Tassie brick maker makes use of waste wood (sawdust) in kilns

Tassie brick maker makes use of waste wood (sawdust) in kilns

In an Australian first, all bricks from Austral Bricks (Tasmania) are now certified as Carbon Neutral under the Australian Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard.

While most, if not all, other brick kilns in Australia are fired using natural gas, the kilns at the Longford Tasmania plant where Austral bricks are manufactured are fired using sawdust.

The sawdust is a byproduct of the local timber industry.  Brickworks Building Products’ national energy and sustainability manager Steven Mouzakis said the use of low emissions biomass as opposed to fossil fuels is largely responsible for a dramatic reduction in the plant’s carbon dioxide emissions.

“Emissions from the biomass are just 215 tonnes per year, about the same as 12 average Australian households,” he said .“In contrast, a conventional natural gas kiln of the same capacity could emit approximately 8,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.”

Brickworks, owner of Austral Bricks, is not the first company to use sawdust in brick making, and the Longford plant has been fired with sawdust for over 20 years. However Longford is the first brick plant to improve manufacturing efficiency to a point where carbon neutral certification became a viable option.

Loading sawdust for the kiln at Austral Bricks, Longford, Tasmania
Loading sawdust for the kiln at Austral Bricks, Longford, Tasmania

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