Aug 03, 2012
Vertical shaft brick kiln reduces coal use by 50%Back
Construction|Expertise|Africa|CoAL|Fire|Housing|Langkloof Bricks|Sustainable|Testing|Africa|India|Nepal|South Africa|Switzerland|Langkloof Bricks SA-VSBK Facility|Brick Maker|Energy|Open-source Technology|Products|Technology Transfer Programme Involving Local Brick Makers|Environmental|Brick Kiln|Christian Meuwly|Nico Blake|Pieter Blake|Insulation|Open-source Technology|SA-VSBK Technology|Self-supporting Brick Making Technology
© Reuse this
“The SA-VSBK, in contrast to some of the other traditional methods of brick manufacture, operates continuously throughout all weather conditions and produces high-quality clay bricks that are uniform in size, shape, strength and texture,” he says, highlighting that demand has increased substantially for these low-carbon bricks in the past year.
Langkloof Bricks has reduced wastage from 10% to less than 3%, says Langkloof Bricks production director Pieter Blake, noting that the company monitors and meets all of the emissions criteria as set out by the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Air Quality Management Directorate, which enables Langkloof Bricks to register for carbon credits under the Clean Develop- ment Mechanism of the United Nations.
“The SA-VSBK process entails clay brick batches packed and lowered into the shafts where they are preheated before entering the firing zone. Fourteen batches of 456 bricks each can be fired in a single shaft within 24 hours, which is significantly quicker and more economical than other methods,” says Rowe Construction MD and lead designer of the next generation kilns Jez Rowe.
The bricks cool as they are lowered through the shaft below the firing zone and we can produce a batch every 1.5 to 2 hours. Further, the use of air as an insulation medium and our work on increasing the efficiency of airflows as well as reducing firing energy has also reduced the price of constructing a shaft by about 30%, while improving the quality of bricks produced, he adds.
The implementation of the SA-VSBK concept, as a Swiss open-source technology, has been successfully developed into a commercial technology in South Africa with input from local engineers in the refractory, civil, ceramic, chemical and construction industries, and can now be deployed glo- bally, he notes.
“Langkloof Bricks has installed six back-to-back vertical shaft kilns and has proven the economic sustainability of the technology to supply the construction and housing industries,” says Ambassador of Switzerland to South Africa Christian Meuwly, who toured the Langkloof Bricks SA-VSBK facility in July.
“The result of Swiss technical support in the development of an economically viable and self-supporting brick making technology that reduces greenhouse emis- sions in South Africa, and also produces high-quality and environmentally valuable products, demonstrates that this change can be sustained, and we hope to see this model multiplying in South Africa on the back of these successful experiences,” says Meuwly.
The 50% fuel reduction is significant and benefits medium-sized and microenterprises, as well as larger organisations. We are conducting thermo-dynamic testing of the third- generation designs of the kilns in anticipation of expanding the six kilns at Langkloof Bricks by a further 18 kilns. This expansion demonstrates that the SA-VSBK technology is proving to be economically viable and provides the clay brick maker with a competitive advantage, notes Rowe.
“Continued local collaboration and Swiss partnerships to mitigate climate change by developing companies in an economically sustainable manner are important. The potential exists to promote, expand and increase adoption of this technology in South Africa, which will benefit the housing and construction markets,” concludes Meuwly.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Construction Materials News
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
This Week's Magazine
South Africa remains an important manufacturing and export platform for Ford Motor Company, says executive chairperson Bill Ford. However, he adds that other countries on the continent are “becoming interesting”, and that the US carmaker is casting its net wider for...
Germany’s Max-Planck-Society (MPG) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPlfR) are investing €11-million (about R150-million) into South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array programme. The money will be used to design, build and install S-band radio...
Infrastructure spend in sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $70-billion in 2013 to $180-billion by 2025, says PwC capital projects and infrastructure Africa leader Jonathan Cawood. This is one of the findings of PwC’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure report on East...
Private-owned defence and aerospace manufacturer Paramount Group and the Ichikowitz Family Foundation unveiled its Anti-Poaching Skills and K9 Training Academy in Magaliesburg last month.
The inclusion of Bluetooth to provide sub-three meter accuracy and heightened functionality for users is one of the ways to change existing wireless networks into engagement networks. An engagement network differs from common wireless networks in that it enables the...