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Waste Manag. 2016 Oct;56:367-75. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2016.05.031. Epub 2016 Jun 11.

A closed-loop life cycle assessment of recycled aggregate concrete utilization in China.

Author information

1
Department of Structural Eng., College of Civil Eng., Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, PR China.
2
Department of Structural Eng., College of Civil Eng., Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, PR China; Key Laboratory of Advanced Civil Eng. Materials, Ministry of Education, Shanghai 201804, PR China. Electronic address: jzx@tongji.edu.cn.
3
School of Computing, Eng. & Mathematics and Institute for Infrastructure Eng., Western Sydney University, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia.

Abstract

This paper studies the potential environmental impact of recycled coarse aggregate (RCA) for concrete production in China. According to the cradle-to-cradle theory, a closed-loop life cycle assessment (LCA) on recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) utilization in China with entire local life cycle inventory (LCI) is performed, regarding the environmental influence of cement content, aggregate production, transportation and waste landfilling. Special attention is paid on the primary resource and energy conservation, as well as climate protection induced by RAC applications. Environmental impact between natural aggregate concrete (NAC) and RAC are also compared. It is shown that cement proportion and transportation are the top two contributors for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and energy consumption for both NAC and RAC. Sensitivity analysis also proves that long delivery distances for natural coarse aggregate (NCA) leave a possible opportunity for lowering environmental impact of RAC in China.

KEYWORDS:

China; Closed-loop; Environmental impact; Life cycle assessment (LCA); Recycled aggregate concrete (RAC); Recycled coarse aggregate (RCA)

PMID:
27297045
DOI:
10.1016/j.wasman.2016.05.031
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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