Zigzag Technology In Brick Kilns For Lesser Air Pollution

Air pollution is one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues, especially in developing countries like Pakistan. In order to tackle this problem, a lot of countries are taking measures such as introducing no-car zones in certain areas or providing better public transport to avoid reliance on cars. Unfortunately, Pakistan often ranks as one of the world’s most polluted countries, according to the World Air Quality Index. The good news is that the incumbent government is making various efforts to protect the environment. Case in point: The government of Punjab recently shifted the province’s brick kilns to zigzag technology, which is more eco-friendly than traditional brick kilns.

Punjab Shifts Brick Kilns To Zigzag Technology

Achieving yet another milestone, Punjab took the lead in converting all the brick kilns present in the province to zigzag technology. The technology has been known to reduce power consumption and cuts down carbon emissions hence improving the air quality.

bricks produced using zigzag technology
Bricks produced using zigzag technology are better in quality

Punjab Province is reportedly home to 7,896 brick kilns in total, most of which are located near urban areas. These kilns previously used energy from fossil fuels which have a huge impact on the nearby areas due to a high content of carbon emissions. The newly installed technology reduces these carbon emissions by 60% and also saves 30% energy. This not only conserves the environment but also uses less energy to work at the full capacity.

The traditional brick kilns, also known as Fixed Chimney Bulls Trench Kiln (FCBTK, used an inefficient way of baking bricks and bore the loss of a lot of energy in the process hence the black smoke with huge contents of air pollutants.

Difference Between Zigzag Brick Kilns and traditional Brick Kilns

The following table lists the differences between traditional Fixed Chimney Bulls Trench Kiln (FCBTK) and zigzag technology.

Fixed Chimney Bulls Trench Kiln (FCBTK) Zigzag Technology
Bricks are places in a straight pattern Bricks are places in a zigzag pattern
Inefficient and incomplete combustion Efficient combustion
Emits black soot Emits white smoke
Higher air pollutants and huge carbon emissions including black carbon Less air pollutants and 60% lesser carbon emissions 
Inefficient energy use Saves energy by 30%
Poor brick quality Better brick quality and production

Adverse Effects Of Using Traditional Brick Kilns

The brick made using traditional bricks has a lot of adverse effects which is why these have become obsolete in advanced countries. The black smoke emerging from the top of the chimney is a result of incomplete combustion that results in releasing more toxic gases containing carbon in the air. As a result of incomplete combustion, air pollutants like sulphur oxides, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide (CO2), forms of particulate matter (PM) including black carbon, and additional compounds produced by burning coal and other fuels are exposed to the environment.

brick kiln chimney
Inside of a chimney of a brick kiln

Adding to adverse effects, the kilns that are closer to cities and villages increase the chances of cardio-respiratory diseases. Since a major portion of the fuel used in these kilns is coal, deforestation occurs at a higher rate in order to supply raw material to make coal.

Fuel to run these kilns comes from coal, rubber and shoe soles which is why carbon emissions are inevitable. These have a damaging effect on the climate. The black mass evolving from the chimney is black carbon which when forms a layer on snow, increases its melting rate many folds. 

Govt’s Efforts To Tackle Climate Change

In Pakistan, a roundabout figure of traditional brick kilns is 20,000 that use fuels that after burning emits lethal gasses, black carbon soot contributing significantly to air pollution and climate change. It is in the best interest of the government as well as people to shift to more efficient and greener technology. 

Due to the increased smog during the months of September and October, the Punjab Government didn’t allow the owners of Fixed Chimney Bulls Trench Kiln (FCBTK) to operate which resulted in losses of millions of rupees. Moreover, the preheating required to warm up the kiln after a two-month break required a handsome amount of coal which cost a few hundred thousand rupees. However, they can now operate throughout the year.

Under the current government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, another initiative to plant 10 billion trees was also started to combat air pollution, improve air quality and increase greenery in Pakistan.

With Punjab completely shifting to zigzag technology, more than one-quarter of the entire country’s brick kilns are producing bricks using greener methods. The air quality can further be improved if all the remaining kilns are also shifted to similar technology.

For more information on the government’s initiatives and updates about the real estate market of Pakistan, keep following Zameen Blog.

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