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The environmental impact assessment of Asphalt Rubber: Life Cycle Assessment

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Date:

October 23 , 2012

Author(s):

Irene Bartolozzi; Ines Antunes; Francesco Rizzi

Source:

Asphalt Rubber Conference 2012 Munich

Description:

Material and energy recovery from end of life tires are the two alternatives to accomplish the European legislation, which has progressively banned landfill disposal with EC Directive 1999/31/EC. Therefore, diversified solutions for end of life tires management should be available to provide a concrete way for reuse and to help to solve the problem of the huge amount of old tires to be treated yearly. Among the material recovery alternatives, road construction using crumb rubber modified binders, called Asphalt Rubber, is already world widely used and is considered an excellent solution to recycle old tires. In order to support a policy disclosure to this recycled material, the evaluation of the environmental impacts connected to the life cycle of the asphalt rubber is essential and Life Cycle Assessment is a holistic tool which allows for the evaluation of the overall impacts of the road life cycle and of its critical spots. In this paper, the life cycle assessment of a specific case study of a crumb rubber modified asphalt mixture prepared with the wet method, near Florence (Italy) was evaluated. The results of the study clearly identify the main contributing steps to the environmental impacts in the life cycle of the rubber asphalt road and therefore, together with the technical and economical evaluation of this technology, will be useful for policy makers when setting the reference specifications in public tenders.

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