SEMINAR (on campus): Beyond PM2.5: Why the Size of Particles from Cookstoves Matter

SEMINAR (on campus): Beyond PM2.5: Why the Size of Particles from Cookstoves Matter

Seminar Abstract 

About 3-billion people worldwide cook using open fires or rudimentary stoves that are inefficient and highly polluting. To address the 3.6 million annual premature deaths associated with inhaling smoke from inefficient stoves, researchers have developed a variety of improved cookstoves primarily focusing on reducing particulate matter (PM). Previous research demonstrates that secondary air injection into the combustion zone increases turbulent mixing and can dramatically reduce PM emissions. However, the design parameters for air injection driving emission reductions are not well characterized, and results are unclear if air injection reduces both total PM mass emissions as well as the number concentration of ultrafine particles, which may be more detrimental to human health than larger PM. During this seminar, I will present emission results from Berkeley Lab’s forced-air, wood-fueled cookstoves and demonstrate how air injection impacts total PM mass and size-resolved number concentration. I will also compare emissions from Berkeley Lab designed stoves to commercially available stoves and discuss the corresponding health implications. 

Seminar Speaker(s) 

Vi Rapp
Mechanical Research Scientist/Engineer, Industrial Applications, Indoor Environment Group, Building & Industrial Applications Department, Building Technology & Urban Systems Division

Dr. Vi Rapp aims to solve problems that reduce human suffering through technology development, software development, and data analysis. As a Research Scientist in the Environmental Technologies Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, she leads and directs research for the Reacting Flow Applications Laboratory and the Biomass Stoves Laboratory. Currently, her research includes development of novel, low emissions burner technologies for residential appliances and distributed energy generation; advanced biomass cookstoves for the developing world; a low-cost, robust warmer for preventing neonatal hypothermia; an adaptive computational tool that predicts bioproduct and biofuel properties for validation and certification; and assessing opportunities for combined heat and power and district energy systems using conventional and alternative energy sources. Dr. Rapp received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley with a focus on advanced internal combustion engines and alternative fuels. Prior to her PhD, she worked in aerospace conducting thermal and stress analysis on primary flight control actuators for the Boeing 787 and other commercial aircraft.


May 18, 2017 -
11:00am to 12:00pm


Campus: 3110 Etcheverry Hall