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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

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 PM 5, and a significant cause of respiratory, cardiovascular disease and premature death.

Black carbon has global and regional impacts. It disturbs tropical rains, impacts on monsoonal rainfall patterns, contributes to the melting of snow and ice in the Arctic, and glaciers of the Himalayas. It also contributes to atmospheric brown clouds affecting Asia.

Issues of agricultural sustainability, diminished crop yields and food security are related to contamination from black carbon particularly wheat, rice and soya bean crops.

“The Climate and Clean Air Coalition works to reduce four short-lived climate pollutants: black carbon (or soot), methane, tropospheric (or ground level) ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These pollutants are powerful climate forcers many times more potent at warming the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Some, like black carbon and ozone, also have serious immediate impacts to human health and food security.

The four SLCPs contribute about 40% of the manmade heat energy being added to the planet every year. Reducing emissions of methane, black carbon, and HFCs can help reduce predicted global warming by as much as 0.6 degrees Celsius (⁰C) by 2050, helping to achieve the global goal to limit warming to 1.5 ⁰C.

Air pollutions is responsible for approximately 6.5 million premature deaths every year and the plant growth. Fully implementing the Coalition’s SLCP reduction measures can prevent 2.5 million premature deaths and avoid up to 52 million tonnes of crop losses every year.”

Black Carbon (BC) & Co-pollutants from Incomplete Combustion (CCAC)

Black Carbon & Co-pollutants from incomplete Combustion

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