Applied Environmental Research

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In many Asian countries, fired bricksare producedby burning raw bricks in a rudimen-tary clamp kiln without pollution control mechanisms, a practice which contributes to several kinds of environmental impact. This research investigated the inputs and outputs associated with production of fired bricks using the rice husk-fuelled clamp kiln. Data collected includedraw material use, energy, products, emissions and kiln temperatures. To quantify environmental impacts, the consequential-focused life cycle assessment (LCA) approach was adopted. The impactswere assessed in terms of fuel substitution as the acquisition of another fuelwas re-quired to substitute for electricity. The findings indicated that the clamp kiln technology pro-duced lowCO2emissions per unit of production and per unit of energy input, despite poor specific energy consumption. The LCA analysis indicated that the use of rice husk was the major contributor to environmental impact, and that abiotic depletion of fossil fuels repre-sented the environmental hotspot. To improve combustion efficiency, the clamp kilns should beeither insulated or replaced with more efficient kiln technology, in conjunction with the use ofrice husk.

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