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Biomass, South America



Project Summary

Three ceramic production facilities in Rio De Janerio State now create sustainable terracotta briquettes for the building industry by switching the fuel source they used in their kilns. Instead of using around 4.1 million litres of fuel oil per year to create about 60,000 tonnes of ceramics, each now uses biomass in their kilns. Types of biomass include sawdust, old shipping pallets and wood and wood chips from sustainable afforestation sites.


Project Description

The Rio Ceramics Biomass Project has three ceramic production facilities located in Vila Nova in Itaborai City, Sao Silvestre in Rio Bonito City and Nova Dutra in Pinheiral City. Each project supports a local community organisation. These include a rural primary school, a school for children and young adults with mental and physical disabilities and a music project for underprivileged kids. The Vila Nova even has an onsite well, making clean water available to the local community.


A number of employment and training opportunities have also been created as a result of the project including 36 temporary construction roles and nine permanent operating roles.


Contribution to Sustainable Development

The three ceramic production facilities contribute to sustainable development by:

  • Creating local employment and training opportunities.
  • Supporting a number of local charities.
  • Making clean water available to the local community through an onsite well at the Vila Nova facility.
  • Using sawdust as fuel which was previously discarded as waste.
  • Using wood that is supplied by plantations where harvested trees are replanted, hence a renewable energy source.
  • Providing an income to the underprivileged through the purchase of the recyclable wood residues collected by a favela resident co-operative for the Sao Silvestre facility.
  • Donating bricks from the Nova Dutra facility to the local community to help rebuild and repair homes.
  • Providing clay and funding to a local institution that runs pottery classes and social youth projects.
  • Providing an income to the underprivileged by purchasing recyclable wood residues collected by a co-operative run by favela for the Sao Silvestre facility.