The smoggy kilns: The zig-zag solution to pollution

Published: May 22, 2011
New technology to help curb smoke emissions from brick kilns.

New technology to help curb smoke emissions from brick kilns.


Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) has asked the brick kiln owners to install ‘zig-zag’ technology to reduce the environmental pollution “these smoke-emitting units” cause. The environmental watch dog in a meeting with Brick Kilns Association office-bearers on Friday asked the owners to follow the set procedure.

“We would not spare any one who defies the court’s orders,” Assadullah Faiz, Director-General, Pak-EPA told The Express Tribune on Friday. He said that under Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the environmental body, the capital city would be made pollution free. “However, we will not withdraw cases registered against brick kiln owners because these were referred to environmental tribunal on merit,” he said.

A detailed discussion was held with the association of brick kilns on adoption of zig-zag technology which will help reduce pollution. The owners will also be able to sell their carbon credits to foreign investors and earn foreign exchange. The owners agreed to work with government departments on a pilot project, Faiz said.

Responding to a question, he said that at present no kiln is operational in the vicinity of Benazir Bhutto International Airport. The Pak-EPA in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment is taking initiatives to avail carbon credit facility for all the brick kiln owners after getting the red-zone cleared, he added. The red-zone  near the airport was earlier under scrutiny due to presence of several brick kilns over there.

Pak-EPA chief said that the environment ministry is in the process of initiating a pilot project for availing carbon credits facility in the country to bring foreign investors and latest technologies in order to reduce carbon levels.

He was of the view that this facility will definitely prove helpful in keeping the environment safe and clean. Other countries of our region are already availing this facility and earning huge amounts of foreign exchange because of it, Faiz said.

Minister of Environment Samina Khalid Ghurki recently informed the lower house of the parliament during the question hour that out of the 12 brick kilns very close to the airport, five brick kilns have now stopped operation, while cases of the remaining seven were referred to an environmental tribunal for trial. Construction of a model brick kiln unit based on Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln technology is underway with the assistance of Swiss authorities, the minister added.

“Brick Kiln Association is keen to switch over to the new technology once it is successfully demonstrated for operation in Pakistan,” she said. Responding to a question, the minister said the environment ministry has worked out a three-phase programme to relocate brick kilns from Islamabad.

In the first phase, Zone IV and V and brick kilns located in the red zone (very close to the airport) will be shifted. About 43 brick kilns fall in this category and 27 brick kilns have already been dismantled. In the second phase, about 20 brick kilns located between red zone and outer periphery of Islamabad Capital Territory, away from the airport, will be asked to move. According to Environmental Protection Tribunal orders, brick kilns located within a radius of 12 kilometres around the airport will have to be shifted elsewhere, while those located outside the 12km radius but within 20km of the airport will have to install a smoke control device. The entire process is to be completed within three months.

In the third phase, Zone II and III brick kilns on the outer periphery of ICT will be shifted. About 50 brick kilns fall in this category.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Jun 1, 2011 - 2:24PM

    It is heartening to note that tiugh scanty yet the media is taking up issues on Environment, specially high lighting the ill effects of Brick Kilns. I am representing Energy Efficient Brick Production (EEBP) Programme sponsored by Swiss Agency for Development, constructed and operated Three Vertical Shaft Brick Kilns (VSBK) in Rawalpindi / Islamabad Area. The statement of the Minister of Envioronment Mst Samina Khalid Ghurki has been mis-qouted, the construction of three pilot VSBK is complete and now EEBP sponsored by Swiss Government, in collaboration with Government of Punjab is planning to undertake emission monitoring of all contemporary brick kilns to adopt the most suitable for Pakistan.

    Besides providing technical support to the kiln owners on energy efficient and environment friendly brick production techniques and practices, an effort is in hand to standarized the quality of bricks through mechanised brick production which shall be landmark saving the industry from stigma of Child Labour and Bonded labour. If successfull second stage shall be launched to introduce the trades for brick industry, like Soil Inspectors, Brick Moulders, Green Brick Yard Inspectors, Firemasters and fireman. Presently no instituion in Pakistan is having any training courses to produce skiled labour for the brick sector. EEBP is also preparing curriculum to oraganise the training.

    I am grateful to TRIBUNE making people aware of this menace to the Envioronment.which with the help of Government can be easily eradicated. Recommend

  • sajid mahmood
    Jun 20, 2011 - 11:49PM

    i want to add in this news that smoke control device which quoted by minister of environment Samina Khalid Ghurki is smoke density reduction device designed Mr. Sajid Mahmood (acting chemist -Air) in environmental monitoring system project established in Pakistan and laboratory Assistant in Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency Islamabad and recommended by Pakistan Environmental Protection Tribunal and ordered the brick kiln owners to install this device which are located 12 to 20 km radius of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto international air port islamabad. this news already published in The Express tribune and other local news of islamabad.Recommend

  • Jun 21, 2011 - 10:10AM

    I would like to request Mr. Sajid Mahmood, Acting Chemist EPA to pease allow us to use the”Smoke Reduction Device” by providing design of the device. We are also requesting All Pakistan Brick Kiln Owners Association to share all such ideas to benifit through concerted efforts. “Water the Chimeny” was used by Mr. Akraam Secretary Brick Kiln Association and was partly succesful, Mr. Sajid may also give his recommendation on this method also to make it a success benifiting the brick community.

    All such comments and suggestions may be shared with Engr Tahir Dar,

  • Sajid Mahmood
    Jun 21, 2011 - 4:22PM

    First of all i like to thanks The Express Tribune news that provide us a plateform to dispersed our ideas among the communities of brick kiln and also thank Engr Tahir Pervaiz Dar (EEBP) whose work for Environment. I want to share my opinion and clear about the technique which used by the Mr. Akram Secretary Brick kiln association “Water Sprinkling in the Chimney” which is not good because i personally visited the brick kiln chimney. They directly sprinkle the water inside the chimney and dig a hole at inside bottom of chimney. this sprinkle droplets of water no doubt settle down the larger particle of carbon/ashes. It was awkward technique because firstly they have to remove the water from the dig and it take more than 1-2 hour and secondly due to sprinkling water inside the chimney due to contraction and expansion the chimney wall got cracks and may collapse if further continue so that is why they stopped this technique not partly successful. but appreciate the effort of Mr Akram Secretary Brick kiln association for his work in environment.but my device better improvement and one of the innovative design which will not disturb the natural mechanism of brick kiln and may equal to high draught brick kiln and far better than zig zag technology of india.Recommend

  • Jun 21, 2011 - 4:57PM

    I am delighted to receive the comments on two accounts, one , a committed and quick responce, two, Mr. Sajid is well aware of the work we are soliciting advice from worls over. Is it possible that the method recommended by Mr. Sajid is shared with us or we may collaborate in R&D activities. My e mail address is tahir@eebp.pkRecommend

  • sajid mahmood (chemist-air Pak-EPA)
    Jun 22, 2011 - 12:34AM

    Thanks for your comments about me and your commitment for environment, sir R & D activities is my priority of life and goals. i want to sacrifice for it and if my small work can do for environment it mean i have achieved my one goal of life. it will great pleasure and honour for me if you include me R & D activities.and you will really find me one of the great collaborator in research and development.but i feel insecurity in the sense that some body may not misuse me.because researcher is sincere and honest if somebody misuse him he dispersed like the ideas in his mind. This is because i have shared my ideas to many person but they gave no response i dont know where they use it but i want to use this device for the benefit of environment if it is properly use.

    let briefly i explain my device it is simple one it install on the mouth of fixed stack brick kiln technology and it consist of
    1. two rings , large and small
    2. hood with axial fan
    3. Duct
    4. Closed water tank except one opening for exhaust
    5 water tank has float valve as well as drain valve at the bottom
    tank contain 72 liters of water about quarter level of tank. this water can use minimum 24 hour a day and water use in it as scrubber but in different way that it is not sprinkle on the exhaust/flue gas but water in the tank remain stagnant and flue gases along with particles thrust on it surface by the axial exhaust fan through duct with the result that water splashes and sprinkle on the remaining escaped particles and in this way due to wetness the heavy particle settle down along with gaseous substance while smoke with less density excaped out through outlet pipe at top of the tank. this is my brief on device which is very economical and environmental friendly. economical in the sense that it increase the production of bricks and also quality by increasing its combustion and make it more energy efficient and according to my estimation make as efficient as high draught india technology and more than zig zag technology. it is simple to install on the mouth of brick kiln without disturbing its natural mechanism. i have tested it by installing one of brick kiln of Mr. Akram secretary all Pakistan brick kiln association and i also appreciate his support by giving finance for designing and installation. he and other people are satisfy with result of this device just it need good material and proper installation according to its specification. Recommend

  • Jun 22, 2011 - 1:11PM

    We are having an emmission monitoring excersise starting w.e.f 29th June,2011 at Islamabad, if the device is avilable it would be a great opportunity to install and test. We are waiting for a positive response to move in the field and test. Please do contact to work out the modalities, if possible.Recommend

  • Sajid Mahmood (Chemist-air EMS project)
    Jun 22, 2011 - 3:59PM

    Thanks for that but sir this device was made just for experiment basis and it was made with cheap material to test my design whether successful or not. after successful experiment i made a test report and then made manual of this design. This design/Device was recommended by the Pakistan Environmental Tribunal. i recommended that for proper working of this device it should be made with high resistance heat/ corrosive if any body want to use it which already EPT order to brick kiln owner of 12km to 20km radius which is mentioned by the Minister of Environment Samina Khalid Ghurki in her interview to The Express Tribune. if you want to use or test it contact with me and it will take time to again manufacture on my prescribed design. it is not possible to available this device on 29th June of this month.

    Mobile # 00923005066011
    email: searchline2001@yahoo.comRecommend

  • Sajid Mahmood (chemist-Air EMS Project)
    Jun 25, 2011 - 3:24PM

    I have handed over my design in my meeting at EEBP Office . They will fabricate it according to my designed and again test it according to their standardized procedure and validate it if successful. i hope for the best this will be great achievement in the field of environment especially to reduce pollution especially black carbon produce by brick kiln of BTK type technology. i cordially thankful to Engr. Tahir Pervaiz Dar (EEBP) and his efforts to promote energy efficient technology in Pakistan. We all pray for the best.Recommend

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