21-0419 Exception Request for Traditional Koolfstoof

QUESTION

The Green School South Africa Project Team hereby request approval for the inclusion of a ''Traditional Koolstoof' (refer to the attached image as visual reference). The Project Team acknowledge that there is no available exception for this combustion facility as the Project Team has already applied for the following exceptions:

  1. inclusion of an indoor fireplace under the available Exception "Ornamental Fireplace in Transects L1, L2 and L3"
  2. bread oven under the available Exception "Combustion in Commercial Kitchens".

Operation:

The ''koolstoof'' works on principle whereby a thermal storage oven and cooker, using a heavy cast iron frame, absorbs heat from a relative low intensity but continuous burning fuel source. The accumulated heat can then be used to demonstrate traditional ways of cooking in the School's life lab, as well as being used for envisaged school projects.

Frequency:

The "koolstoof'' is envisaged to be used at a maximum frequency of once a term (4 times a year).

LBC Combustion Compliance:

  1. Harmful Emissions (Fuel Source):

The Project Team acknowledge ILFI concerns regarding harmful emissions associated with combustion.

  1. kBtu's and Association Emissions:

The Project Team acknowledge the requirement to measure kBtu's and associated carbon emissions.

Project Solution:

  1. Harmful Emissions (Fuel Source):

To address the emissions associated to fuel sources. The Project Team propose 2 alternative fuel sources and approaches to be used for the ''koolstoof'', these are:

i. Beefwood (alien invasive species) offcuts

The School was given the beefwood offcuts from their neighbouring property. The idea is to use a percentage of the offcuts for firewood and the remainder for composting. The Project Team motivate the Beefwood as a "low-embodied energy" fuel alternative; as minimal processing, no transportation to site and no packaging is required to use this fuel source (reduced carbon footprint associated to manufacture and transportation). Once the percentage of Beefwood (put aside for firewood) exhausts, the Project Team will use an eco-friendly alternative fuel source called Good Wood.

ii. Good Wood (engineered using 100% recycled, compressed sawdust)

As a second alternative, the Project Team proposes "Good Wood" (https://www.goodwoodlogs.co.za/) as a firewood source to minimise any associated ecological impacts.

The benefits of "Good Wood" are as follows (reference image attached):

  1. Made from 100% recycled sawdust
  2. Contributes to waste management
  3. Manufactured to be space efficient resulting in efficient use of packaging material and transportation
  4. Consistently dry (10-15% moisture content)
  5. Therefore, less firelighters required
  6. Lights easily
  7. Emits minimal smoke
  8. Easy to kindle
  9. Has a low-smoke odour
  10. Results in less than 4% ash remains
  11. Has a 2 hour burn time per piece
  12. Local and readily available
  13. kBtu's and Associated Emissions:

After extensive research and due diligence on kBtu's and associated carbon emissions, the Project Team is unable to provide the required information. The kBtu specification is unavailable as the ''koolstoof'' is an antique and heirloom appliance and originates from a time before kBtu's were calculated and made available. The Project Team confirm that to compensate for any associated emissions, the PV system of the School is projected to supply 6633 kWh/annum of excess clean energy back to the grid.

The project team request ILFI to provide further guidance on how we can address compensating for the kBtu output?

Cultural Heritage and Education Motivation:

In addition to the solutions, the approval request for the inclusion of the traditional ''koolstoof'' links to the cultural heritage of the surrounding agricultural lifestyle, in South Africa the fireplace is associated to bringing community together and to utilise the fire practically as a means of cooking. This particular ''koolstoof'' is a cultural heirloom of the Green School. With regards to education, the School would like to include a project which includes a comparison exercise into the school curricula. The concept is still under development however it is envisaged that the project will research the difference between traditional cooking methods using various fuel sources and which fuel sources are beneficial for the environment.

Conclusion:

The Project Team believe that the inclusion of the traditional ''koolstoof'' will add to the associated cultural heritage of the Green School, including knowledge transfer of vital practical and innovative skills, as well as research development.

We thank you for your consideration of the approval to include the Traditional ''koolstoof''.

ANSWER

The Exception that this proposal falls under is EC-003 Combustion in Commercial Kitchens; this exception requires proof of efforts to minimize the effects of combustion. Through other correspondence and Dialogue posts, the team has also proposed to include an additional wood-burning outdoor oven, which could only be used if compliant with the Commercial Kitchen exception. The project team has not demonstrated any effort to minimize the instances of, and accordingly the effects of, combustion equipment in the project as required. 

Use of EC-003 Combustion in Commercial Kitchens cannot be approved for the koolstoof based on the information provided, and the Institute's understanding of the current scope of proposed combustion on the project.

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