Production of natural and recycled aggregates: the environmental impacts of energy consumption and CO2 emissions

  • Milad Ghanbari
  • Armin Monir Abbasi
  • Mehdi Ravanshadnia


Natural aggregates (NA) are crushed and processed in crushing plants after the extraction stage in quarries. In the present study, the aggregates are divided into three scenarios, depending on the production methods. The first scenario considers the production of NA, the second scenario deals with the production of recycled aggregates (RA) with respect to construction and demolition waste, and the third scenario, which is a hybrid scenario, handles the combination of NA and RA by assuming a 50% mixing percentage. In this research, we assess the environmental impacts on the production of aggregates via each scenario, using life cycle assessment; in addition, energy consumption and CO2 emissions are considered as the environmental variables. We conclude that Iran’s current policy with an annual energy consumption of 1.48 million tons of oil equivalent (toe) can have a footprint of 2.88 million tons of CO2 eq emissions per year (the first scenario). Achieving 30 and 36% reduction in annual energy consumption and CO2 emissions, respectively, by the third scenario compared to the first scenario indicates the destructive effect of the first scenario from the environmental outlook.


Life cycle assessment Recycled aggregate Construction and demolition waste CO2 emissions Energy consumption 



This research project was a part of doctoral dissertation of the first author which is supported by Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran. Armin Monir Abbasi is the supervisor and Mehdi Ravanshadnia is the Advisor of Milad Ghanbari’s doctoral dissertation. The authors gratefully acknowledge to the both companies for giving required data of study, and the anonymous reviewers.


  1. 1.
    Arulrajah A, Piratheepan J, Disfani MM, Bo MW (2012) Geotechnical and geoenvironmental properties of recycled construction and demolition materials in pavement subbase applications. J Mater Civ Eng 25(8):1077–1088CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Tam VW, Tam L, Le KN (2010) Cross-cultural comparison of concrete recycling decision-making and implementation in construction industry. Waste Manage 2(30):291–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Liang YC, Ye ZM, Vernerey F, Xi Y (2013) Development of processing methods to improve strength of concrete with 100% recycled coarse aggregate. J Mater Civ Eng 27(5):04014163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Huang T, Shi F, Tanikawa H, Fei J, Han J (2013) Materials demand and environmental impact of buildings construction and demolition in China based on dynamic material flow analysis. Resour Conserv Recycl 72:91–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    TUPRC (2013) City Knowledge Booklets, No. 199: Evalution the status of legal and organizational structure of waste management in the country. Tehran Urban Planning & Research Center, Tehran, Iran. Accessed 10 May 2017
  6. 6.
    Harrington J (2005) Recycled roadways. Public Roads 68(4):1–3Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Saghafi MD, Teshnizi ZSH (2011) Recycling value of building materials in building assessment systems. Energy Build 43(11):3181–3188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Oh DY, Noguchi T, Kitagaki R, Park WJ (2014) CO2 emission reduction by reuse of building material waste in the Japanese cement industry. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 38:796–810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Coelho A, de Brito J (2013) Environmental analysis of a construction and demolition waste recycling plant in Portugal-Part I: energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Waste Manage 5(33):1258–1267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tam VW, Tam CM (2006) A review on the viable technology for construction waste recycling. Resour Conserv Recycl 47(3):209–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hotta Y, Visvanathan C, Kojima M, Pariatamby A (2016) Developing 3R policy indicators for Asia and the Pacific region: experience from Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific. J Mater Cycles Waste Manage 18(1):22–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Yin S, Tuladhar R, Sheehan M, Combe M, Collister T (2016) A life cycle assessment of recycled polypropylene fibre in concrete footpaths. J Clean Prod 112:2231–2242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Vossberg C, Mason-Jones K, Cohen B (2014) An energetic life cycle assessment of C&D waste and container glass recycling in Cape Town, South Africa. Resour Conserv Recycl 88:39–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Tam VW (2008) Economic comparison of concrete recycling: a case study approach. Resour Conserv Recycl 52(5):821–828CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zhao W, Leeftink RB, Rotter VS (2010) Evaluation of the economic feasibility for the recycling of construction and demolition waste in China—the case of Chongqing. Resour Conserv Recycl 54(6):377–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Petkovic G, Engelsen CJ, Håøya AO, Breedveld G (2004) Environmental impact from the use of recycled materials in road construction: method for decision-making in Norway. Resour Conserv Recycl 42(3):249–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Huang WL, Lin DH, Chang NB, Lin KS (2002) Recycling of construction and demolition waste via a mechanical sorting process. Resour Conserv Recycl 37(1):23–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sabai MM, Cox MGDM, Mato RR, Egmond ELC, Lichtenberg JJN (2013) Concrete block production from construction and demolition waste in Tanzania. Resour Conserv Recycl 72:9–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Aljassar AH, Al-Fadala KB, Ali MA (2005) Recycling building demolition waste in hot-mix asphalt concrete: a case study in Kuwait. J Mater Cycles Waste Manage 7(2):112–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lotfi S, Deja J, Rem P, Mróz R, van Roekel E, van der Stelt H (2014) Mechanical recycling of EOL concrete into high-grade aggregates. Resour Conserv Recycl 87:117–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Woon KS, Lo IM (2016) An integrated life cycle costing and human health impact analysis of municipal solid waste management options in Hong Kong using modified eco-efficiency indicator. Resour Conserv Recycl 107:104–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Sieffert Y, Huygen JM, Daudon D (2014) Sustainable construction with repurposed materials in the context of a civil engineering–architecture collaboration. J Clean Prod 67:125–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wu H, Duan H, Wang J, Wang T, Wang X (2015) Quantification of carbon emission of construction waste by using streamlined LCA: a case study of Shenzhen, China. J Mater Cycles Waste Manage 17(4):637–645CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Oliveira LS, Pacca SA, John VM (2016) Variability in the life cycle of concrete block CO 2 emissions and cumulative energy demand in the Brazilian Market. Constr Build Mater 114:588–594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Arulrajah A, Disfani MM, Horpibulsuk S, Suksiripattanapong C, Prongmanee N (2014) Physical properties and shear strength responses of recycled construction and demolition materials in unbound pavement base/subbase applications. Constr Build Mater 58:245–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    INSO (2015) Concrete aggregates-specifications, standard no. 302, 3rd revision. Iranian National Standardization Organization, TehranGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    ONBR (2013) National building regulations, part 9: design and construction of R.C. buildings, 4th revision. Office of National Building Regulations, TehranGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    PMO (2013) Road general technical specification no. 101. Second revision, Management and Planning Organization of Iran, Technical and administrative system, Tehran, Iran. Accessed 18 May 2017
  29. 29.
    AP-42 Vol. I Introduction—US Environmental Protection Agency. Accessed 18 May 2017
  30. 30.
    International Energy Agency (2014) Key energy statistics for Iran. Accessed 18 May 2017
  31. 31.
    SCI (2016) Summary the results of census of mines operating in the country of 2015. Office of Industry, Mining and Infrastructure, Statistical Center of Iran, Tehran, Iran. Accessed 18 May 2017
  32. 32.
    Huijbregts MA (1998) Application of uncertainty and variability in LCA. Int J Life Cycle Assessm 3(5):273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Clavreul J, Guyonnet D, Christensen TH (2012) Quantifying uncertainty in LCA-modelling of waste management systems. Waste Manage 32(12):2482–2495CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Construction Engineering and Management, Science and Research BranchIslamic Azad UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringPayame Noor UniversityTehranIran

Personalised recommendations