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The Most Frequently Asked Questions About HZZK

Why is the HZZK needed now?

Increasing urbanization, booming construction industries and the escalating use of bricks combined with the continued use of outdated, polluting brick kilns has resulted in catastrophic environmental, health and social impacts.

The existing technologies operate in poorly regulated brick industries and require urgent replacement.

The anticipated increase in global brick production will lead to a dramatic further growth in pollution, specifically CO2 and black carbon, e.g. the estimated demand increase is 200-300% by 2030.

HZZK is an ideal replacement technology for approximately 500,000 outdated existing kilns.

As the original, authentic zig-zag technology – proven and independently validated – the HZZK can meet the challenge of providing a socially responsible, environmentally sensitive and economic replacement kiln technology.

What are the environmental emissions of the global brick industry?

  • High CO2 emissions
  • Brick kilns are high emitters of CO2 and Short-lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP’S) particularly contaminating black carbon or soot which is made up of particulate pollution PM10 and PM5 and noxious gases.
  • Kilns emit approximately 1,072 million tonnes of CO2 annually which is 2.7% of total global emissions.
  • Converting as little as 10% of the kilns to Habla Zig-Zag would reduce emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere by a minimum of 50 million tonnes.
  • By comparison, the global airline industry is estimated to release a total of approximately 915 million tonnes of CO2
  • Replacing all brick kilns in developing countries with energy efficient Habla Zig-Zag Technology can remove approximately 550 million tonnes of CO2from the atmosphere annually.

What are the current options for brick kilns?

  • Hoffman Kiln invented 1858 in Germany.
  • Metal Chimney Bull’s Trench Kiln (MCBTK) widely banned, highly polluting, invented in India 1876.
  • Fixed Chimney Bull’s Trench Kiln (FCBTK) is a Bull’s Trench Kiln, with a ‘Hoffman’ style fixed brick chimney, extending approximately 30 metres above the Kiln. Regulators recommend replacement with zig-zag technology, due to kiln inefficiencies.
  • Tunnel Kiln invented in 1877 in Germany. Currently used in developed countries, now highly automated process, requires guaranteed power supply. Extremely high capital cost. Requires highly skilled labour.
  • Habla Zig-Zag Kiln invented 1927 in Germany by Alois Habla. It is the original, authentic archless zig-zag kiln.
  • Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln (VSBK) introduced into Asia early 1970’s. Has a limited capacity for production output & is very ‘clay specific’.

Why use Habla Zig-Zag kiln technology?

HZZK been proven to achieve close to 100% fuel combustion. The widespread deployment of authentic HZZK technology using unique design, operational and rapid construction techniques will reduce CO2 and GHG emissions by more than 50%, eliminate more than 90% of Black Carbon (PM2.5), and will cut all fuel consumption by more than 50%.


  • All archless zig-zags are based on the original Habla Zig-Zag Kiln Technology invented by Alois Habla. Consistent, international review and research now recommend zig-zag technology. To date, operational ‘zig-zags’ do not include the unique HZZK components and operational features that enable superior fuel efficiency, minimal emissions and quality brick production.
  • The proven HZZK is of a radically different design from any other zig-zag kilns currently in use. HZZK is an ideal replacement for inefficient brick kilns, it works successfully and efficiently. Although originally a non-mechanized, low-complexity technology, it can easily be constructed to successfully incorporate increased mechanisation and automation.
  • The existing labour force can be used to operate the kiln, increase skills and remain part of the kiln workforce. Working and living conditions for kiln workers and the surrounding population are significantly improved
  • The HZZK has low construction costs, can economically replace old kilns, and has a short payback period (<1 year). It offers better outcomes – lower fuel usage means decreased emissions.
  • The HZZK produces a uniform, saleable product with minimal wastage (< 2%), even cure and shrinkage.

Are there any Habla Zig-Zag Kilns in operation?

In 2016, Australian‐owned Habla Zig-Zag Kilns International Pty Ltd (HZZKI) re- established operations and successfully constructed and commissioned a pilot kiln as an energy efficient clay brick- firing technology transfer project in South Africa. The kiln, with enhancements, incorporated the original design features of Alois Habla, the inventor of archless zig-zag technology.

Prior to 1940, 150 Habla Zig-Zag Kilns were successfully constructed and operated as productive and non-polluting, continuous commercial kilns. These were in the USA, Germany, England, and Europe. Further kilns were later built in England and Australia. These HZZK’s were replaced by automated, expensive, tunnel kilns post war, when labour shortages and manufacturing costs increased.

Currently, zig-zag kilns are partially” fashioned” from the original Habla Zig-Zag design. These attempted versions of the original Habla Zig-Zag do not contain the radically different, unique design features or components and operational procedures of  the proven and independently validated HZZK.

Why will HZZK succeed?

HZZK will succeed because it has been proven to achieve close to 100% fuel combustion, and can operate on a range of fuels including renewable energy like green hydrogen, and biomass. The widespread deployment of authentic HZZK technology using unique design, operational and rapid construction techniques will reduce CO2 and GHG emissions by more than 50%, eliminate more than 90% of Black Carbon (PM2.5), and will cut all fuel consumption by more than 50%.

  • The design specifications produce a totally consistent kiln that can be replicated at any chosen site, rural or city.
  • Most design components are standardised and can be pre-fabricated and delivered on-site.
  • It has been proven to work in fully commercial settings.
  • It uses an existing workforce under greatly improved working & living conditions.
  • Air quality and health are improved locally and in the region.
  • Proven to significantly reduce CO2 and Black Carbon.
  • Low cost to construct & operate.
  • Highly fuel-efficient and can utilise alternate fuels, e.g. green hydrogen.
  • Non-reliant on electricity –  suits developing countries where power sources are often unreliable and/or unavailable.
  • Offers better outcomes – lower cost, lower emissions, improved working & health conditions, significant fuel savings, better quality product.
  • It is not a highly complex technology, yet can be readily mechanised. Suitable for developing countries.
  • Produces consistent, quality, saleable bricks.
  • On existing sites, brick kiln owners and labour will not lose income. It can be built and operational quickly.

Can the Habla Zig-Zag Kiln be built to suit any size or scale?

Yes, the HZZK can be easily adapted to suit village, city or industrial applications (small or large scale production). The HZZK can operate in a continuous or semi continuous mode, depending on output requirements.

It has been found from practical experience that a 16 chamber HZZK is the ideal size. Should further production capacity be required, it is recommended to build multiple 16 chamber kilns for logistical purposes.

Can other existing kilns be retrofitted to HZZK?

No – the HZZK basic design is radically different.

There are no production, time saving or economic advantages in retrofitting an existing kiln to HZZK.

Attempted retro-fits of existing kilns do not and cannot achieve the proven HZZK production results.

What about the cost and construction of the Habla Zig-Zag Kiln?

Size, location and building materials are key factors influencing the cost of each kiln.

HZZK has a rapid pay-back period. The Habla Zig-Zag kiln with its high fuel savings, energy efficiency, minimal emissions, good quality bricks and health benefits is cost competitive, when compared to other kilns of similar output and size.

Construction will be overseen by Habla Zig-Zag Kiln International associates in conjunction with other engineers.