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Analyzing Black Carbon Emissions and Mitigation Potential from Brick Kilns in Mexico

In many developing countries, brick production is a significant source of black carbon emissions. These emissions negatively impact local communities and kiln operators. Black carbon is a byproduct of incomplete fuel combustion that remains suspended in the air for up to a few weeks.

As a short-lived climate pollutant, black carbon is estimated to contribute more to global warming than any other pollutant except carbon dioxide. It is also a component of particulate matter, and contributes to all the same adverse health impacts as fine particulate matter, such as premature death in people with heart or lung disease.

Abt Associates assisted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in evaluating emissions of black carbon from brick kilns in Mexico. Abt’s researchers collected and analyzed information on brick making practices in Mexico, emissions associated with those practices, and emissions mitigation opportunities.

Abt’s analysis also identified a range of data gaps that impede efforts to fully understand and address black carbon emissions from the brick sector in the country, such as the need for more representative emissions factors that can be used to develop a detailed emissions inventory.

Read more about black carbon mitigation efforts:

black carbon emissions
Black carbon emissions from a brick kiln chimney.
Photo credit: Nimmi Damodaran, Abt Associates