The smokeless chulha is a kind of stove that can directly impact the health of women in rural areas who are burning firewood as cooking fuel. The present study aimed to evaluate the impact of the smokeless chulha and to compare the social and economic benefits associated with it. The smokeless Chulhas (stoves) were distributed among the villagers in Tuber Kmai village of Meghalaya, India and its impact was compared with the traditional chulha used by the villagers. The efficacy of the smokeless chulhas was measured and compared with traditional chulhas in term of cooking time, fire wood consumption, gases, volatile compounds and particulate matter emitted. To measure the amount of gases, volatile compounds and particulate matter released, multifunctional air gas and particulate matter Detector (Labart, India) was used. Compared to traditional chulha, smokeless chulha showed 68.7 % reduction in firewood consumption and 45% reduction in cooking time. In addition, smokeless chulha showed 68.9% and 98% reduction in carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide compared to traditional chulha. Further, a significant reduction (p < 0.05) was observed for particulate matter (75%-87%), formaldehyde (75%) and total volatile organic compounds (88.5%). The results indicate that smokeless chulha could save a huge number of natural resources by reducing the cutting of forest. Moreover, smokeless chulha has a positive economic impact on family income.
Carbon dioxide, Carbon monoxide, Firewood, Smokeless chulha, Particulate matter
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