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Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions during the Life Cycle Stages of a Road Tunnel: the Swedish Case Norra Länken
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies (moved 20130630).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7040-4623
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies (moved 20130630).
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies (moved 20130630).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5535-6368
2012 (English)In: European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research, ISSN 1567-7133, E-ISSN 1567-7141, Vol. 12, no 1, 39-62 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Inclusion of Life Cycle Assessment during the planning of transport infrastructure is rarely used in practice, but is becoming a widely discussed issue nowadays. This study sought to improve understanding of the life cycle energy use and greenhouse gas emissions of transport infrastructure, using the example of a road tunnel. Two levels of analysis were used: 1) detailed data inventory for the construction of rock tunnels; and 2) screening assessment for the life cycle phases of the whole tunnel infrastructure (including its main parts: concrete and rock tunnels). The first level of analysis showed that production of materials (i.e. concrete and asphalt) made the largest contribution to Cumulative Energy Demand and Global Warming Potential. The second level of analysis indicated that concrete tunnels had much higher Cumulative Energy Demand and Global Warming Potential per lane-metre than rock tunnels. Moreover, the operational phase of the tunnel was found to have the highest share of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions throughout the tunnel’s life cycle.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Delft University of Technology , 2012. Vol. 12, no 1, 39-62 p.
Keyword [en]
Cumulative Energy Demand, Global Warming Potential, Life Cycle Assessment, tunnel
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-57979ISI: 000298249600003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-83455250607OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-57979DiVA: diva2:472869
Note

QC 20140912

Available from: 2012-01-20 Created: 2012-01-04 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Life Cycle Impacts of Road Infrastructure: Assessment of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life Cycle Impacts of Road Infrastructure: Assessment of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
2012 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Road infrastructure is essential in the development of human society, but has both negative and positive impacts. Large amounts of money and natural resources are spent each year on its construction, operation and maintenance. Obviously, there is potentially significantenvironmental impact associated with these activities. Thus the need for integration of life cycle environmental impacts of road infrastructure into transport planning is currently being widely recognised on international and national level. However certain issues, such as energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the construction, maintenance and operation of road infrastructure, are rarely considered during the current transport planning process in Sweden and most other countries.This thesis examined energy use and GHG emissions for the whole life cycle (construction, operation, maintenance and end-of-life) of road infrastructure, with the aim of improving transport planning on both strategic and project level. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was applied to two selected case studies: LCA of a road tunnel and LCA of three methods for asphalt recycling and reuse: hot in-plant, hot in-place and reuse as unbound material. The impact categories selected for analysis were Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) and Global Warming Potential (GWP). Other methods used in the research included interviews and a literature review.The results of the first case study indicated that the operational phase of the tunnel contributed the highest share of CED and GWP throughout the tunnel’s life cycle. Construction of concrete tunnels had much higher CED and GWP per lane-metre than construction of rocktunnels. The results of the second case study showed that hot in-place recycling of asphalt gave slightly more net savings of GWP and CED than hot in-plant recycling. Asphalt reuse was less environmentally beneficial than either of these alternatives, resulting in no net savings of GWP and minor net savings of CED. Main sources of data uncertainty identified in the two case-studies included prediction of future electricity mix and inventory data for asphalt concrete.This thesis contributes to methodological development which will be useful to future infrastructure LCAs in terms of inventory data collection. It presents estimated amounts of energy use and GHG emissions associated with road infrastructure, on the example of roadtunnel and asphalt recycling. Operation of road infrastructure and production of construction materials are identified as the main priorities for decreasing GHG emissions and energy use during the life cycle of road infrastructure. It was concluded that the potential exists for significant decreases in GHG emissions and energy use associated with the road transport system if the entire life cycle of road infrastructure is taken into consideration from the very start of the policy-making process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. 41 p.
Series
Trita-SOM , ISSN 1653-6126 ; 2012-01
Keyword
Cumulative Energy Demand (CED), Global Warming Potential (GWP), Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), road infrastructure, strategic planning
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-89885 (URN)978-91-7501-259-9 (ISBN)
Presentation
2012-03-09, L1, Drottning Kristinas väg 30, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20120229Available from: 2012-02-29 Created: 2012-02-17 Last updated: 2012-02-29Bibliographically approved
2. Consideration of life cycle energy use and greenhouse gas emissions for improved road infrastructure planning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Consideration of life cycle energy use and greenhouse gas emissions for improved road infrastructure planning
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Global warming is one of the biggest challenges of our society. The road transport sector is responsible for a big share of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, which are considered to be the dominant cause of global warming. Although most of those emissions are associated with traffic operation, road infrastructure should not be ignored, as it involves high consumption of energy and materials during a long lifetime.

The aim of my research was to contribute to improved road infrastructure planning by developing methods and models to include a life cycle perspective. In order to reach the aim, GHG emissions and energy use at different life cycle stages of road infrastructure were assessed in three case studies using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). These case studies were also used for development of methodology for LCA of road infrastructure. I have also investigated the coupling of LCA with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the possibility to integrate LCA into Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

The results of the first case study indicated that operation of the tunnel (mainly, lighting and ventilation) has the largest contribution in terms of energy use and GHG emissions throughout its life cycle. The second case study identified the main hotspots and compared two methods for asphalt recycling and asphalt reuse. The results of the third case study indicated that due to the dominant contribution of traffic to the total impact of the road transport system, the difference in road length plays a major role in choice of road alternatives during early planning of road infrastructure. However, infrastructure should not be neglected, especially in the case of similar lengths of road alternatives, for roads with low volumes of traffic or when they include bridges or tunnels.

This thesis contributed in terms of foreground and background data collection for further LCA studies of road infrastructure. Preliminary Bill of Quantities (BOQ) was identified and used as a source for site-specific data collection. A new approach was developed and tested for using geological data in a GIS environment as a data source on earthworks for LCA. Moreover, this thesis demonstrated three possible ways for integrating LCA in early stages of road infrastructure planning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 44 p.
Series
TRITA-INFRA-FMS-PHD
Series
TRITA‐INFRA‐FMS‐PHD, 2016:1
Keyword
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy use, life cycle assessment (LCA), road infrastructure planning
National Category
Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-184163 (URN)978-91-7595-912-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-04-22, Sal D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20160329

Available from: 2016-03-29 Created: 2016-03-29 Last updated: 2017-05-23Bibliographically approved

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Miliutenko, SofiiaBjörklund, Anna

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