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Seminar talk by Dr. Andrew Grieshop

From the kitchen to the clouds: towards an improved understanding of biomass cookstove emissions and their atmospheric aging

by Dr. Andrew Grieshop

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University

Host: Dr. Milind Kandlikar, IRES

Date: Thursday, March 24th – 3-4 pm

Location: Case room, Liu Institute for Global Issues, 6476 NW Marine Drive


Roughly 40% of the world’s population cooks over rudimentary biomass fires that emit gaseous and particulate species with enormous public health and climate impacts. The potential to mitigate these impacts has spurred numerous large- and small-scale efforts to introduce alternative technologies, ostensibly with reduced emissions and impacts. This talk will provide an overview of research activities in my group to improve the understanding of the ‘lifecycle’ of aerosol emissions from cookstoves. Our experimental work examines the performance of both baseline and alternative technologies and helps build a better understanding of how emissions photochemically ‘age’ in the atmosphere. In-home emission tests completed in India and Malawi reveal that alternative stove designs neither deliver the emission reductions desired nor those observed during laboratory tests. The activity levels and aerosol emission rates, characteristics, and optical properties associated with in-field stove use are distinct from those from standard laboratory Water Boiling Tests (WBTs). We are leveraging the large field emission dataset to develop a lab testing protocol that better represents real-world cooking activity and emissions. However, factors beyond activity alone (e.g. fuel characteristics) have important influence on emissions, highlighting the continued need for field testing. Another thread of research indicates that atmospheric aging can dramatically change the mass and chemical composition of organic aerosols from biomass combustion emissions. Ongoing laboratory experiments with a ‘smog chamber’ and a newly developed, field-portable oxidation flow reactor allow us to simulate the aging of emissions over days to weeks under various oxidant conditions. Preliminary data show that aging can enhance organic aerosol concentrations by several-fold, with important implications for the regional air quality and climate impacts of current and proposed future combustion systems. Future work will combine these efforts to accurately represent emissions and aging conditions in both laboratory and field settings.

Dr. Andy Grieshop has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University (NCSU) since January, 2012. Dr. Grieshop’s research focuses on interactions between energy use and the environment, and more specifically on improving our technical understanding of the emission and atmospheric transformations of air pollutants. This work aims to inform effective policies to improve air quality and mitigate climate impacts in both developed and developing countries. Ongoing research includes a collaborative project to quantify the emission, indoor concentration, and health and climate impacts of two cookstove replacement programs in rural India, field measurements to characterize evolution of vehicle emissions in a near-road environment and lab and field measurements of the volatility of organic aerosols. His work integrates laboratory and field based experimentation with modeling and policy analysis efforts to address environmental problems. He teaches Environmental Engineering courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels and is the Faculty Advisor for the NCSU Chapter of Engineers Without Borders. Dr. Grieshop received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley and his MS in Mechanical Engineering and PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Before joining NC State he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia.


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