Clay bricks with neutral carbon emissions


The fifth Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln (VSBK) in Chambo, Ecuador was tested the last November 22 and was a success as planed. The efficiency in the temperature control and speed of burning predicts a promising future for the sustainability of the artisanal clay brick making.

In the small town of Chambo, where more than 300 families live of the brick production, competition for the market and the wood used as fuel, makes the profit margin on sales minimal. Most of the small artisanal brick producers work almost only to cover the costs.

Ladrillos de arcilla con cero emisionesFirewood, fuel used in the 200 ovens that exist in this area, is becoming very scarce (and therefore, more expensive). It is necessary the search for cheaper alternative fuels, more energy efficient and less polluting. Also, technologic improvements in the ovens and in the formulation of the clay used in this artisan, will lead the artisanal brick production to a sustainable future.

This fifth VSBK burns 220 clay bricks (measuring 28 x 11 x 8 cm) every 40 minutes with just 25 kilos of firewood. This amount of firewood can be completely replaced by compacted agroindustrial waste, called Solid Fuel Block, so, when it is burnt, the total carbon emission is neutral.

The EcoSur VSBK has generated expectation in all the country. A lot of people attended this burning: Eng. Eduardo Idrovo, from the Department of Environmental Quality of the Municipality of Cuenca, Sandra Gavilánez from SwissContact, 25 small brick artisans from Cuenca, Azuay province, now know in first hand experienced the VSBK. Also there were 20 brick artisans from the province of Bolivar, thanks to efforts of Mr. Esteban Torres, project manager from the University of Bolivar. Also 80 students of Civil Engineering of the National University of Chimborazo visited the oven.

This 4-year research, leaded by EcoSur Ecuador, has been very successful, not only in the technological part, but also in creating a social base of artisanal brick makers that want to work together to improve the production and the economic and ecological sustainability of the clay brick production.

Ladrillos de arcilla con cero emisiones

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Estuardo QuispilloEstuardo Quispillo
Constructions technician
Expert in construction and operation of the Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln, VSBK (HVC, Horno Vertical Contínuo)
Installation, training and setup of workshops of MicroConcrete Roofing tiles


Horno  Vertical Contínuo

Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln - VSBK unloading mechanism
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