October 5, 2022

Climate and Health Impacts of Natural Gas Stoves Are Much Greater Than Previously Thought

This additional warming from house methane leakages contributes about a third as much warming as the co2 created by combustion of the stoves gas, and sometimes exposes users to respiratory disease-triggering toxins. The findings, published January 27, 2022, in Environmental Science & & Technology, come as lawmakers in numerous U.S. municipalities and at least one state– New York– weigh prohibiting natural gas hookups from new construction.
” Surprisingly, there are really few measurements of how much natural gas gets away into the air from inside homes and structures through leaks and insufficient combustion from devices,” stated research study lead author Eric Lebel, who carried out the research as a graduate trainee in Stanfords School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth). “Its probably the part of natural gas emissions we comprehend the least about, and it can have a big influence on both environment and indoor air quality.”

Stanford researchers found that gas stoves emit even more methane than as soon as thought, and most of the emissions happen while the range is off. Throughout combustion, ranges also emit dangerous levels of nitrogen oxides, a harmful air contaminant.
Study approximates that methane dripping from stoves inside United States houses has the very same environment effect as about 500,000 gasoline-powered automobiles and the stoves can expose people to respiratory disease-triggering toxins.
Natural gas stoves release methane– a potent greenhouse gas– and other contaminants through leakages and insufficient combustion. Stanford scientists approximate that methane dripping from ranges inside U.S. homes has the very same environment impact as about 500,000 gasoline-powered cars and trucks and the ranges can expose people to breathing disease-triggering contaminants.
Human beings have prepared with fire for centuries, however it might be time for a modification. Natural gas devices warm the planet in 2 ways: generating co2 by burning gas as a fuel and leaking unburned methane into the air. A brand-new Stanford-led research study reveals that the methane dripping from natural gas-burning stoves inside U.S. homes has a climate effect equivalent to the co2 emissions from about 500,000 gasoline-powered automobiles.

A lot of surprising of all, more than three-quarters of methane emissions occurred while stoves were off, suggesting that gas fittings and connections to the stove and in-home gas lines are accountable for most emissions, regardless of how much the stove is used.
In general, the scientists approximated that natural gas stoves discharge up to 1.3 percent of the gas they utilize as unburned methane. From ranges alone, the researchers estimated overall methane emissions to be substantially more than the emissions currently reported by the EPA for all residential sources.
Switching to electric stoves will cut greenhouse gas emissions and indoor air contamination.”

A new Stanford-led study reveals that the methane dripping from natural gas-burning ranges inside U.S. homes has a climate effect equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from about 500,000 gasoline-powered cars and trucks.

An ignored contributor to a growing problem
Although carbon dioxide is more abundant in the environment, methanes worldwide warming potential is about 86 times as excellent over a 20-year period and at least 25 times as excellent a century after its release. Methane likewise threatens air quality by increasing the concentration of tropospheric ozone, direct exposure to which triggers an estimated 1 million early deaths annually worldwide due to respiratory health problems. Methanes relative concentration has grown more than two times as fast as that of carbon dioxide considering that the beginning of the Industrial Revolution because of human-driven emissions.
While pipeline leakages of natural gas, which is more than 90 percent methane, have been studied thoroughly, natural gas-burning cooking appliances have received relatively little attention.
Over one-third of U.S. homes– more than 40 million houses– cook with gas. Unlike other gas devices, such as space and hot water heater that are normally positioned away from living quarters, cooking appliances directly expose individuals to their emissions, which can include formaldehyde, carbon monoxide gas, and nitric oxides that can set off asthma, coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing, sometimes resulting in hospitalization. Hood use and ventilation help in reducing concentrations of nitrogen oxides and other co-produced pollutants in cooking area air, yet studies show that home cooks usually use hoods for kitchen ventilation only 25– 40 percent of the time.
Stanford graduate student Eric Lebel samples natural gas from a home stove. Credit: Rob Jackson
Implications and findings
To much better comprehend cooking appliances possible environment and health impacts, the scientists determined methane and nitrogen oxides released in 53 houses in California, not only throughout ignition, extinguishment, and combustion, but also while the device was off, something most previous studies had actually not done. Their research study included 18 brands of gas cooktops and ranges varying in age from 3 to 30 years.
The greatest emitters were cooktops that fired up utilizing a pilot light instead of a built-in electronic sparker. Methane emissions from the puffs of gas discharged while snuffing out a burner and sparking were on average comparable to the quantity of unburned methane produced during about 10 minutes of cooking with the burner. Surprisingly, the researchers discovered no evidence of a relationship in between the age or expense of a range and its emissions. Most unexpected of all, more than three-quarters of methane emissions occurred while ranges were off, recommending that gas fittings and connections to the stove and in-home gas lines are accountable for most emissions, despite just how much the stove is used.
In general, the scientists estimated that natural gas stoves give off approximately 1.3 percent of the gas they use as unburned methane. While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not report emissions from specific residential gas appliances, it does report methane emissions for residential home appliances jointly. From ranges alone, the scientists approximated overall methane emissions to be substantially more than the emissions currently reported by the EPA for all property sources.
Larger stoves tended to emit greater rates of nitric oxides, for example. Utilizing their price quote of emissions of nitrogen oxides, the scientists discovered that people who do not utilize their variety hoods or who have bad ventilation can go beyond the EPAs guidelines for 1-hour direct exposure to nitrogen dioxide outdoors (there are no indoor standards) within a couple of minutes of range use, particularly in smaller sized kitchen areas.
” I dont want to breathe any extra nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide gas or formaldehyde,” said research study senior author Rob Jackson, the Michelle and Kevin Douglas Provostial Professor and teacher of Earth system science. “Why not decrease the risk entirely? Changing to electric ranges will cut greenhouse gas emissions and indoor air contamination.”
Referral: “Methane and NOx Emissions from Natural Gas Stoves, Cooktops and Ovens in Residential Homes” 27 January 2022, Environmental Science & & Technology.
Jackson was an included speaker in a related public webinar, “Electrification of the Building Sector: Constructing an Equitable Transition” on January 26.
Jackson is likewise a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Precourt Institute for Energy. Lebel is currently a senior scientist at PSE Healthy Energy. Research study co-authors likewise include Colin Finnegan, an environmental science research study specialist in Earth system science, and Zutao Ouyang, a postdoctoral scholar in Earth system science.

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