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Recycled Materials and Infrastructure Sustainability

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021) | Viewed by 15903

Special Issue Editors


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Chief Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Interests: recycled materials and infrastructure sustainability; infrastrcucture materials characterization and performance assessment; condition assessment of infrastructure and materials through NDT; QA/QC; specifications; risk analysis
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Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering, DIATI, Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy
Interests: recycled materials for sustainable infrastructure applications; characterization of innovative construction materials; geometric and functional design of infrastructures; road safety

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recycled and reclaimed highway and construction materials have been used for some time in civil infrastructure. These include among other: recycled asphalt pavement, RAP; recycled concrete aggregate, RCA; fly ash, FA; foundry sand, FS; glass culets; crumb rubber and tire chips; recycled plastics; dredge materials. The current emphasis on the design and construction of “green infrastructure” has generated additional interest in increasing their use for capturing the added sustainability benefits. However, increased amounts of recycled materials in infrastructure applications is often coupled with challenges in meeting performance requirements and standards. Furthermore, proper sustainability assessment tools are required in order to properly quantify the potential benefits in terms of economic and environmental impact.

The focus of this Special Issue on “Recycled Materials & Infrastructure Sustainability” aims to include up-to-date research articles on studies that (i) explore the use of high volume recycled materials in civil infrastructure applications, such as highway and building construction, geotechnical applications, and more in general in the construction of the various infrastructure components. Furthermore, it is the objective of this special issue to incorporate (ii) research articles that quantify the sustainability benefits of recycling materials with metrics that quantify both economic and environmental impact. In addition, (iii) the development and use of sustainability rating methods and/or ranking tools in comparing alternative sustainable solutions is of particular interest.

Dr. Dimitrios Goulias
Dr. Marco Bassani
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • recycled materials
  • infrastructure materials
  • green infrastructure
  • sustainability assessment and ratings
  • life cycle analysis
  • economic and environmental impact analysis

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 2808 KiB  
Article
Effect of Temperature Fluctuations on the Bearing Capacity of Cold In-Depth Recycled Pavements
by Andreas Loizos and Vasilis Papavasiliou
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010426 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1355
Abstract
This study investigates the influence of the temperature fluctuations on the bearing capacity of cold in-depth recycled (CIR) pavements stabilized with foamed asphalt (FA). Aiming to achieve this goal, non-destructive testing was conducted during mild and high temperatures on a highway CIR pavement, [...] Read more.
This study investigates the influence of the temperature fluctuations on the bearing capacity of cold in-depth recycled (CIR) pavements stabilized with foamed asphalt (FA). Aiming to achieve this goal, non-destructive testing was conducted during mild and high temperatures on a highway CIR pavement, utilizing mainly the FWD device. The back-calculated moduli values were utilized to estimate the strain values within the body of the pavement, while the strains induced using the FWD device were measured with a fiber optic sensors (FOS) system. Moreover, data from the fatigue behavior of the layer materials was also considered. The results of the related analysis indicate that for every 1 °C temperature increase within the body of the AC overlay, an approximately 5.7% increase of the critical tensile strain is expected. Moreover, for every 1 °C temperature increase within the body of the FA layer, an approximately 1.8% increase of the tensile strain at the bottom of the FA layer is expected. The new constructed layers, i.e., asphalt concrete (AC) and FA, sustain much more damage at high temperatures. This was more evident in the upper layer, i.e., the AC overlay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycled Materials and Infrastructure Sustainability)
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17 pages, 2988 KiB  
Article
Life Cycle Economic and Environmental Impacts of CDW Recycled Aggregates in Roadway Construction and Rehabilitation
by Yunpeng Zhao, Dimitrios Goulias, Luca Tefa and Marco Bassani
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8611; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158611 - 2 Aug 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3240
Abstract
The use of recycled materials in roadway construction and rehabilitation can achieve significant benefits in saving natural resources, reducing energy, greenhouse gas emissions and costs. Construction and demolition waste (CDW) recycled aggregate as an alternative to natural one can enhance sustainability benefits in [...] Read more.
The use of recycled materials in roadway construction and rehabilitation can achieve significant benefits in saving natural resources, reducing energy, greenhouse gas emissions and costs. Construction and demolition waste (CDW) recycled aggregate as an alternative to natural one can enhance sustainability benefits in roadway infrastructure. The objective of this study was to quantitatively assess the life cycle economic and environmental benefits when alternative stabilized-CDW aggregates are used in pavement construction. Comparative analysis was conducted on a pavement project representative of typical construction practices in northern Italy so as to quantify such benefits. The proposed alternative sustainable construction strategies considered CDW aggregates stabilized with both cement and cement kiln dust (CKD) for the base layer of the roadway. The life cycle assessment results indicate that using CDW aggregate stabilized with CKD results in considerable cost savings and environmental benefits due to (i) lower energy consumption and emissions generation during material processing and (ii) reduction in landfill disposal. The benefits illustrated in this analysis should encourage the wider adoption of stabilized CDW aggregate in roadway construction and rehabilitation. In terms of transferability, the analysis approach suggested in this study can be used to assess the economic and environmental benefits of these and other recycled materials in roadway infrastructure elsewhere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycled Materials and Infrastructure Sustainability)
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15 pages, 3881 KiB  
Article
Recycled Asphalt Pavement Materials in Transport Pavement Infrastructure: Sustainability Analysis & Metrics
by Yunpeng Zhao, Dimitrios Goulias and Dominique Peterson
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8071; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13148071 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 5366
Abstract
Transportation infrastructure is one of the largest consumers of natural materials. To improve the environmental quality and sustainable development of transportation infrastructure, it is important to implement sustainable strategies in pavement construction and rehabilitation. The use of recycled materials is a key element [...] Read more.
Transportation infrastructure is one of the largest consumers of natural materials. To improve the environmental quality and sustainable development of transportation infrastructure, it is important to implement sustainable strategies in pavement construction and rehabilitation. The use of recycled materials is a key element in generating sustainable pavement designs to save natural resources, reduce energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and costs. The objective of this study was to propose a methodology for assessing the environmental and economic life-cycle benefits when using recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) materials in highway projects. Previous studies on life cycle analysis (LCA) using RAP focused on the economics and/or environmental impacts during the material production process. Thus, there is a need to consider sustainability analysis at all stages of construction and rehabilitation during the performance period of pavement structures. This study addresses this need with the proposed methodology. The suggested approach could be potentially implemented in a pavement management system (PMS) so as to introduce sustainability principles in optimizing alternative rehabilitation strategies. The methodology includes various steps for the analysis, starting with condition assessment of the existing highway, identifying alternative structural pavement designs, predicting service life, setting up alternative rehabilitation strategies, and conducting life cycle environmental and economic analysis. To demonstrate the value of the methodology, a comparative parametric study was conducted on two real case study projects representing actual field conditions for primary roads in Maryland. These case studies were used in order to quantify the economic savings and environmental benefits of using different levels of RAP in highway rehabilitation. The results of the analysis indicate that incorporating RAP in pavement rehabilitation can contribute substantially to cost savings and environmental impact reduction (e.g., greenhouse gas emission, energy, water, and hazardous waste). The benefits illustrated in this study are expected to encourage wide adoption of the proposed methodology and the use of recycled materials in highway construction and rehabilitation. The methodology is transferable where similar materials and highway construction techniques are used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycled Materials and Infrastructure Sustainability)
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13 pages, 3358 KiB  
Article
The Life Cycle Energy Consumption and Emissions of Asphalt Pavement Incorporating Basic Oxygen Furnace Slag by Comparative Study
by Jun Xie, Zhihu Wang, Fusong Wang, Shaopeng Wu, Zongwu Chen and Chao Yang
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4540; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084540 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2514
Abstract
Basic Oxygen Furnace Slag (BOF), as alternatives for aggregate in asphalt pavement construction, is beneficial to the environment by reducing land occupation and resource consumption. However, the quantitative effects on energy consumption and emissions reduction remains poorly understood due to the unavailability of [...] Read more.
Basic Oxygen Furnace Slag (BOF), as alternatives for aggregate in asphalt pavement construction, is beneficial to the environment by reducing land occupation and resource consumption. However, the quantitative effects on energy consumption and emissions reduction remains poorly understood due to the unavailability of local life cycle inventory. Therefore, its LCI needs to be built by accounting for the properties of BOF aggregate in terms of high porosity and dust content in BOF, the rainy interference condition that reducing efficiency in production, and transportation distance. Here we investigated the life cycle energy consumption and global warming potential (CO2-eq emission) of asphalt pavement incorporating BOF aggregate by performing a case study with uncertainty analysis. Five scenarios were elaborated and performed in the case study. The results show that the energy required for BOF production is 0.024 MJ/kg, approximately half the energy required for crushed stone of 0.044 MJ/kg. The pavements with BOF can reduce up to 12% of emission compared to ordinary pavement. Considerably more negative impacts of rainy weather on energy consumption of BOF than natural crushed stone can be concluded. Monte Carlo simulation indicates that the order of magnitudes of the energy values were varied, from materials extraction as the maximum contributor to transportation. The benefits for BOF utilization are gradually offset by increased transport distances and the displacement ratios of fine crushed stones, due to the increase in fuel and resource consumption for mixing, construction, and transportation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycled Materials and Infrastructure Sustainability)
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16 pages, 8048 KiB  
Article
Compaction Procedures and Associated Environmental Impacts Analysis for Application of Steel Slag in Road Base Layer
by Bo Gao, Chao Yang, Yingxue Zou, Fusong Wang, Xiaojun Zhou, Diego Maria Barbieri and Shaopeng Wu
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4396; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084396 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2310
Abstract
In recent years, recycling steel slag is receiving growing interest in the road base layer construction field due to its role in alleviating land occupation and resource shortages. However, the mixture compaction and its environmental impact on practical construction sites remain unclear, which [...] Read more.
In recent years, recycling steel slag is receiving growing interest in the road base layer construction field due to its role in alleviating land occupation and resource shortages. However, the mixture compaction and its environmental impact on practical construction sites remain unclear, which may hinder the application of steel slags in road layers. This study investigates the pavement construction of the ‘Baotou-Maoming’ motorway, located in Inner Mongolia, China, analyzing the compaction procedures and assessing the environmental impacts caused by the road base layer containing steel slag. Firstly, mechanical properties and texture appearances of the steel slag aggregates are characterized. Afterwards, the comparative assessments for steel slag and andesite layers compaction are quantified from equivalent CO2 emission and energy consumption aspects, respectively. The results show that the steel slag has a better surface texture than the natural aggregates; physical properties including compactness, flatness and compressive strength comply with the requirements for applying steel slag to a hydraulically bound mixture. Compared to the base layer using andesite aggregates, the compaction vibration period of the course containing steel slags should be reduced to achieve a proper density due to the “hard-to-hard” effect that occurs between the adjacent steel slag particles. Consequently, the additional energy and the equivalent CO2 are generated at 2.67 MJ/m3 and 0.20 kg/m3, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycled Materials and Infrastructure Sustainability)
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