Bangladesh adopts smokeless brick making technology to trim greenhouse gas emissions

11:44, April 05, 2010      

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In a bid to trim greenhouse gas emissions to a considerable amount, Bangladesh has adopted smokeless brick making technology to replace the over 150-year- old traditional approach.

The new technology has been introduced by the United Nations Development Program in Bangladesh through a project titled " Improving Kiln Efficiency in the Brick Making Industry", which will contribute 25 million U.S. dollars for the next five years.

The UNDP launched project will take operational experience from its pilot Brick Kiln project which started in 2006 and use these results to implement another 15 demonstration projects over its five year project period.

With the newly introduced smokeless technologies, UNDP officials said the industry will operate under higher energy efficiencies, better energy control capabilities and higher rates of production and processing.

All of which, they said, could bring about reduced production costs, improved product quality, lower local pollution and, most importantly, reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

"The innovative technology that is being used to replace the existing 150 year old system will simply make the brick making industry so efficient that when this is replicated across Bangladesh we will have huge benefits for both the people and the global environment," Stefan Priesner, UNDP Bangladesh Country Director, said in a statement which was issued to say about the project on Sunday.

According to UNDP, brick making is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Bangladesh estimated to be on the order of 6.0 million tons of CO2 annually.

Such high levels of emissions are a result of the use of outmoded technologies and substandard fuels such as high sulphur coal, tires and wood energy in kilns, it said.

The UNDP said estimates indicate that in Bangladesh it takes about 23 tons of coal to produce 100,000 bricks whereas in another country it takes only 7.8 to 8 tons.

Equally alarming is the use of wood energy in the kilns, it said adding studies carried out in the 1980's identified brickfields as a major cause of deforestation in Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh Brick Makers Association, a private body of brickfield owners, estimates that even today 25 percent of the fuel used in kilns is still from wood. Growth of the brick industry has been estimated at 5.3 percent over that in the last decade which is likely to continuously rise over the next decade, it said.

The UNDP Bangladesh country director Priesner said, "The problem here is that the traditional technologies of manufacturing bricks are heavily polluting the environment and in light of the economic growth in Bangladesh there is a huge pressure to manufacture more and more bricks."

"The impact of this initiative will be that the communities and workers health will be protected by not being exposed to such pollution and land will be freed up in a very densely populated Bangladesh," he said.

According to the UNDP, the project will also undertake activities to remove existing policy, institutional, technical, informational and financial barriers that have inhibited the use of efficient technologies and practices in the past.

Local experts said the project comes as boon for Bangadesh, world's largest delta country of 162 million people, which has become more vulnerable in recent time to climate change related problems like cyclones, flooding, reduced fresh water availability and sea level rise.

Due to rise in sea level, according to them, the low-lying country bordering the Bay of Bengal will see at least 19-20 percent of its lands to go under water by 2050 which is to make over 20 million people climate change refugees.

Source: Xinhua


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