SIMCenter applies expertise, DOE funding to improve wood-burning stoves

Posted: October 22, 2021

The Ohio State University’s Simulation Innovation and Modeling Center (SIMCenter) has earned a $2.5 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop and test low-emission, high-efficiency residential wood-fueled heaters.

Led by SIMCenter Director Shawn Midlam-Mohler, the multi-disciplinary team will work over the next three years to develop modeling and automation technology to optimize design and development of residential wood room heaters. The team will focus on cordwood-fueled stoves, which are the most widely sold variety in the United States.

Shawn Midlam-Mohler portrait

“Automation and simulation have revolutionized products and design processes in many other industry sectors, such as automotive and aerospace,” said Midlam-Mohler, a professor of practice in mechanical and aerospace engineering. “We aim to apply these same technologies to advance the domestic wood-fueled heater industry.”

In addition, the research will help the wood-fueled heater industry meet current and future DOE and EPA goals for emissions and energy efficiency.

The grant is part of $97 million in funding for 33 projects that will support high-impact technology research and development to accelerate the bioeconomy. These projects will improve the performance and lower the cost and risk of technologies that can be used to produce biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts from biomass and waste resources.

“Advancements made in bioenergy technologies will help expand America’s energy supply, grow our economy, and enhance our energy security,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “These projects will ensure the United States’ leadership across all segments of the growing global bioeconomy, and allow us to provide U.S. consumers and businesses more homegrown energy choices for their fuels and products.”

The project team includes personnel and facilities from Ohio State’s Simulation Innovation and Modeling Center (SIMCenter), the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and the Center for Automotive Research (CAR). External collaborators include the University at Buffalo, Oak Ridge National LaboratoryNAFEMS, and New Buck Corporation, a U.S.-based stove manufacturer.

Category: Research