Influence of coal-particle size on emissions using the top-lit updraft ignition method
Despite the Government’s intervention of an intensive electrification program in South Africa, which has resulted in more than 87% of households being connected to the grid, a majority of low-income households still depend on solid fuel (coal and wood) as a primary source of energy, especially on the central Highveld. In informal settlements, combustion of coal is done in inefficient self-fabricated braziers, colloquially known as imbaulas. Emissions from domestic coal combustion result in elevated household and ambient air pollution levels that often exceed national air quality limits. Continued dependence on coal combustion exposes households to copious amounts of health-damaging pollutants. Despite the health significance of coal-burning emissions from informal braziers, there is still a dearth of emissions data from these devices. Consequently, evaluating the emission characteristics of these devices and to determine the resultant emission factors is needed. The effects of ignition methods and ventilation rates on particulate and gaseous emission from coal-burning braziers are reported in literature. However, to date there are no studies carried out to investigate the influence of the size of coal pieces on brazier emission performance. In this paper, we report on controlled combustion experiments carried out to investigate systematically, influences of coal particle size on gaseous and condensed matter (smoke) emissions from informal residential coal combustion braziers. Results presented are averages of three identical burn-cycles of duration three hours or fuel burn-out, whichever was the soonest.
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