Shifting polluting brick kilns to clean tech a major challenge: Green panel | Current Affairs, Current Affairs 2019

Shifting polluting brick kilns to clean tech a major challenge: Green panel

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A member of the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority said only 1,771 of the 5,240 brick kilns in NCR have shifted to a cleaner technology — zig-zag.

Bringing down pollution from brick kilns in the National Capital Region during winter has turned out to be a major challenge for the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA).

An EPCA member who did not wish to be named said only 1,771 of the 5,240 brick kilns in NCR have shifted to a cleaner technology — zig-zag. However, in a meeting on Friday, EPCA was informed that a large number of these 1,771 kilns have installed an inferior quality of zig-zag technology, which they believe will not bring down emission levels much.

“Officials from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana have informed EPCA that some kiln owners have installed an inferior quality zig-zag technology. This would defeat the purpose of shifting to this technology,” said the EPCA member.

EPCA is now planning to form joint teams with officials from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) to check the technology the kilns are installing. Around two-thirds of brick kilns, meanwhile, are still running on the older, high-polluting technology, the EPCA member said.

“Only those brick kilns that have shifted to zig-zag technology would be allowed to operate during winter. The rest would have to shut down. This means nearly 3,500 kilns would have to shut down this year. If the air quality turns very poor we may even get kilns using zig-zag to shut down,” the EPCA member said.

Emissions from brick kilns add to pollution in NCR towns. A shift from the traditional Full Chimney Bull’s Trench Kiln to the zig-zag technology can bring down emission levels by 75% and energy consumption by almost 20%. The production of good quality bricks goes up by around 25%, the EPCA member said.H-CNG Trials

EPCA was also informed on Friday that at least 50 HCNG-fuelled buses will be rolled out on a pilot basis from September 2019 to help study the new technology and its infrastructure requirements. They would be plying in Delhi till February 2020.

H-CNG, a cleaner version of CNG, is a mix of 82% CNG and 18% Hydrogen. Tests conducted in Faridabad found H-CNG is able to bring down carbon emissions by 70% compared to BS-VI quality CNG.

“The challenge is to check whether H-CNG can bring down the levels of NO2. This would decide the future of H-CNG in Delhi. It is because while BS-VI fuel has already been rolled out in Delhi, by April 2020 BS-VI vehicles would also hit NCR. BS-VI fuel and vehicles would anyway bring down pollution NO2 levels,” said an EPCA member.

Source : hindustantimes


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