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Life Cycle Assessment of Asphalt Pavements including the Feedstock Energy and Asphalt Additives
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4270-8993
2012 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Roads are assets to the society and an integral component in the development of a nation’s infrastructure. To build and maintain roads; considerable amounts of materials are required which consume quite an amount of electrical and thermal energy for production, processing and laying. The resources (materials and the sources of energy) should be utilized efficiently to avoid wastes and higher costs in terms of the currency and the environment.

In order to enable quantification of the potential environmental impacts due to the construction, maintenance and disposal of roads, an open life cycle assessment (LCA) framework for asphalt pavements was developed. Emphasis was given on the calculation and allocation of energy used for the binder and the additives. Asphalt mixtures properties can be enhanced against rutting and cracking by modifying the binder with additives. Even though the immediate benefits of using additives such as polymers and waxes to modify the binder properties are rather well documented, the effects of such modification over the lifetime of a road are seldom considered. A method for calculating energy allocation in additives was suggested. The different choices regarding both the framework design and the case specific system boundaries were done in cooperation with the asphalt industry and the construction companies in order to increase the relevance and the quality of the assessment.

Case-studies were performed to demonstrate the use of the LCA framework. The suggested LCA framework was demonstrated in a limited case study (A) of a typical Swedish asphalt pavement. Sensitivity analyses were also done to show the effect and the importance of the transport distances and the use of efficiently produced electricity mix. It was concluded that the asphalt production and materials transportation were the two most energy consuming processes that also emit the most GreenHouse Gases (GHG’s). The GHG’s, however, are largely depending on the fuel type and the electricity mix. It was also concluded that when progressing from LCA to its corresponding life cycle cost (LCC) the feedstock energy of the binder becomes highly relevant as the cost of the binder will be reflected in its alternative value as fuel. LCA studies can help to develop the long term perspective, linking performance to minimizing the overall energy consumption, use of resources and emissions. To demonstrate this, the newly developed open LCA framework was used for an unmodified and polymer modified asphalt pavement (Case study B). It was shown how polymer modification for improved performance affects the energy consumption and emissions during the life cycle of a road. From the case study (C) it was concluded that using bitumen with self-healing capacity can lead to a significant reduction in the GHG emissions and the energy usage.  Furthermore, it was concluded that better understanding of the binder would lead to better optimized pavement design and thereby to reduced energy consumption and emissions. Production energy limits for the wax and polymer were determined which can assist the additives manufacturers to modify their production procedures and help road authorities in setting ‘green’ limits to get a real benefit from the additives over the lifetime of a road.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. , xi, 25 p.
Series
Trita-TSC-LIC, ISSN 1653-445X ; 12:008
Keyword [en]
Life Cycle Assessment; feedstock energy; asphalt binder additives; mass-energy flows; bitumen healing; wax; polymer
National Category
Infrastructure Engineering Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-102763ISBN: 978-91-85539-96-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-102763DiVA: diva2:556427
Presentation
2012-10-29, B25, Brinellvägen 23, KTH, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20120926

Available from: 2012-09-26 Created: 2012-09-25 Last updated: 2012-09-26Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Life Cycle Assessment Framework for Asphalt Pavements: Methods to Calculate and Allocate Energy of Binder and Additives
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life Cycle Assessment Framework for Asphalt Pavements: Methods to Calculate and Allocate Energy of Binder and Additives
2014 (English)In: The international journal of pavement engineering, ISSN 1029-8436, E-ISSN 1477-268X, Vol. 15, no 4, 290-302 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The construction, maintenance and disposal of asphalt pavements may lead to considerable environmental impacts, in terms of energy use and emissions during the life of the pavement. In order to enable quantification of the potential environmental impacts due to construction, maintenance and disposal of roads, an open life cycle assessment (LCA) framework for the asphalt pavements is presented in this paper. Emphasis was placed on the calculation and allocation of energy used for binder and additives at the project level. It was concluded from this study that when progressing from LCA to its corresponding life cycle cost, the feedstock energy of the binder becomes highly relevant as the cost of the binder will be reflected in its alternative value as fuel. Regarding additives like wax, a framework for energy allocation was suggested. The suggested project level LCA framework was demonstrated in a limited case study of a Swedish asphalt pavement. It was concluded that the asphalt production and transporting materials were the two most energy-consuming processes, emitting most greenhouse gases depending on the fuel type and electricity mix.

Keyword
Life Cycle Assessment, feedstock energy, asphalt binder additives, mass-energy flows
National Category
Infrastructure Engineering Other Environmental Engineering
Research subject
Civil and Architectural Engineering; Transport Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-49783 (URN)10.1080/10298436.2012.718348 (DOI)000329962900002 ()2-s2.0-84893032210 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150624

Available from: 2012-02-29 Created: 2011-11-29 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
2. Considering the benefits of asphalt modification using a new technical LCA framework
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Considering the benefits of asphalt modification using a new technical LCA framework
2016 (English)In: Journal of Civil Engineering and Management, ISSN 1392-3730, E-ISSN 1822-3605, Vol. 22, no 5, 597-607 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

Asphalt mixtures properties can be enhanced by modifying it with additives. Even though the immediatebenefits of using polymers and waxes to modify the binder properties are rather well documented, the effects of suchmodification over the lifetime of a road are seldom considered. To investigate this, a newly developed open technical lifecycle assessment (LCA) framework was used to determine production energy and emission limits for the asphaltadditives. The LCA framework is coupled to a calibrated mechanics based computational framework that predicts the intimepavement performance. Limits for production energy of wax and polymers were determined for the hypotheticalcase studies to show how LCA tools can assist the additives manufacturers to modify their production procedures andhelp road authorities in setting ‘green’ limits to get a real benefit from the additives over the lifetime of a road. From thedetailed case-studies, it was concluded that better understanding of materials will lead to enhanced pavement design andcould help in the overall reduction of energy usage and emissions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2016
Keyword
life cycle assessment, asphalt binder additives, bitumen healing, calibrated mechanics based pavement design model, polymer, wax.
National Category
Environmental Sciences Infrastructure Engineering
Research subject
Civil and Architectural Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering; Transport Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-102762 (URN)10.3846/13923730.2014.914084 (DOI)2-s2.0-84940706774 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20160418

Available from: 2012-09-25 Created: 2012-09-25 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
3. Optimizing the Highway Lifetime by Improving the Self Healing Capacity of Asphalt
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Optimizing the Highway Lifetime by Improving the Self Healing Capacity of Asphalt
2012 (English)In: Transport Research Arena 2012, 2012, Vol. 48, 2190-2200 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

It is of imminent urgency to optimize the lifetime of asphalt binders from the remaining available crude sources. This paper presents a recently developed model in which the self-healing capacity of bitumen is based on fundamental chemo-mechanical parameters. The implications of the enhanced bitumen healing rates are investigated by utilizing a newly developed Open Life Cycle Assessment framework. From the case study it was concluded that using bitumen with self-healing capacity can lead to a significant reduction in Greenhouse Gas emission and energy usage. Additionally, the importance of knowing the fuels and emission of bitumen modifiers on the highway sustainability was demonstrated.

Series
Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences, ISSN 1877-0428 ; 48
Keyword
Asphalt healing, life cycle assesment, enhanced pavement life, wax modified asphalt
National Category
Infrastructure Engineering Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-84057 (URN)10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.06.1192 (DOI)000314227502025 ()
Conference
Conference on Transport Research Arena Location: Athens, Greece Date: APR 23-26, 2012
Note

 QC 20120926

Available from: 2012-02-13 Created: 2012-02-13 Last updated: 2013-03-18Bibliographically approved

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