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Particulate black carbon and gaseous emission from brick kilns in Greater Dhaka region, Bangladesh

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Eighteen brick kilns of three brick-making technologies (Fixed Chimney Kiln (FCK), Zigzag, and Hoffmann) were selected to measure the concentrations of particulate matter (PM2.5) with Aerocet 531S (USA) sampler, black carbon (BC) with Magee Scientific, OT-21 Soot scan Transmissometer (USA), and gaseous pollutants (CO2, CO, SO2, NOx, and volatile organic carbon (VOC)) with Aeroqual 500 gas sampler (New Zealand) to understand the emission scenario from brick sector in Greater Dhaka region, Bangladesh. Emission factor (EF) of each pollutant was computed from their respective concentration for three brick kiln technologies. Ambient PM2.5 and PM10 were measured in brick kiln premises and 1 km far from the respective kilns to see the effect on the surrounding areas. The PM2.5 concentration was found on an average of 141 ± 86, 128 ± 72, and 110 ± 53 mg/m3 in FCK, Zigzag, and Hoffmann kilns, respectively. The average BC concentration was found 16.6 ± 7.1 (FCK), 11.8 ± 4.2 (Zigzag), and 8.9 ± 4.4 (Hoffmann) mg/m3. FCK has a greater emission of CO, whereas Zigzag has a higher CO2 emission. A comparatively higher value of CO2 and lower value of CO indicates effective combustion of coal, and this is found to be more efficient for Zigzag and Hoffmann compared to traditional FCK. SO2 and VOC emissions were depending not only on the kiln types but also on the fuel qualities. From EF calculation, approximately 4526 t of PM2.5, 340 t of BC, 209,776 t of CO2, 8700 t of CO, 19,441 t of SO2, and 835,450 t of VOC per year found to emit from 1000 brick kilns. The conversion of traditional FCK to improved one, i.e., Zigzag and/or Hoffman is not a straight forward solution, as CO2 emission was higher in Zigzag whereas BC and PM2.5 emissions were higher in FCK. Therefore, considering EF of various pollutants from these three types of kilns, conversion of FCK to Zigzag or Hoffmann could be a better choice.

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This study is supported by Bangladesh Climate Change Trust (BCCT) under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Authors also acknowledge ARCADIS, USA, and State Department, USA, for supporting with stack emission sampler (Apex instrument) and Soot Scanner (Model OT-21) for black carbon measurement and also brick kiln owners for allowing us to sampling in their vicinity.

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Correspondence to Abdus Salam.

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Haque, M.I., Nahar, K., Kabir, M.H. et al. Particulate black carbon and gaseous emission from brick kilns in Greater Dhaka region, Bangladesh. Air Qual Atmos Health 11, 925–935 (2018).

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