Mechanical Engineering R & D Projects

Development of Hygienic and Efficient Cooking Facilities for Villagers in Developing Countries

“More than half of the global population lacking clean cooking facilities lives in India, China, and Bangladesh,” says the UN report, and in another report titled ‘Sustainable Energy For All’ by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) - “people continue to rely on carbon-emitting biomass and dung-based fuel for cooking”.

Rural areas of Bangladesh or any other developing countries are no different. Ninety percent of cooking in rural areas of developing countries uses fossil fuel, wood, cow dung, and other forms of biomass in an environment with any ventilation system in those cooking area. The burning of these cooking fuels emits a large amount of carbon, extremely high levels of indoor airborne pollutants, and hazardous particles. A major health hazard of such biomass burners is their high level of emissions from incomplete fuel combustion resulting in respiratory diseases, heart disease and stroke due to indoor smoke particles that are substantially higher than the accepted limits.

These cooking facilities in the villages are congested and not equipped with appropriate exhaust systems for ventilation of the gases. People in and near the cooking areas are exposed to these above-mentioned health hazards. Efficient, easy to use, and environmentally friendly cooking facilities are required to improve quality of life of the villagers and to reduce country's carbon footprint at the same time.

Developing such a cooking facility should include the following:

  1. (a) Ergonometric design of the cooking facility
  2. (b) Development of an efficient burner
  3. (c) Numerical study of air flow dynamics from the cooking facility
  4. (d) Design of adequate ventilation
  5. (e) Construction and commissioning of the cooking facility

Rainwater Harvesting in Rural Areas

Access to potable water is essential for survival and people to have built a civilization around water sources. Rapid urbanization, industrialization, and high yield agricultural practices have created a tremendous pressure on available water resources in many parts of the world. Excessive harvesting of groundwater for residential, commercial, and agricultural usage is rapidly depleting water sources polluting remaining water sources and increasing the salinity of waters in the coastal area.

QASE proposes to introduce the age-old practice of harvesting rainwater in an economical and efficient way. Harvesting and recycling rainwater can increase the availability of potable water in areas that have a dearth of water supply but also receive an adequate amount of rain, such as Bangladesh. Rainwater harvesting can be done both at the residential and commercial level.

Development of Solar Panel Generated Power for Residential Units in Developing Countries

Urban residential units can install solar panels on their rooftops and balconies to produce auxiliary power to run the cooking facility at times of gas outage or simply augment existing heating capacity. This solar panel set can be scaled to provide also backup electricity during power outages or provide a source of additional inexpensive renewable energy. The technology is available to capture and reuse wasted heat that escapes from cooking facility appliances to carry our simple tasks such as boiling drinking water. While such technology is widely used in the manufacturing sector, theoretically it could be scaled in a cost effective manner to fit residential needs.