LJMU ‘Eco-bricks’ set to extinguish Bangladesh’s polluting kilns

Bangladesh brick kilns

Civil Engineers from LJMU are helping solve one of the most pressing industrial problems in Bangladesh with a new process for making bricks.

Brick making is one of the country’s largest industries - 17 billion bricks per year – but outdated with most production in open chimney kilns fuelled by wood and coal.

The industry is dirty, inefficient and land-hungry, depleting about 80,000 hectares of fertile agricultural land and forest every year and creating significant air pollution.

With the Bangladesh Government looking to phase out open chimney kiln manufacture, the industry is excited about a LJMU process, which converts existing industrial waste into bricks.

Burn-free technology

Dr Monower Sadique, a reader in construction materials in the School of Civil Engineering, explained: “The proposed technology does not need any burning and natural clay as ingredient. All the ingredients used in the proposed burn-free technology are industrial by-products and wastes which are available on the ground in Bangladesh.”

Monower and his collaborator Professor Sadiqul Islam of Chittagong University of Engineering & Technology recently presented their ideas at the International Conference on Civil Engineering for Sustainable Development in Bangladesh, for which they won a best paper award.

The new bricks will be as good as conventional brick but and can be manufactured using ingredients available in the country.

Added Dr Sadique: “We have proof of concept but now need to carry out more detailed testing.  The Bangladesh government need to progress it further to industrial application.”

Global challenges

The project is financed by LJMU GCRF funding and involves PhD student Ali Shubbar in the UK and Research Assistant Sudpta Sarker in Bangladesh.

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology Professor Mike Riley said: “This is a great example of how LJMU is applying science and engineering to real world problems. We are delighted to be working with both industry and the Bangladesh authorities to create a more sustainable industry.”


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