Germany's kfw bank group has approved a project of Hyderabad-based Eco Carbon to use its proprietary technology to produce Fal- g (flyash-lime-gypsym) bricks. This could lead to the purchase of carbon credits from Indian companies: manufacturing Fal- g bricks instead of clay bricks could earn Indian industry carbon credits.
"Fal-g bricks and blocks are manufactured without using thermal energy, in contrast to the sintering involved in clay bricks. So the baseline emissions of clay bricks is considered as emissions reduction in the case of Fal- g bricks,' explains N Kalidas, director of the Institute for Solid Waste Research & Ecological Balance and co-founder of Eco Carbon. How do these bricks get strength, if they are not baked? Fal- g bricks are made of a mixture of flyash-lime-gypsum or flyash-cement-gypsum. In either combination, Fal- g is the hydraulic cement, which means it sets and hardens in the presence of moisture, on the lines of Ordinary Portland Cement, gaining strength progressively over ageing. Nearly 200 tonnes of coal is used to sinter one million clay bricks, a process that generates over 350 tonnes of co2. A similar amount of harmful emission can be avoided by producing Fal- g bricks. This would also be the amount of carbon credit earned.
Kalidas says that his plan, as mentioned in his proposal to kfw, is to involve around 20 companies that will set up plants producing about 30 million bricks each a year; this translates to about 1.7 million tonnes of carbon credits in the next 10 years. "I cannot disclose the names (of the 20 companies),' Kalidas says. "But I have, already, blue chip companies with me to set up at least nine mechanised plants.' kfw has forwarded the proposal to Germany's environment ministry, which has to issue a letter of endorsement.
The bank has also asked Eco Carbon to send a full proposal. Last year, the World Bank expressed its willingness to buy eight lakh tonnes of carbon credits generated out of 300 Fal- g plants. The rate was set at US $5 per tonne. "The evaluation process is in its final stages,' says Kalidas. Developed countries, according to the Kyoto Protocol, need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 per cent between 2008 and 2012 from 1990 levels; they can offset their emissions by claiming carbon credits to implement emission-reducing projects in developing countries.
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