Life Cycle Assessment of Warm Mix Asphalt with Recycled Concrete Aggregate

Daniela L. Vega*, Martinez A. Gilberto, Joao Dos Santos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a systematic methodology used to assess the potential environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product or system. Generally, the LCA is performed for all stages of the evaluated product; nevertheless, based on the goal and scope of an LCA study, several phases may be considered, whereas others may be excluded. In this study, an LCA was conducted to evaluate the potential environmental benefits related to the use of recycled concrete aggregates (RCA) as a partial replacement of natural aggregates in the production of Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA). In order to estimate the potential environmental impacts associated with the use of these alternative resources in the construction and rehabilitation of road pavements in Barranquilla, Colombia, primary data were collected in some companies in the region. The SimaPro 8.4.0 software was used for modelling the processes analyzed in the case study and all the life cycle inputs and outputs related to the functional unit were characterized during life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) phase into potential impacts according to the impact assessment methodology TRACI v.2.1. The pavement life cycle phases and processes included within the system boundaries were the following: (1) extraction and processing of natural and recycled aggregates and production of asphalt binder, (2) transportation of materials, and (3) production of the asphalt mixtures. Three percentages of RCA replacements were analyzed:15, 30 and 45%. By comparing both asphalt mixtures with different RCA replacements levels, it was shown that RCA use implies an increase in the optimal asphalt content, which in turn, originates higher potential environmental impacts than those stemming from conventional mixtures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number052016
JournalIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2019
Event4th World Multidisciplinary Civil Engineering-Architecture-Urban Planning Symposium, WMCAUS 2019 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 17 Jun 201921 Jun 2019
Conference number: 4


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