The Shape of Things to Come over Indian Slums: Sustainable Kitchen Designs to Contain Black Carbon Emissions

By S. Ghosh, Anuj Sharma, C.R. Sathish Kumar, Arkayan Samaddar, Ruthika Vasudevan, Atanu Mukherjee and Abhinav Sharma.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Urban slum kitchens use bio-fuel, which emanates smoke and black carbon. Expensive eco-stoves available in the market do not make use of India’s perennial supply of warm sunshine to improve their efficiency. This forms the basis of our study. We propose a radical remoulding of slum kitchens, aimed at efficient bio-fuel burning and sunlight assisted seasoning in a desiccation chamber. This is possibly the first design anywhere in the world and has been funded by Villgro under the Young Innovator Programme. First, we use ecotect analysis to configure optimal daylighting, form and fabric of these kitchens. The results suggest that in Northern Hemisphere, the preferred orientation is south or south westerly. It is observed that such a chamber made of glass provides a temperature increase of 14 degrees C above the ambient. This will increase seasoning efficiency because the humidity content is lowered by 20%, causing a substantial decrease in smoke emissions. We base this study on Chennai city, where roughly 2 million people reside in slums. We use a USEPA plume dispersion model that accounts for the undulating topography, land and sea breeze effects, and most importantly, building downwash effects. The latter effect is important, particularly because the Chennai slums are located adjacent to high-rise buildings, causing a blocking flow. Finally, we present an environmental impact assessment analysis on emissions of these bio particles over distributed area sources, with and without the presence of the desiccation assisted eco stoves in slum kitchens. A cost benefit model is also presented to highlight economic gains that the Chennai city corporation would achieve if it provided a green subsidy for construction adaptation and proliferation of these new kitchen designs. We estimate that a reduction of approximately 50% in soot carbon emission can be achieved in less than 50 USD.

Keywords: Black Carbon Emissions, Solar Assisted Desiccation, Eco-Stove, Ecotect

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.63-80. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.250MB).

Prof. S. Ghosh

Senior Professor, School of Mechanical and Building Sciences, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Dr. Sat Ghosh is currently a senior professor in the Environment Division, School of Mechanical and Building Sciences, VIT University, India. He is also an associate member of the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, U.K. He currently works on how different tropospheric aerosols interact with clouds. He has worked for 20 years in leading British universities in many branches of atmospheric science. He has also worked extensively on the effect of pollutants on stratocumulus clouds at UMIST, Manchester. A substantial part of his post-doctoral research was undertaken at Cambridge University, England where he worked on particle-turbulence interactions, stratospheric dynamics and microphysics. He has published extensively in peer reviewed international journals in many areas of the atmospheric sciences. Currently, he is on the editorial board of the journal Atmospheric Science Letters, published by the Royal Meteorological Society, U.K. He is an awardee of the Prestigious National Science Talent Search Scholar (All India Rank 32).

Anuj Sharma

Research Student, School of Mechanical and Building Sciences, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Anuj Sharma is a third year mechanical engineering student at VIT University. He is doing a project under Dr. S. Ghosh, optimizing the efficiency of bio-fuel burning eco-stoves to arrest black carbon emissions, which are climate forcers. This project has been funded by Villgro under the Young Researcher Programme. He has proven abilities in fluid mechanical analyses in diverse contexts.

C.R. Sathish Kumar

Ph.D. Student, Environmental and Water Resources, VIT University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Mr. Sathish Kumar is a Ph.D. student at VIT University. He is currently an engineer at the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.

Arkayan Samaddar

Research Student, School of Mechanical and Building Sciences, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Arkayan Samaddar is a third year mechanical engineering student at VIT University. He is working on a research project with Prof S. Ghosh on Large Eddy Simulations of Turbulent Boundary Layers. He has also worked on Environmental Impact Analysis on large scale constructions. He has presented his research on the Environmental Impact of high speed trains in India at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom.

Ruthika Vasudevan

Research Student, School of Mechanical and Building Sciences, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Ruthika Vasudevan is a third year mechanical engineering student at VIT University. She is doing a project under Dr. S. Ghosh optimizing the efficiency of bio-fuel burning eco-stoves to arrest black carbon emissions, which are climate forcers. This project has been funded by Villgro under the Young Researcher Programme. Her exceptional linguistic abilities motivate her for leadership roles. She wants to disseminate technical knowledge in plain and simple English and Tamil, thus reaching out to a sizable part of society.

Atanu Mukherjee

Research Student, School of Mechanical and Building Sciences, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Atanu Mukherjee is a final year chemical engineering student at VIT University. He is doing a project under Dr. S. Ghosh, titled "Terrain and Micro-clouds Effects on Climate by PM10 and PM2.5 over Peninsular India." He has exceptional mathematical abilities, including modeling and analysis. His study on dispersion and deposition pathways of combustion aerosols over tropical evergreens has also been selected for the European Aerosol Conference 2011. He is also a rank holder in his department.

Abhinav Sharma

Research Student, School of Mechanical and Building Sciences, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Abhinav Sharma is a third year mechanical engineering student at VIT University. He is doing a project under Dr. S. Ghosh optimizing the efficiency of bio-fuel burning eco-stoves to arrest black carbon emissions, which are climate forcers. This project has been funded by Villgro under the Young Researcher Programme. He has a hands-on approach to design and scientific understanding.