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Importance of co-product allocation method in pavement life cycle assessment

Author(s): Y. Huang, A. Spray and T. Parry
Paper category: symposium
Book title: International Symposium on Life Cycle Assessment and Construction – Civil engineering and buildings
Editor(s): A. Ventura and C. de la Roche
Print ISBN: 978-2-35158-127-8
e-ISBN: 978-2-35158-128-5
Publisher: RILEM Publications SARL
Pages: 344 – 351
Total Pages: 8
Language: English

Abstract: After twenty years of development of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for roads, there remain questions surrounding the best data and methodology to use.
Eurobitume’s latest life cycle inventory (April 2011) uses two methods of allocating environmental impacts among petroleum co-products products. The UK publically available specification, PAS 2050 (developed from ISO 14040/44) for assessment of greenhouse gases of consumer products is finding wide use in the UK but uses a different approach.
Similar allocation decisions must be made when using blast furnace slag as an aggregate. The asPECT carbon footprint calculator uses zero allocation at the factory gate for ‘waste’ co-products such as slags.
While the adoption of a standard methodology for road LCA will assist in transparency and decision making, the impact of the chosen approach on the results has not been explored.
In support of LCA method development in roads, a case study of a ‘typical’ UK road is presented, in which the allocation approaches outlined above are tested, and the results are checked for sensitivity to these parameters. Results show impact categories are significantly affected by allocation assumptions of both BFS and bitumen.

Keywords: Allocation, Embodied Carbon, Life Cycle Inventory (LCI), Slag

Online publication: 2012
Publication Type: full_text
Public price (Euros): 0.00

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