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Life cycle assessment and sustainability aspects of using waste materials in concrete

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posted on 2022-11-02, 05:36 authored by Habiba Afrin

Using waste or recycled waste materials in concrete as a typical construction material is becoming more accepted as a sustainable feature. However, the manufactured concrete should meet stringent standards in all stages of the life cycle. The main goal of this thesis is to estimate the environmental benefit of utilizing recycled waste materials in concrete through a life cycle assessment tool, SimaPro 8.5.2 (Pre Consultants B.V, Amersfoort, The Netherlands). Firstly, this thesis quantifies the environmental impact of incorporating different waste materials as a partial replacement of cement to produce 32 MPa concrete. Subsequently, it explains the environmental benefits of incorporating different percentages of lightweight PET plastic bottles as replacing fine aggregate in concrete. It also explains the comparative environmental performance of conventional concrete and fly ash-based geopolymer concrete having 40 MPa strength. The results from this investigation highlighted that using waste materials has a significant environmental advantage. The outcomes from this thesis can serve to standardize and maximize resource implementation in concrete through a waste recycling system and the transition towards a circular economy.


Table of Contents

1 Introduction -- 2 Background and scope -- 3 Basic concepts of life cycle assessment -- 4 Waste materials as a partial replacement of cement in concrete -- 5 Recycled PET lightweight aggregate into concrete -- 6 Comparative LCA of geopolymer concrete and conventional concrete -- 7 Conclusions and future work -- A appendix -- B appendix -- C appendix -- Bibliography


A thesis submitted to Macquarie University for the degree of Master of Research

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Macquarie University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Engineering, 2021

Department, Centre or School

School of Engineering

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Nazmul Huda

Additional Supervisor 1

Rouzbeh Abbassi


Copyright: The Author Copyright disclaimer:




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