Introducing technological methods in the brick kiln industry can help reduce the harmful emission of particulate matter and gaseous pollutants. Globally, technologies are transforming the traditional brick sector by improving the sector’s efficiency, reducing costs for owners, and protecting workers while mitigating global warming. Zig-zag technology in the brick kiln industry is considered the best solution to reduce the emissions of gaseous pollutants, causing deteriorating impacts on human health and the environment.
The brick kiln industry is one of the major contributors to air pollution that releases dangerous pollutants into the air during the brick-making process. An incomplete combustion of raw materials used as fuel, including old tires, wood, used motor oil, coal, trash, and even plastics, favours the emission of greenhouse gases. These emitted particles absorb in soil, resulting in their contamination, polluting and threatening microbial communities, water resources, vegetation, and human health through the food chain.
Zig-zag technology is used to reduce power consumption and carbon emissions to protect the environment from such emissions, thus improving air quality. Traditional brick kilns with towering chimneys emit black smoke across the country, contributing to air pollution and climate change and causing serious health problems. However, Zig zag technology is stacking the bricks in a zig-zag pattern to insulate the walls and floors better. This method changes how coal is loaded to redirect the airflow, leading to better, more efficient fuel combustion and increasing energy efficiency. A zig-zag kiln can reduce the coal needed by 20 per cent.
The brick kiln industry of several developing countries, including Pakistan, deteriorates the condition of air pollution, causing environmental degradation and severe health issues. To overcome the challenge of air pollution, the country needs proper implementation of zig-zag technology in the brick kilns sector. In this regard, the incumbent government has taken the initiative to shift all brick kilns into zig-zag technology to improve the country’s environmental condition and drive a generational change in the brick kiln industry. Pakistan has converted 8,000 of its 20,000 brick kilns to a more efficient zig-zag technology.
Globally, the brick industry contributes 20 to 25 per cent of global air pollution. However, converting brick kilns into zig-zag technology can reduce black carbon by 60 per cent and particulate matter by 40 per cent. Considering the positive impacts of this technology, around 7896 traditional brick kilns, running on smog-causing fossil fuels in the entire Punjab province, have been converted in six months to the environmentally smart zig-zag technology that helped reduce breath-choking carbon emissions by 60 per cent and save energy by 30 per cent (The Nation, 2021). Nonetheless, in all other provinces where air pollution has become a leading cause of premature deaths and various health diseases, the government and concerned authorities should implement the zig-zag technology that helps fight air pollution and save both public lives and the environment.