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Open AccessArticle

Integrating Circularity in the Sustainability Assessment of Asphalt Mixtures

Dipartimento di Ingegneria, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo 90128, Italy
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Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 594; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020594
Received: 18 December 2019 / Revised: 4 January 2020 / Accepted: 10 January 2020 / Published: 13 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy and Sustainable Strategies)
Rising concerns about the impacts that the road engineering industry is imposing to the environment have redirected national road authorities to firmly re-consider the sustainability implications of their operations. Lately, though, sustainability has established a forceful correlation with the Circular Economy and its principles. The road engineering industry, therefore, is moving towards more circular approaches. However, this is occurring without the assessment of the potential impacts of such a transition. For this reason, in this study, a composite indicator, namely, Environmental Sustainability and Circularity indicator (ESCi), for investigating the potential effects that increased circularity could have at the environmental sustainability of asphalt mixtures is developed. It can be utilized as a decision-making support tool from stakeholders involved in both asphalt mixture production and road pavement management. In addition, in this study, four asphalt mixtures with different percentages of Reclaimed Asphalt (RA) were assessed in terms of their “cradle-to-gate” environmental impacts and circularity, by means of Life Cycle Assessment, and Material Circularity Index, respectively. Their fatigue and permanent deformation performances play a key role in the assessment and distinctive results obtained for the asphalt mixtures with increasing RA% and thus, significant environmental benefits and increased circularity are observed after specific RA% thresholds. View Full-Text
Keywords: circular economy; material circularity index; sustainability; asphalt mixture; reclaimed asphalt; asphalt recycling; sustainability assessment; circularity assessment circular economy; material circularity index; sustainability; asphalt mixture; reclaimed asphalt; asphalt recycling; sustainability assessment; circularity assessment
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Mantalovas, K.; Di Mino, G. Integrating Circularity in the Sustainability Assessment of Asphalt Mixtures. Sustainability 2020, 12, 594.

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