Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Chemical Engineering

Advisor

Ackerson, Michael

Reader

Penney, W. Roy

Abstract

The performance and use of wood-burning stoves as a heating source is carefully regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA requires a rigorous and exhaustive testing protocol be conducted on each unit before it can be sold commercially in order to ensure that the stove in question will not have a detrimental effect on the surrounding environment. However, this testing routine is incredibly time intensive and costly, resulting in a 90% decrease in the number of stove manufacturers since 1988. This decreased competition has ultimately fostered an industry free from competition and motivation to produce clean and efficient stoves, thus increasing the negative environmental impact of wood-burning units. In order to recreate this industrial competition, research was conducted on a cheap and functional testing apparatus that can be used to measure the Particulate Matter (PM) emissions and efficiency of the unit. This culmination of this research was the creation of an affordable, 3-part testing apparatus and procedure that a single individual can use to optimize and test an existing stove design, therefore decreasing the economic burden associated with developing a commercially marketable wood-burning heating unit.

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