Nepali Times Asian Paints
Letters
Bad fuel


Reading Mudita Bajracharya's 'Killer kilns' (#202) I was surprised that she, like many other previous writers on this issue has sidelined the main cause of pollution from brick kilns. Many studies and surveys conducted on the brick industry by NESS, GTZ, ENPHO, DANIDA, CEN, have revealed that the primary cause of pollution and health hazards are from high sulfur coal. Most the brick kilns use Assam coal which contains over 5 percent sulfur. It is this sulfur which produces sulfur dioxide and causes the most damage. It not only has bad effect on the health of the workers and surrounding population, but also damages the metallic chimneys of the kilns so they don't last more than six months. Once there is leakage in the chimneys no matter how high the chimney is, you have oxides of sulfur and nitrogen in and around the kilns. Of course, you can introduce new technologies, but to reduce the oxides you have to use either fuel with less sulfur or capture the acidic oxides during combustion. In this context we did conduct some research which gave very good results. More than 80% of the sulfur dioxide could be captured by desulfurising agents in the coal during combustion. The standards and specification of the fuels used should be stated and montitored and the emissions standards should also be adopted. The question of top soil loss is another major issue. But without clay, you can't bake bricks. The only way you can get around this problem is to use alternative building blocks: stone or concrete blocks. New technologies will not solve the problems of the brick industry, and short-term measures could create other unforeseen problems.

Ramesh Singh,
email


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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