Normally, natural gas is the energy source of choice for firing bricks and tiles. Due, however, to the high-volume cost of all the energy required for manufacturing heavy clay products, it is necessary to seek out potential alternative fuels. In the past, the use of alternative fuels has failed for a lack of availability, manageability as a solid fuel, or the expense involved. Consequently, the possibility of using synthesis gas (syngas) as an alternative fuel is being investigated. Syngas can be obtained by pyrolyzing practically any material with organic content (biomass, waste material) and therefore counts as a suitable “renewable source of energy”. While gasification is a generally established technology, the practice of baking bricks with synthesis gas obtained by gasifying waste material and residues remains, as yet, untested. Any change in the composition of fuel used for firing heavy clay products can impact the end product, particularly in the case of glazed roof tiles, the quality and colour of which are heavily dependent on the kiln atmosphere.
This paper presents the findings from a research project, including a description of the regulatory situation and the technical results.
Dipl.-Ing. Eckhard Rimpel, Institut für Ziegelforschung Essen e.V.