Laboratory-based tests evaluate stove performance and quality in a controlled settings with repeatability, allowing for differentiation between stoves. Field-based tests demonstrate how stoves perform with local cooks, foods, practices, and fuels.  The Alliance maintains this comprehensive list of protocols (for a range of stove and fuel types) and archives of earlier versions (available upon request).  

The Water Boiling Test, Biomass Stove Safety Protocol, Controlled Cooking Test, Durability Test, and Kitchen Performance Test were developed collaboratively by multiple Alliance partners.  The other protocols shared below were developed by individual partner organizations or countries.  Alliance partners are collaborating to further develop and harmonize protocols.


Developed collaboratively by Alliance partners
Water Boiling Test
The Water Boiling Test (WBT) is a laboratory-based test that can be used to measure how efficiently a stove uses fuel to heat water in a cooking pot and the quantity of emissions produced while cooking. This version reflects comments submitted during a public comment period ending in late 2009, and includes recommendations for both standardized testing and using local pots and fuels.
Cookstove Field Study Resources
This document provides resources to assist teams in developing and implementing field studies to evaluate the performance of cookstoves. These resources may be of use, for example, to researchers comparing an intervention cookstove to a baseline technology, cookstove designers or manufacturers assessing product performance, or organizations seeking to understand how cookstoves affect their community’s exposure to pollutants. This document also provides basic information on comparing different options for study design, determining sample size, considering different sampling methods, and selecting means of data collection. Examples of forms and survey questions are provided that may be freely used or amended to suit the needs of study teams.

This document was developed to facilitate the work of the Field Testing Working Group of Technical Committee 285 in International Organization for Standardization (ISO), focused on cookstoves and clean cooking solutions. The Field Testing Working Group organized these resources together to support work to develop an ISO standards document on field testing. This document has been shared to support the work of other experts doing field studies.

Biomass Stove Safety Protocol
This protocol includes set of guidelines and safety evaluation procedures using simple equipment to perform most, if not all, of the safety procedures. The protocol also includes guidelines for use by designers to create safer stoves. An overall safety rating can be calculated through a combination of individual test results.
Controlled Cooking Test
The Controlled Cooking Test (CCT) is a field test that measures stove performance in comparison to traditional cooking methods when a cook prepares a pre-determined local meal. The CCT is designed to assess stove performance in a controlled setting using local fuels, pots, and practice. It reveals what is possible in households under controlled conditions but not necessarily what is actually achieved by households during daily use.
Durability Protocol
Durability affects numerous aspects of the cookstove sector, including usability, performance, safety, and user perception. This protocol is intended to provide methods for evaluating cookstove durability. Although the term durability is used here, quality may be a more appropriate term. The tests seek to identify not only aspects of cookstove designs that may affect usable life, but also the larger concept of cookstove quality. As this is a relatively new protocol, please send feedback about this protocol to
Kitchen Performance Test
The Kitchen Performance Test (KPT) is a field test used to evaluate stove performance in real-world settings. It is designed to assess actual impacts on household fuel consumption. KPTs are typically conducted in the course of an actual dissemination effort with real populations cooking normally, and give the best indication of real world performance.
Testing and Reporting Solar Cooker Performance
The American Society of Agricultural Engineers’ standard procedure to address all solar powered batch-process food and water heating devices (solar cookers). This standard is designed to promote uniformity and consistency in the terms and units used to describe, test, rate, and evaluate solar cookers, solar cooker components, and solar cooker operation.
Developed by individual Alliance partner organizations or countries
Adapted Water Boiling Test
The Adapted Water Boiling Test has been designed by the GERES stove testing center in Cambodia. The main characteristics of the AWBT are that both cookstoves are tested at the same time (when possible); the same quantity of fuel is used in both cookstoves; there is no “hot start” step; the fuel is not weighed during the test; approximate local cooking conditions are used.
Emissions and Performance Test Protocol
The Stove Manufacturers Emissions & Performance Test Protocol (EPTP), developed by the Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory at Colorado State University, updates WBT version 3.0. Key modifications in the EPTP include floating a layer of foam insulation on top of the water to reduce vaporization and using 90°C, rather than boiling, as the target temperature.
Heterogeneous Testing Procedure
This standard operating procedure, developed for use at the SeTAR Centre at the University of Johannesburg, is intended to describe routine operation of stove emissions performance and stove efficiency performance with detailed quality control procedures for the reproduction of results. This procedure uses mass loss and temperature gain for the determination of thermal efficiency.
Indian Standard on Solid Biomass Chulha-Specification - Test For Thermal Efficiency
This methodology is specified in India to be used on portable solid biomass cookstoves, or Chulhas, through the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Bureau of Indian Standard. This standard is currently under revision, and an older version will be shared here until the revision is finalized.
Indonesian Clean Stove Initiative Water Boiling Test
This test methodology was developed under the Indonesia Clean Stove Initiative (CSI), a joint program by the Indonesian government and the World Bank. The baseline products are assessed using cooking tests which are combined to create a “Technical Test” (TT). The TT is a lab-based water heating test (WHT) or water boiling test (WBT). The TT combines typical cooking cycles weighted for frequency and validated against the cooking cycles used to create it. Cooking power, fuel consumption and emissions are calculated and the product is rated relative to local baseline products. Ratings for acceptability, safety and durability are conducted separately. Indonesia CSI places products on performance tiers using a “Three Star” rating system. The tiers are not part of the CSI-WBT/WHT test method. Additional test information is provided to stove submitters as to how the candidate technology performs in terms of the minimum expectations and aspirations of the community.
Proposal for New World Standard for Testing Solar Cooker
Publication in the Journal of Engineering Science and Technology, proposing a protocol to test solar cookers, including thermal efficiency, stagnation capacity, cost per watts delivered, weight of the cooker, ease of handling and aesthetics. Recommendations for standardized reporting are also included.
Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau of Beijing Municipality - Thermal performance test for biomass cooking and heating stoves
This methodology is specified to be used on household biomass stoves in China, through the Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau of Beijing Municipality’s General specifications for biomass household stoves (DB11/T 540—2008). The methodology is outlined in Appendices A – D
Uncontrolled Cooking Test
The University of Johannesburg SeTAR Centre has developed this method that is similar to the CCT, but meal is not constrained and the cook is free to prepare what they want, how they want, with the only measurements being that of the firewood used and the final mass of food cooked as part of an actual household meal.
Thermal-Optical-Transmittance Analysis for Organic, Elemental, Carbonate, Total Carbon, and OCX2 in PM2.5 by the EPA/NIOSH Method - #83
Research Triangle Institute (RTI) performs thermal-optical-transmittance (TOT) analyses for carbon species in PM2.5 collected on quartz fiber filters in support of several Federal and State ambient air monitoring programs and human exposure studies. U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Method 5040, an evolved gas TOT method, was chosen for measurement of organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC), carbonate carbon (CC), total carbon (TC), and OCX2 (the most refractory component of OC) in PM2.5 samples collected in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) nationwide chemical speciation program. This paper presents: an overview of the EPA/NIOSH TOT analysis method, sometimes called the Speciation Trends Network (STN) method; observations on the challenges posed by using multiple instruments for an analysis in which the analytes are defined by the conditions of the analysis; a comparison of the conditions used for the EPA/NIOSH method with the conditions used for other thermal-optical analysis methods and how these differences affect measurement results; and the dependence of the OC-EC analysis split time, which is used to determine the proportions of OC and EC in a sample, on sampling location.
Diesel Particulate Matter (as Elemental Carbon)
Method 5040: Issue 3, 15 March 2003. NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM), Fourth Edition.