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Evaluation of Solid Fuels for the Commercial Cooking Industry

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Subjects in Renewable Energy and Sustainability in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Virginia Charter P.E. Oklahoma State University

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Virginia Charter has her BS in Fire Protection & Safety Engineering Technology from Oklahoma State University and MS in Fire Protection Engineering from Worcestor Polytechnic Institute. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at OSU.

Ms. Charter is currently an Assistant Professor at OSU’s Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology program where she teaches Fire Protection Hydraulics and Water Supply Analysis as well as Design and Analysis of Sprinkler Systems. Her research interests include fire protection systems, codes and standards, as well as educational effectiveness and women in STEM. She serves as the advisor to the OSU SFPE Student Chapter and is an active member in the Oklahoma Chapter of SFPE. She is a licensed Fire Protection Engineer in Nevada, California and Oklahoma.

Prior to returning to OSU, Ms. Charter was a Senior Consultant for the Las Vegas office of Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc. Ms. Charter has been heavily involved in large mixed-use properties egress design. She has developed performance specifications and conceptual drawings for fire alarm and automatic sprinkler systems, as well as construction design documents including fire protection reports, code equivalencies, and general code consulting for many projects across the nation and abroad. Additionally, she has valuable technical knowledge in smoke control analysis including the commissioning of smoke control systems.

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Ridge Reid Oklahoma State University

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Ridge Reid, GSP, is a Associate Safety Engineer for the Valero Meraux Refinery. He is a highly organized and independent worker who is capable to effectively coordinate tasks to accomplish projects with timeliness and in line with the goals of the organization. Ridge earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology in 2015 from Oklahoma State University with a major in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering. During his coursework, he gained knowledge in assessing and reducing the loss potential in the industrial setting with respect to fire, safety, industrial hygiene, and hazardous material incidents. During his time at Valero, he regularly audited the refinery for safe work practices, hazardous conditions, at-risk actions, permitting, and ensured compliance with state and federal regulations

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Rachel Mosier P.E. Oklahoma State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Rachel Mosier is an Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State Universityand has a degree in Architectural Engineering from Oklahoma State, and Construction Administration and Engineering degrees from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Mosier is licensed as a professional engineer in Construction Engineering.

She has worked as a project manager for the City of Oklahoma City on municipal infrastructure construction projects. These projects include a variety of building project including fire stations one of which received LEED Silver.

Dr. Mosier’s areas of academic interests include heavy civil construction and structural design. Her research interest has been the cost of sustainable construction to owners, technology in the classroom and interdisciplinary coursework. She is currently working with the Fire Protection and Safety technology program on combined classes for structural fires.

Dr. Mosier is an active member of the American Public Works Association, National Council of Structural Engineers Association, and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Chi Epilson.

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The National Fire Protection Association Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations, or NFPA 96, provides strict design criteria on the requirements for commercial cooking equipment and the associated exhaust hoods. Within NFPA 96, there are additional restrictions should a commercial kitchen utilize solid fuels within their cooking process. These requirements include a separate exhaust hood for appliances that utilize solid fuels as the primary heat source. NFPA 96 defines solid cooking fuel as “any solid, organic, consumable, fuel such as briquettes, mesquite, hardwood, or charcoal.” Solid fuels present an added hazard, specifically when the creosote that results during the solid fuel burning process mixes with grease-laden vapors from other cooking appliances within the kitchen. However, NFPA 96 provides an exception for cooking appliances that are gas-powered and have a limited size tray for solid fuels solely intended for food flavoring. This gas-powered equipment, if the list of restrictions in NFPA 96 is met, will not be required to have a separate kitchen exhaust hood. However, there is minimal information provided as to why this exception is permitted. Given the restrictions, a better understanding of the various solid fuels, from manufacturing process to burning characteristics, is needed to validate the requirements for separate kitchen exhaust hoods or provide insight as to the limitations of the exception within NFPA 96 to not provide a separate exhaust hood. There are few regulations for the manufacturing of solid fuels because solid fuel cooking, historically, has occurred outdoors. With the rising popularity of smoked barbeque menu items and restaurants, solid fuel cooking within indoor commercial kitchens is increasing. The requirement of a separate exhaust hood specifically for solid fuel cooking appliances is costly to owners. Additionally, there have been recent innovations within the commercial cooking industry, specifically related to utilizing different solid fuels, such as wood pellets, as a part of the cooking process. Investigating the primary fuel sources for solid fuel cooking including wood pellets will provide the necessary data to determine what additional testing or criterion the commercial cooking appliances should undergo or potential changes or exceptions to NFPA 96 and the exhaust hood requirements for solid fuel cooking.

Charter, V., & Reid, R., & Mosier, R. (2016, June), Evaluation of Solid Fuels for the Commercial Cooking Industry Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26786

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