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Brick Kilns: High Emitters of Black Carbon

Brick kilns are recognised as one of the largest stationary sources of black carbon which along with iron and steel production, contributes 20% of total black carbon emissions– CCAC

The World Bank. 2020 stated that brick kilns are “… one of the major sources that contribute to the deteriorating air quality in South Asia. The sector is responsible for up to 91% of particulate matter emissions in some South Asian cities.”

Black carbon is described as a short lived climate pollutant (SLCP), it is the result of incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, coal, wood and other biomass. It remains in the air for weeks and removal brings immediate, measurable benefits. In contrast COremains in the atmosphere for decades.

Emission reduction is ideally addressed on a dual basis, tackling both short term SLCPs and long term CO2.

Black carbon is caused by brick manufacturing (kilns), transportation, shipping, agricultural burning, diesel engines, residential cooking and heating.

Comparison of Black Carbon to CO2Black carbon is an important component of airborne particulate matter PM2.5, and a significant cause of respiratory, cardiovascular disease and premature death.

Black carbon has significant global and regional climate impacts. It disrupts livelihoods and ecosystems  by altering annual tropical rains and monsoonal patterns, and causes snow and ice melt in the Arctic, and glaciers of the Himalayas.

Contamination from black carbon particularly in wheat, rice and soya bean crops. Black carbon is known to result in issues of agricultural sustainability, diminished crop yields and food security.

Each year, an estimated 7 million premature deaths are attributed to household and ambient (outdoor) PM2.5 air pollution.– CCAC

ICIMOD Report on Black CarbonBlack Carbon: Impacts and Mitigation in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

For more extensive information of Black Carbon ICIMOD have produced a report detailing its impact in the Himalayas.

Click to read the report