The evaluation of fired clay brick production in terms of energy efficiency: a case study in Turkey


High energy consumption in building material production has a significant effect on global warming and other environmental pollution, which has brought into prominence building materials whose production consumes less energy and uses renewable energy sources. In particular, the production phase of brick, a commonly used material in building construction, has an important effect on energy consumption. This study aims to obtain and analyse local energy data in each phase of brick production, compare the energy consumption of local brick factories using different kiln types in Turkey, and contribute to the development of processes for energy-efficient brick production. For this purpose, all the necessary energy data were collected from two factories, one of which uses a Hoffman and the other a tunnel kiln in the system boundary from cradle-to-gate. The local energy data were analysed for the two factories on the assumption that they would reflect the data for the same or similar brick production methods and technologies in Turkey, and this local data and data gathered from the literature were compared in terms of energy consumption. The findings point out that while most energy is consumed during the firing process in both factories, the tunnel factory consumes more energy in total than the Hoffman factory because of the clay preparation process and the calorific value and moisture content of the coal used for firing. The study also reveals that the potential exists for energy efficiency gains in brick production in Turkey.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  1. Almeida, M. I., Dias, A. C., Arroja, L., & Dias, B. (2010). Life cycle assessment, cradle-to-gate, of a Portuguese brick, Portugal SB10: Sustainable building affordable to all. Monitoring and Evaluation, 477–482.

  2. Almeida, M. I., Dias, A. C., Demertzi, M., & Arroja, L. (2015). Contribution to the development of product category rules for ceramic bricks. Journal of Cleaner Production, 92, 206–215.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Brick Development Association. (2017). UK Brick Sustainability report 2017.

  4. Darain, K. M., Rahman, A. B. M. S., Ahsan, A., Islam, A. B. M. S., & Yusuf, B. (2013). Brick manufacturing practice in Bangladesh: A review of energy efficiency and air pollution scenarios. Journal of Hydrology and Environment Research, 1(1), 60–69.

    Google Scholar 

  5. General directorate of mineral research and exploration (MTA). (2010). Mineral and energy sources in Manisa, Turkey.

  6. Gomes, E., & Hossain, I. (2003). Transition from traditional brick manufacturing to more sustainable practices. Energy for Sustainable Development, VII, 2, 66–76.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Grifa, C., Germinario, C., Bonis, A.D., Mercurio, M., Izzo, F., Pepe, F., Bareschino, P., Cucciniello, C., Monetti, V., Morra, V., Cappelletti, P., Cultrone, G., Langella, A. (2017). Traditional brick production in Madagaskar: From raw material processing to firing technology.

  8. Hashemi, A., & Cruickshank H. (2015). Embodied energy of fired bricks: the case of Uganda and Tanzania, 14th International Conference on Sustainability Energy Technologies, SET2015, UK.

  9. Hasselmann, W. (2009). Tunnel furnace for the temperature treatment of goods, The International Patent Cooperation, publication number: WO 2009/068505 Al.

  10. Huarachi, D. A. R., Gonçalves, G., Francisco, A. C., Canteri, M. H. G., & Piekarski, C. M. (2020). Life cycle assessment of traditional and alternative bricks: A review. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 80(106335), 1–11.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Kumar, S., & Maithel, S. (2016). Introduction to brick kilns and specific energy consumption protocol for brick kilns. New Delhi: Greentech Knowledge Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Kumar, C. S., Parvathi, S., & Rudramoorthy, R. (2016). Impact categories through LCA of coal fired brick. Procedia Technology, 24, 531–537.

  13. Kumbhar, S., Kulkarni, N., Rao, A. B., & Rao, B. (2014). Environmental life cycle assessment of traditional bricks in Western Maharashtra- India. Energy Procedia, 54, 260–269.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Maithel, S., & Heierli, U. (2008). Brick by brick: The Herculean task of cleaning up the Asian brick industry, Natural Resources and Environment Division (first ed.). Switzeland: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Manrique, R., Daniela, V., Vallejo, G., Chejne, F., Amell, A. A., & Herrera, B. (2018). Analysis of barriers to the implementation of energy efficiency actions in the production of ceramics in Colombia. Energy, 143, 575–584.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Marin, G. C., Gomez, R. C., & Martinez, G. A. (2016). Use of natural fiber bio-composites in construction versus traditional solutions: Operational and embodied energy assessment. Materials, 9(6), 465, 1–17.

  17. Murmu, A. L., & Patel, A. (2018). Towards sustainable bricks production: An overview. Construction and Building Materials, 165, 112–125.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Narasimha, C., & Nagesha, N. (2013). Energy efficiency in sustainable development of small and medium enterprises: An empirical study, In Intelligent Systems and Control (ISCO), 2013. 7th International Conference on IEEE, 487-491.

  19. Rice, G.A., & Vosloo, P.T. (2014). A life cycle assessment of the cradle-to-gate phases of clay brick production in South Africa, Eco-architecture V: Harmonization between architecture and nature, 142, (pp. 471- 481). WIT press.

  20. Rocamora, A. M., & Guzman, J. S. (2016). LCA databases focus on construction materials: A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 58, 565–573.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Saha, C. K., & Hosain, J. (2016). Impact of brick kilning industry in peri urban Bangladesh. International Journal of Environmental Study, 73(4), 491–501.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Sattari, S., & Avami, A. (2007). Analysis and assessment of energy situation of brick industry in Iran, Proceedings of the WSEAS Int. Conference on Energy planning, energy saving, environmental education, France.

  23. Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation and Climate Works Foundation. (2012). Brick kiln performance assessment, a roadmap for cleaner brick production in India.

  24. Think Brick Australia, (2014). Manual 8, Sustainability and Energy Efficiency.

  25. TOBB (The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey). (2018). Building materials from fired clay.

  26. United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS-Habitat). (1991). Energy for building - Improving energy efficiency in construction and in the production of building materials in developing countries, Nairobi.

  27. Weyant, C., Kumar, S., Maithel, S., Thompson, R., Baum, E., Floess, E., Bond, T. (2016). Brick kiln measurement guidelines: Emissions and energy performance, Climate and clean air coalition.

  28. Zhang, Z. (2013). Production of bricks from waste materials: A review. Construction and Building Materials, 47, 643–655.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Zhang, Z., Wong, Y. C., Arulrajah, A., & Horpibusuk, S. (2018). A review of studies on bricks using alternative materials and approaches. Construction and Building Materials, 188, 1101–1118.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to İzzet Yüksek.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Yüksek, İ., Öztaş, S.K. & Tahtalı, G. The evaluation of fired clay brick production in terms of energy efficiency: a case study in Turkey. Energy Efficiency 13, 1473–1483 (2020).

Download citation


  • Fired brick
  • Energy
  • Tunnel kiln
  • Hoffman kiln