Impact of supplementary cementitious material content and transportation distance on greenhouse gas emissions embodied in concrete

O'Moore, Lisa M. and O'Brien, Kate R. (2009). Impact of supplementary cementitious material content and transportation distance on greenhouse gas emissions embodied in concrete. In: I.Gilbert, Concrete Institute of Australia 24th conference 2009. 24th Biennial Conference of Concrete Institute of Australia (Concrete 09), Sydney , Australia, (1-9). 17-19 September 2009.

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Author O'Moore, Lisa M.
O'Brien, Kate R.
Title of paper Impact of supplementary cementitious material content and transportation distance on greenhouse gas emissions embodied in concrete
Conference name 24th Biennial Conference of Concrete Institute of Australia (Concrete 09)
Conference location Sydney , Australia
Conference dates 17-19 September 2009
Convener Malcolm Boyd
Proceedings title Concrete Institute of Australia 24th conference 2009
Place of Publication Sydney, Australia
Publisher Concrete Institute of Australia
Publication Year 2009
Sub-type Fully published paper
Editor I.Gilbert
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
The manufacture of concrete contributes substantially to total global greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions. Reducing the mass of Portland cement used in concrete production, through the
use of supplementary cementitious materials (SCM) such as fly ash or ground granulated blast
furnace slag (GGBFS), is a means of reducing GHG emissions associated with concrete. However
since both fly ash and GGBFS are waste products from other industries, their availability varies
markedly in different regions. This study compares the critical transportation distance for both fly ash
and GGBFS, beyond which the GHG savings associated with replacing Portland cement are
exceeded by the GHG emissions associated with transportation of the supplementary cementitious
materials. The results indicate that both fly ash and GGBFS can be transported nationally and even
globally, and still reduce embodied GHG emissions in concrete if used as a replacement for Portland
cement. The GHG emissions (CO2-equivalent) embodied in concrete (f′c=32 MPa) were compared as
a function of fly ash and GGBFS content, for reductions in Portland cement content of up to 44 %.
While the emissions embodied in GGBFS are higher than in fly ash, this difference is small compared
to the emissions saved by displacing Portland cement. Hence rather the specifying which SCM to use
or a mandatory SCM content, guidelines which aim to reduce GHG emissions embodied in concrete
should specify the target GHG emissions. GHG emissions of concrete should not be considered in
isolation from other practical issues, such as workability, durability, strength etc.
Keyword Supplementary cementitious materials
Fly ash
Ground granulated blast furnace slag
Green house gas emissions
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Wed, 10 Mar 2010, 14:40:52 EST by Vicki Thompson on behalf of School of Civil Engineering