Alternative combustibles in the production of fired clay bricks

Sustitución de leña por Bloque Sólido Combustible As a part of the “biomass-bamboo” project being developed by CIDEM in various Cuban provinces, the reduction of firewood to produce fired clay bricks is a main theme. Yolexis Diegues Solamo, a small producer in the province of Granma in the east of Cuba, documents his experiences using alternative combustibles.

The reduction of firewood through solid combustible blocks, made of waste from bamboo processing and sawdust, has shown very good results in the production of fired bricks as well as in the protection of the environment.  Fifteen "burnings” have been carried out, for several of which there was participation of a group of alfareros, functionaries of the construction department and representatives of  CITMA, all of whom have clearly expressed that the project is a success.
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Trees can be rescued
The oven has a capacity for 8000 bricks, with dimensions of 2.60 m x3.90 m x3.50 m, and a total area of 35.49 m3, with each brick measuring 25 x 11 x 6 cm. Usually 10 m3 of firewood is needed for a burning, which is about 6-8 adult trees, while through the use of 1200 solid combustible blocks firewood consumption could be reduced by 40%, with the possibility to reduce up to 50%. This means that in each burning 2-3 adult trees can be “rescued” and the costs can be lowered as well.

This system can be implemented easily through small changes in the structures of the ovens to adapt them to the brickets.

Until now approximately 120’000 bricks have been produced, which have used about 18’000 brickets produced by two men, thereby saving up to 60 m3 of firewood.

We have considered that by taking care of the trees we are taking care of nature, our environment and our lives... a village without trees is a poor place, a city without trees is unhealthy, and land without trees attracts little rain…

Conclusions
Its feasible to substitute 40 % of firewood by solid combustible blocks in the production of fired clay bricks.
The use of brickets in the production of fired clay bricks is an important contribution toward care of our environment

Recommendations
Creation of conditions in the province of Granma to generalize the use of solid combustible blocks in the production of fired clay bricks is important.
Potentiallize production of brickets in the sawmills of the forestry companies.

 

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