Recycling waste vehicle tyres into crumb rubber and the transition to renewable energy sources: A comprehensive life cycle assessment

Quddus Tushar, Joao Santos, Guomin Zhang, Muhammed A. Bhuiyan, Filippo Giustozzi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This study conducts a comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA) on converting waste vehicle tyres into recycled crumb rubber (CR) granules as an alternative polymer for enhancing asphalt properties. The LCA study has been performed on acquired industrial primary data by incorporating CR at different proportions of binder in one ton (1-ton) of asphalt mix following the wet method. The uncertainty analysis of design variables identified a relatively strong positive relation of emissions with the equipment energy consumption (r = 0.98). Monte Carlo simulations evaluate the potential renewable sources (solar, hydro, and wind) in sequence over fossil fuels for the possible transition in the Australian grid by 2030 and 2050, as per the Paris Agreement. 71.91% reduction of CO2 emissions is achievable by recycling vehicle tyres into crumb rubber compared to landfill and incineration. Recycling by-products of CR production, such as steel and textile, significantly mitigates negative impacts. A decrease of 2.23% emissions was associated to the use of crumb rubber as a binder modifier in the asphalt mixture via the midpoint assessment. In endpoint LCA, a higher association of resource (US$) saving costs was observed than for other protective zones, i.e., human health and ecosystem damage. Recycling 466,000 tonnes of disposable waste tyres contributes to 16.1 million US$ worth of resource savings. An equitable industry-based LCA and uncertainty analysis of design parameters can assist in prioritizing suitable options to improve efficiency and future emission strategies on a global scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116289
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of environmental management
Volume323
Early online date21 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Asphalt pavements
  • Crumb rubber (CR)
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Monte Carlo simulations
  • Recycling
  • Renewable energy
  • 22/3 OA procedure

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