From: Smriti Mallapaty, SciDevNet, More from this Affiliate
Published June 1, 2013 07:58 AM

Southeast Asian Brick Kilns Must Reduce Air Pollutant Emissions

South Asia's brick sector needs to retrofit its existing kilns with cleaner and more efficient technology, a recent (May 9—10) workshop in Kathmandu heard.

Organised by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, Mexico's National Institute of Ecology, and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Nepal, the workshop was attended by entrepreneurs from Latin America, Africa and Asia.


South Asia produces over 250 billion bricks annually compared to China's production of one trillion bricks. But South Asia's outdated clamp kilns, moveable bull trench kilns and fixed chimney kilns are inefficient, polluting and labour-unfriendly.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, brick-making is the second largest industrial consumer of coal in India and accounts for nine per cent of industrial black carbon emissions that have been traced to global warming.

South Asia's "brick industry is where it was in the 1800s," said Gilbert Habla, managing director of the Melbourne-based Habla Kilns which has signed an agreement with the Nepalese company MinEnergy to build the first Habla 'zig-zag kiln' in a developing country.

Retrofitting with Habla kilns is seen as a first step in South Asia's climb up the technology ladder. Doing so could result in a 20 per cent drop in coal consumption, three-quarter reduction in black carbon emissions, and profit-doubling, according to a 2013 study by the India-based Greentech Knowledge Solutions.

Bull trench kiln image via

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