Environmental and health impacts when replacing kerosene lamps with solar lanterns : A study on global warming potential and household air pollution

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för teknikvetenskaper; Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för teknikvetenskaper

Abstract: In regions with low energy access kerosene lamps are commonly used, and these emit carbon dioxide (CO2) as well as household air pollutants (HAP). This bachelor thesis examines the possible reduction of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2eq) emissions and HAP from kerosene lamps by replacing them with off-grid solar powered lanterns. Life cycle assessment, or LCA, is used as a method to assess CO2eq emissions from the solar lanterns. Data on emissions from the different stages in the solar lantern lifecycle, as well as for the kerosene lamps, is gathered through literature studies. Furthermore, possible improvements of health and social aspects as result of replacing kerosene lamps are studied and discussed. The results show that CO2eq emissions could be significantly lower if solar lanterns were used. During a lifetime of 30 years, a simple kerosene lamp emits a total of 15 500 kg CO2eq, a hurricane lantern 7 900 kg CO2eq, whereas a solar lantern emits 66.1 kg CO2eq. However, it is found that the possible harmful effects of HAP are much larger than those of CO2. Finally, possibilities and challenges regarding implementation and usage of off-grid solar powered lanterns are identified and discussed.

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