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n response to Chongying Chen I think any coal burning combustion stove will produce tar in the same way that wood burning results in poly aromatic hydrocarbons. Depending on the main fuel source of a country, which for China is coal, even improved stoves do not solve all the problems, however by improving combustion efficiencies, and using chimneys and smoke hoods at least the levels of indoor air pollution can be reduced.

The only way to avoid this as you say is to use renewable alternatives. Like using a biogas stove or ethanol stove though these do still release greenhouse gases. There are many stoves on the market which offer improved designs even though there is no one design that is perfect and what is appropriate for different countries is also important to consider here. (See http://www.hedon.info/Stoves+Database) however so far we have not succeeded in introducing viable alternatives in many areas. What can be done to improve this? Do you think solar is a viable alternative for China?
  • A practitioner's journal on household energy, stoves and poverty reduction.

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