Agricultural Waste

Background: Approximately 2·8 billion people are exposed to household air pollution from cooking with polluting fuels. Few monitoring studies have systematically measured health-damaging air pollutant (ie, fine particulate matter [PM2·5] and black carbon) concentrations from a wide range of cooking fuels across diverse populations. This multinational study aimed to assess the magnitude of kitchen concentrations and personal exposures to PM2·5 and black carbon in rural communities with a wide range of cooking environments.
Agricultural wastes are readily available in farming communities and can be utilised for off-grid electrification as an alternative to diesel generators. This work evaluates for the first time the life cycle environmental sustainability of these small-scale systems in the context of Southeast Asia. Rice and coconut residues are considered for direct combustion and gasification, and livestock manure for anaerobic digestion. Overall, anaerobic digestion is the best option for 14 out of 18 impacts estimated through life cycle assessment.