Blue Mountain Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Aprovecho’s big move to the beautiful new campus is underway!ARC purchased an old high school on 5.5 acres just 6 miles east of Cottage grove. The ribbon cutting ceremony was recently held and about 50 people watched John Mitchell from the EPA cut the ribbon. Blue Mountain School was founded in 1860 to and continued teaching local farm kids until 1982. The original property was sold to John W. and Rebecca A. Richardson for a grand total of three dollars on January 16, 1860, ten years after the first settlers came into the area. Eventually, Blue Mountain re-opened as an alternative education charter school. Luckily, the charter school rebuilt the school buildings and added an ADA approved bathroom and access ramps to the cafeteria.

The secluded property will provide a peaceful and supportive environment for Aprovecho’s researchers and stove developers in the many years to come. Blue Mountain also provides Aprovecho with a more appropriate outdoor area which will be useful in upcoming events such as our famous Stove Camp. We look forward to seeing you there, and we encourage visitors to make the trip out to our beautiful new home!

Tier 4 Stoves:
Start with Real time PM
In some ways, designing a Tier 4 stove is easier than designing a dirtier burning stove! ARC stove designers use the real-time on-screen LEMS (Laboratory Emissions Monitoring System) display for CO (carbon monoxide), CO2 (carbon dioxide) and PM (smoke) to quickly see if the stove being developed is super clean. If not, a change is made in the stove’s design and it is tested again. The test doesn’t even have to be a full WBT. We use a High Power test and boil two liters of water. If the CO and PM real-time lines on the display screen stay flat, the stove is improving! The CO2 line (blue) is a good measure of firepower. We want to achieve an appropriate CO2/CO ratio in a clean burning stove. The blue line should be high and the red line should stay on the baseline. We want to burn the CO and PM and only produce CO2 and water vapor in a super clean stove. Stove developers love to see those two red (CO) and black (PM) flat lines on the LEMS display. Seeing flat lines that run from the start to finish of the short boiling test means that the stove is getting closer to achieving Tier 4 (safe for health). The real time PM measurement is measured by a laser that, unfortunately, can’t detect the very small particles. For the most accurate measurement of PM, it’s necessary to use an air pump and a filter that captures all sizes of PM. Once the laser generated lines are flat, ARC researchers do a full Water Boiling Test. The filter captures a lot more PM and the final design changes in the evolving stove prototype are made based on the pump and filter data. Truly clean burning stoves produce white filters, which is very exciting! It’s also very interesting to see the different colors of the emissions particles, from blonde to black and everything in between.

The Indoor Air Pollution Meter

To improve the ease and accuracy of field-testing cookstoves, Aprovecho designed the Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) Meter. The ultra-portable, small-size meter can be worn in a backpack with a sampling point near the nose and mouth of the user. The resulting carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM2.5) measures provide a more accurate assessment of personal exposure. The IAP Meter is intended to be easy to use, requiring little training. A sample rate switch allows the user to measure an air sample every 10 seconds, every minute, or every 10 minutes. These measurements are automatically stored in an SD memory card for later transfer to a computer. No connection to a computer is necessary to launch or read the meter, and the accompanying automated data processing and analysis is straightforward. The IAP Meter can log data for up to 30 days.

In 2013 ARC began developing a system using the IAP Meter to capture total stove emissions. The $4,000 system is designed for measuring iterative changes in stove design.

Here you will find additional information, purchasing availability, and the specifications for the affordable IAP meter.