Environment-friendly brick kiln tech to be introduced shortly
LAHORE: The Punjab Environment Department will shortly introduce an environment friendly and cost effective technology of brick kilns which is being effectively used in Nepal.
Punjab Environment Minister Zakia Shahnawaz disclosed this here on Saturday while addressing the participants of a workshop held at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The Minister said that EPD is closely working with All Pakistan Brick Kiln Owners Association for setting up a model brick kiln based on Zigzag Technology. This model kiln will be established at Raiwind Road Lahore.
Capt Saif Anjum (retd), Secretary Environment Nasim-ur-Rehman Shah and Director EPA are coordinating in this regard with the association. She also appreciated the efforts of Shoaib Khan Niazi and others.
Zakia Shahnawaz said all existing brick kilns will be converted into new zigzag technology in case of success of the model brick kiln.
It was briefed in the training workshop that in several developing countries including Pakistan, clay fired bricks are produced using traditional technologies, some of these practices have severe impacts on climate, agriculture, land use, and health. Various studies have established that these improvements in technology and practices can reduce fuel consumption and pollutant emissions (including black carbon) significantly. The Environment Department Punjab is working with All Pakistan Brick Kiln Owners Association and ICIMOD to explore the cost effective and environment friendly technology. For this purpose, All Pakistan Brick Kiln Owners Association has visited Nepal this year to study the zigzag brick kilns established in Katmandu (Nepal) with the collaboration of ICIMOD. The Association and ICIMOD are convinced that this zigzag technology is very close to brick kilns of Pakistan. The representative of ICIMOD was of the view that 70% emissions can be reduced through this technology and their fuel efficiency is 40% better than our conventional brick kilns.
The clay brick-manufacturing sector in Pakistan, with an estimated 1.5% contribution to the GDP is still a highly unregulated and undocumented area. There are about 10000 conventional brick kilns in Punjab. The typical processes for production of bricks consist of hand-made bricks which are baked in local made kilns. Mechanized brick making plants and different types of kilns like the tunnel kiln, Hoffman kiln, modified FCBTK and the VSBKs have also been introduced in different countries. Earlier attempts to introduce mechanized brick making and brick baking did not meet success owing to a mix of techno-operational and adaptability/acceptability problems.
Most of the brick kilns, producing clay bricks, are located in or around the urban cities of Pakistan. They emit thick black smoke containing several air pollutants (carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides) and fine particulate matter, which present serious health hazards (human illnesses, animal and plant life destruction) to communities living around them.
In early April this year, a team from All Pakistan Brick Owners Association visited Nepal for the exposure visit and training on zigzag firing practice. During the visit, the entrepreneurs were able to learn and understand the brick kilns built as per the design manual which was produced after the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. The design manual is one of the first kinds in South Asia as it incorporated the practical knowledge and engineering design of the kilns. The training will cover topics like modifying of exiting BTK to zigzag kiln, clay preparation, brick firing, fuel and combustion, field level training etc. The main objectives of the training programme are to educate the brick makers and other participants about the shortcomings of existing technologies and practices and its impacts on their revenues as well as on climate, agriculture and health, to educate them about the cost-effective technology solutions for cleaner brick production, its benefits and best operating practices, enhanced capacity of entrepreneurs and workers on the cleaner brick firing practices, to provide a platform to the participants to discuss the issues and challenges and learn from the experiences from some of the early adopters and to train the fire masters to operate zigzag firing practices.