Climate-friendly kilns could reduce Bangladesh's emissions
Bangladesh, which emits relatively fewer polluting gases but is projected to be highly vulnerable to global warming, has embarked on a drive to introduce environment-friendly brick-making technology to curb gaseous emissions.
The UN Development Fund (UNDP) has announced financial and technical support for large-scale adoption of its improved brick-making technology to help the country cut emissions and improve efficiency. The UNDP will invest in 16 demonstration kilns by the end of 2014.
Bangladesh has some 8,000 traditional kilns making 8.66 billion bricks worth USD450 million annually. The sector grew by over eight percent during the last decade, but also contributed three million tonness of carbon dioxide annually due to "outmoded, inefficient and poorly constructed kilns and the use of substandard fuels such as high sulfur coal, tires and wood energy in the kilns to fire clay into bricks," a UNDP release said.
It is projected to grow by five percent each year, burning more than a million tonnes of coal annually and emitting 8.7 million tons of carbon dioxide by 2014.
The new technology is based on the German ‘Hoffman kiln’ developed in the mid-19th century to bake clay. In 1999, China improvised the German technology into the more environment-friendly 'hybrid Hoffman kiln' (HHK), in which coal and clay are injected into a chamber and mixed to form raw, wet bricks, which are later dried.
The hybrid approach burns 95 percent of the fuel, is more efficient and emits fewer polluting gases to produce high quality, lower cost bricks.
The UNDP improvised the HHK further by enlarging the drying chamber to suit Bangladesh's coal quality and clay moisture.
UNDP project manager Khondker Neaz Rahman said that pilot tests initiated in January 2010, in Dhamrai town near Dhaka, showed the new approach producing 40,000 bricks daily, compared to 25,000-30,000 bricks using Chinese technology.