Influence of coal properties on the performance of fixed-bed coal-burning braziers

  • Tafadzwa Makonese
  • Daniel M. Masekameni University of Johannesburg
  • Harold J. Annegarn
Keywords: Coal, braziers, thermal performance, moisture content, fuel quality, emission factors


Informal fixed-bed coal-burning braziers are used extensively in low-income communities of South Africa for space-heating and cooking needs. An investigation was carried out on the effects of coal moisture content and coal quality on the thermal and emissions performance of domestic coal-burning braziers in three field-procured braziers (with three different air ventilation rates), using the bottom-lit updraft (BLUD) and top-lit updraft (TLUD) ignition methods. Results showed that an increase in coal moisture content (from 2.4 wt.% to 8.6 wt.%) led to 18% and 30% decreases in fire-power when using the TLUD and BLUD methods, respectively. The combustion efficiency increased by 25% with an increase in moisture content. Measured carbon monoxide (CO) emission factors increased with an increase in moisture content, while carbon dioxide (CO2) emission factors remained unchanged. The use of A-grade coal resulted in a 49% increase in PM emissions compared with D-grade coal at high ventilation rates, despite no statistically significant differences (p > 0.05) in CO and CO2 emission factors produced between coal grades.

Author Biography

Tafadzwa Makonese
Environmental Health


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Makonese, T., Masekameni, D., & Annegarn, H. (2017). Influence of coal properties on the performance of fixed-bed coal-burning braziers. Journal of Energy in Southern Africa, 28(2), 40-51.