Opportunities and Challenges Associated with the Uptake of Residential Clean Fuel Usage

Darpan Das*, Sohail Ahmad, Joshua Daniel Kirshner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Almost 3 billion people worldwide use solid fuel for cooking and heating. This review examines (i) household energy practices and infrastructures and their influence on fuel usage in different contexts; (ii) barriers in adoption of household clean energy technologies and uses in diverse settings and population groups and (iii) potential air pollution exposure reduction in homes through using processed fuel.

RECENT FINDINGS: Population health burden from solid fuel combustion-derived particulate air pollution has been estimated in several low- and middle-income countries. However, such studies have not been carried out in high income countries (e.g., UK). Irrespective of the region, fuel prices are the most dominant factor influencing the choice of fuel. Laboratory studies suggest processed fuel - pellets and briquettes - reduce particulate matter emissions by 70-80% and can be a promising alternative. Adoption of clean fuels for domestic energy needs facilitates progress towards five of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There is evidence that a variety of factors, including cost savings, encourage and hinder such uptake. These factors include price fluctuations, expenses, and the usage of clean fuels. Due to their distinct development scenarios, more expansive policy frameworks, and political economies of energy, these determinants are localized in character and differ significantly amongst economies. Therefore, in order to create innovative plans for the adoption of clean fuel use, strategies centred on local settings must be developed while keeping broad socio-technical and socio-economic issues in mind. Solid fuel processing - pelletization and briquetting - have the potential to reach Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)-like emissions, and could be a potential strategy to mitigate exposure to household air pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Environmental Health Reports
Early online date12 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2024


  • cooking
  • air pollution
  • exposure
  • clean fuels
  • energy and development

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