Environmental performance evaluation of warm mix asphalt with recycled concrete aggregate for road pavements

Daniela L. Vega Araujoa, Joao Santos, Gilberto Martinez-Arguelles

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Abstract

A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was undertaken to compare the potential environmental impacts associated with the use of Recycled Concrete Aggregate (RCA) as a partial replacement of natural aggregates in the production of Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA), with those of a conventional Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA). The LCA was conducted according to the ‘cradle-to-laid’ approach, including four pavement LCA phases. Three percentages of RCA replacement for natural coarse aggregates in WMA were considered: 15, 30 and 45%. The results of laboratory tests were used as inputs in the design of pavement structures with different percentages of RCA for typical Colombian pavement design conditions. Primary data and SimaPro 8.4.0 software were used in modelling the processes analysed in the case study. All the life cycle inputs and outputs related to the functional unit were characterised according to the impact assessment methodology TRACI v.2.1. The results show that the potential environmental benefits arising from the combined effect of reducing the consumption of natural aggregates and reduced mixing temperature are offset by the reduced performance and the increased optimum asphalt content when incorporating RCA in WMA. The highest relative increase in the environmental impacts, at 29%, was observed in the Ecotoxicity impact category.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of pavement engineering
Early online date31 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 31 May 2022

Keywords

  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Warm mix asphalt (WMA)hot mix asphalt (HMA)
  • Recycled concrete aggregate (RCA)
  • UT-Hybrid-D

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