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The History and Milestones of the Habla Zig-Zag Kiln

October 2017: Shortlisted for CCAC Awards

Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Shortlisted HZZK as a finalist together with the State of California, The World Bank, the Artic Council and others for the  Inaugural Climate & Clean Air Award, November 2017. COP 23 Bonn.

June 2017: HZZK, Winner, UNAA Business Climate Action Award

Judges said, “Habla Kilns has shown how its energy-efficient, low carbon kilns could change lives and have a real impact in addressing climate change.”

Judges said, “The project is a successful example of a clean technology transfer project from a developed country to a developing country… The HZZK model can be replicated throughout the developing world to curb brick sector- related black carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.”

2015/2016: HZZK Re-Established & Assessed With Excellent Results

In 2015, HZZK recommenced business operations to re-establish Habla Zig-Zag Kiln Technology.

2016 an energy-efficient HZZK was commissioned in South Africa as part of an Energy Efficient Clay Brick Project (EECB).  The technology transfer project aimed to increase energy-efficiency and to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the South African clay brick sector with a replacement for the highly polluting Clamp Kiln.

Independent monitoring of Energy Balance and Emissions brought excellent results.

The exact replication of the Habla Zig-Zag kiln technology is crucial to its performance.

The genuine and unique design features in the authentic HZZK are key to fuel efficiency, minimal emissions, the mitigation of short lived climate pollutants (SLCP’S)and CO2 emissions, improved working conditions and attractive economic returns.

1964-2015: International Engagement In Developing Countries

In the developed world, post 1963 skyrocketing labour costs and labour shortages resulted in the adoption of the highly automated and expensive tunnel kiln. There was closure of small scale brickworks, including the Habla kilns in operation.

Meanwhile, a zig-zag kiln called ‘The Habla Kiln’ was built in Rookee, India during 1967-1970. However, this design lacked authenticity and performance and resulted in incomplete and poorly performing ‘versions’ of Habla technology.

In 1994 following challenges from the Habla family in India these kilns were renamed “The Indian High Draught Kiln”. Habla Kilns re-established the unique HZZK design rights in India and the patent applied for continues today.

It was confirmed in a 2010 Indian Government report by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power that the authentic Habla Zig-Zag was the original source of zig-zag in India.

Source of the (Zig-Zag) Technology: Zigzag firing technique (has been) derived from Habla kiln which was invented in Germany in 1927. This technology was widely used developed countries like Germany and Australia. It was first introduced in India in the year 1970… It is one of the most fuel efficient Technologies available.

The original Habla Zig-Zag technology was comprehensively approved by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization Labour Office (UNIDO/ILO) in 1984 and again in 1998.

 The Habla Kiln is economical to construct and operate. It has a larger capacity relative to its area than other continuous kilns. This feature reduces the cost of land and construction. Furthermore the kiln has a long firing zone, allowing difficult clays to be fired more easily. The long firing path assists heat exchange between gases and bricks, thus improving fuel efficiency. Because partitions are of green bricks, less permanent brickwork has to be heated and cooled thus adding to fuel efficiency…– United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) & International Labour Office (ILO) UNIDO/Technical Memorandum No 5. Small-Scale Brickmaking - April 1985
1927-1963: Construction & Commissioning Of 150 Kilns

The Habla Zig-Zag Kiln is one of only four continuous, commercial kilns ever invented. Even today, the authentic design remains today the most recent of commercial brick kiln inventions.

The Habla Zig-Zag Kiln was specifically designed for fuel efficiency, to improve working conditions and to achieve consistent quality bricks. 150 kilns were successfully constructed and operated as continuous commercial kilns.

Post 1945, both a shortage of labour and skyrocketing labour costs, precipitated change toward automation.

In developed countries, the tunnel kiln, superseded many earlier technologies and was increasingly adopted. HZZK construction lapsed in developed countries after 1963.

1927 Invention

The energy-efficient Habla Zig-Zag Kiln was invented in 1927 by German engineer Alois Habla whose family had a 200 year history as brick industry proprietors.

Alois Habla’s invention of the original arch-less zig-zag kiln replaced the expensive, commercially unsustainable arched Burher Kiln.