for Clean Biomass Cookstove
An estimated 2.5 billion people regularly cook with biomass fuels such as wood or charcoal. Emissions from biomass cookstoves contribute to global climate change, indoor air quality issues, and related health effects. Exposure to high indoor air pollutant levels from cooking with biomass fuels is responsible for an estimated 1.6 million deaths annually and about 3% of the global burden of disease. Recently developed forced-air and ‘rocket’ stoves offer improvements but are unable to consistently meet World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for indoor air quality.
Similar to the evolution of emissions controls for automobiles, advanced biomass cookstoves have progressed to the point where the inclusion of an oxidation catalyst is the logical next step. However, the widely used noble-metal catalysts are prohibitively expensive.
At Mainstream, engineers are developing a low-cost alternative oxidation catalyst for the stove. They are also rethinking cookstove geometry and the materials of construction to maximize thermal efficiency. Advanced computational models and emissions testing are being used to refine and test the prototype stoves. The long-term vision for this project is that these stoves will be made in developing countries without the need for sophisticated manufacturing equipment.
About Mainstream Engineering
Mainstream Engineering Corporation is a solutions-oriented research, development, and manufacturing small business founded in 1986. Their mission is to transition advanced thermal control, energy storage, and energy conversion technology into high-quality, cost-effective, environmentally-safe green, commercial products. Products include lightweight diesel/JP8-fueled engines (including generators and hybrid vehicle drive trains), advanced thermal control units, advanced biomass conversion technologies, refrigerators/freezers for shipping containers, and the QwikProduct™ line of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R) products. Areas of advanced research include thermal control, energy conversion, engine and emissions research, turbomachinery, chemical technology, and materials science.