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Title:Development of a pavement life cycle assessment tool utilizing regional data and introducing an asphalt binder model
Author(s):Yang, Rebekah
Advisor(s):Al-Qadi, Imad L.; Ozer, Hasan
Department / Program:Civil & Environmental Eng
Discipline:Civil Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):life cycle assessment
asphalt binder
environmental impact
Abstract:The ability to evaluate the sustainability of roadway and pavement systems has become an important and emerging topic in the field of transportation engineering. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a quantitative method that can be used to measure the environmental impacts of pavements. A LCA framework for pavements is developed to evaluate the environmental burdens of five phases in the life cycle: material production, construction, maintenance, use, and end-of-life. The framework is incorporated into a user-friendly software tool that can be used to facilitate LCA for pavements. As a data-driven methodology, LCA is highly dependent on the data quality and appropriateness of its life cycle inventory. Therefore, a regional inventory database of major material production and construction processes related to pavements is compiled to reflect the State of Illinois, the relevant region in this study. Asphalt binder is one of the major materials contributing to the environmental impact of asphalt pavements. Therefore, in order to improve the accuracy of the inventory, life cycle models for the production of asphalt binder are also developed for five regions in the United States. Findings indicate that the variation in energy consumption and global warming potential (GWP) from binder production can be as high as 24% and 41%, respectively. To validate the LCA framework, a case study regarding a flexible pavement is analyzed for a 60-year period that covers all five phases of the life cycle. With regards to energy and GWP, respectively, the use phase contributes the highest (91.5%, 92.3%), followed by the material phase (3.9%, 3.4%), maintenance phase (3.2%, 2.9%), construction phase (1.2%, 1.2%), and finally the end-of-life phase (0.3%, 0.3%). Sensitivity analyses are also performed to consider different asphalt binder models and landfilling scenarios.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Rebekah Yang
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

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