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 News
Updated 7 hours ago South African cement producer Sephaku Cement (SepCem) is planning for its cement plants to reach steady-state capacity utilisation by the end of the second quarter of this year, subject to demand. By the end of December 2014, the company’s two cement plants had...
Article contains comments
Updated 5 hours ago The Department of Energy (DoE) announced on Tuesday that the pre-procurement phase for South Africa’s proposed roll-out of a nuclear new build programme had been completed, following the latest in a series of workshops with vendor countries and their companies....
Updated 6 hours ago The Competition Commission has appointed Bukhosibakhe Majenge legal services divisional manager, effective April 1. The commission advised on Tuesday that Majenge would take over from Wendy Ndlovu, appointed manager in the office of the Commissioner. Majenge had...
Updated 6 hours ago Aim-listed energy provider Ncondezi Energy has been granted an extension for meeting certain conditions relating to the conditional commercial deal signed between it and Electricidade de Moçambique (EdM) for its 300 MW power plant. Ncondezi was establishing an...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
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.
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...