R & D IN SUDAN
Addition of certain organic materials improves plasticity
of clays rendering them more workable. During firing
the additives also act as internal fuels thus reducing the
overall firing energy. Other important reasons for mixing
additives into brick clays relate to improving the
physical characteristics of the bricks such as porosity.
Some organic materials are also used as fuels in the
kiln tunnels themselves.
In Sudan agricultural residues and animal wastes are
used as organic additives. The most suitable of these
are bagasse in loose form, cow-dung, shells of
groundnuts and sunflower, and saw dust.
Although compressed stalks of different plants can be
good fuels in the kiln tunnels, only bagasse (in form of
blocks) is used by a few producers.
Bagasse is a by-product of the sugar industry. It is the
solid part of sugar cane that is rejected after extracting
the molasses. Bagasse waste initially is whitish in
colour but turns darker with time till it becomes very
dark brown. Initially it is rough and coarse in texture
but breaks up under ambient pressure and heat into
very fine particles.
Figure 1: Moulded bricks pre-drying in
the sun before being fired near
Kassala. Photo: Theo Schilderman / Practical
In Sudan there are four operational sugar factories located in New Halfa in Kassala State, Geneid
in Gezira State, Assalaya in Sinnar State and Kenana in White Nile State. The sugar factories are
surrounded by tall heaps of loose bagasse. These heaps are self-igniting and a fire hazard. With
the high cost of guarding against fires and absence of any other use, it is surprising that a small
factory in Halfa, which produces bagasse blocks, buys the material from the factory at LS
10000* per lorry load!
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