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Consideration of life cycle energy use and greenhouse gas emissions for improved road infrastructure planning
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7040-4623
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Global warming is one of the biggest challenges of our society. The road transport sector is responsible for a big share of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, which are considered to be the dominant cause of global warming. Although most of those emissions are associated with traffic operation, road infrastructure should not be ignored, as it involves high consumption of energy and materials during a long lifetime.

The aim of my research was to contribute to improved road infrastructure planning by developing methods and models to include a life cycle perspective. In order to reach the aim, GHG emissions and energy use at different life cycle stages of road infrastructure were assessed in three case studies using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). These case studies were also used for development of methodology for LCA of road infrastructure. I have also investigated the coupling of LCA with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the possibility to integrate LCA into Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

The results of the first case study indicated that operation of the tunnel (mainly, lighting and ventilation) has the largest contribution in terms of energy use and GHG emissions throughout its life cycle. The second case study identified the main hotspots and compared two methods for asphalt recycling and asphalt reuse. The results of the third case study indicated that due to the dominant contribution of traffic to the total impact of the road transport system, the difference in road length plays a major role in choice of road alternatives during early planning of road infrastructure. However, infrastructure should not be neglected, especially in the case of similar lengths of road alternatives, for roads with low volumes of traffic or when they include bridges or tunnels.

This thesis contributed in terms of foreground and background data collection for further LCA studies of road infrastructure. Preliminary Bill of Quantities (BOQ) was identified and used as a source for site-specific data collection. A new approach was developed and tested for using geological data in a GIS environment as a data source on earthworks for LCA. Moreover, this thesis demonstrated three possible ways for integrating LCA in early stages of road infrastructure planning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. , 44 p.
Series
TRITA-INFRA-FMS-PHD
Series
TRITA‐INFRA‐FMS‐PHD, 2016:1
Keyword [en]
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy use, life cycle assessment (LCA), road infrastructure planning
National Category
Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-184163ISBN: 978-91-7595-912-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-184163DiVA: diva2:915227
Public defence
2016-04-22, Sal D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20160329

Available from: 2016-03-29 Created: 2016-03-29 Last updated: 2017-05-23Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions during the Life Cycle Stages of a Road Tunnel: the Swedish Case Norra Länken
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions during the Life Cycle Stages of a Road Tunnel: the Swedish Case Norra Länken
2012 (English)In: European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research, ISSN 1567-7133, E-ISSN 1567-7141, Vol. 12, no 1, 39-62 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Inclusion of Life Cycle Assessment during the planning of transport infrastructure is rarely used in practice, but is becoming a widely discussed issue nowadays. This study sought to improve understanding of the life cycle energy use and greenhouse gas emissions of transport infrastructure, using the example of a road tunnel. Two levels of analysis were used: 1) detailed data inventory for the construction of rock tunnels; and 2) screening assessment for the life cycle phases of the whole tunnel infrastructure (including its main parts: concrete and rock tunnels). The first level of analysis showed that production of materials (i.e. concrete and asphalt) made the largest contribution to Cumulative Energy Demand and Global Warming Potential. The second level of analysis indicated that concrete tunnels had much higher Cumulative Energy Demand and Global Warming Potential per lane-metre than rock tunnels. Moreover, the operational phase of the tunnel was found to have the highest share of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions throughout the tunnel’s life cycle.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Delft University of Technology, 2012
Keyword
Cumulative Energy Demand, Global Warming Potential, Life Cycle Assessment, tunnel
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-57979 (URN)000298249600003 ()2-s2.0-83455250607 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20140912

Available from: 2012-01-20 Created: 2012-01-04 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
2. Opportunities for environmentally improved asphalt recycling: the example of Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Opportunities for environmentally improved asphalt recycling: the example of Sweden
2013 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 43, 156-165 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Asphalt waste from State roads in Sweden is usually recycled in order to preserve natural resources and reduce the burden on landfill. However, there appears to be a knowledge gap regarding the methods of asphalt recycling used by municipalities and private owners in Sweden. There is also a lack of knowledge regarding best practice from a life cycle environmental point of view. This study identified and evaluated potential ways of improving the life cycle environmental performance of asphalt recycling in Sweden. Data and information about the current situation of asphalt recycling in Sweden were collected through reviewing the literature and through interviews. It was observed that asphalt recycling practices were different for all three groups of road owners: the State, represented by the Swedish Transport Administration (STA), municipalities and industry. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology was used to identify processes within asphalt recycling and reuse that contribute a significant share of the total environmental impact (hotspots), and to compare the life cycle environmental performance of the main techniques used for asphalt recycling and reuse in Sweden: hot in-plant, hot in-place and reuse as an unbound material. The results showed that hot in-place recycling gave slightly more global warming potential (GWP) and cumulative energy demand (CED) savings than hot in-plant recycling. There were no savings of GWP and small savings of CED during asphalt reuse. It was concluded that asphalt recycling is environmentally preferable to asphalt reuse. However each method of asphalt recycling can provide different benefits, so possibilities exist for improving the environmental performance of the processes involved. These possibilities were subdivided into logistic, technical and organisational.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013
Keyword
asphalt recycling, asphalt reuse, Cumulative Energy Demand, Global Warming Potential, Life Cycle Assessment
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-89886 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.12.040 (DOI)000317547100017 ()2-s2.0-84873397881 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20130524

Available from: 2012-02-17 Created: 2012-02-17 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
3. CONSIDERATION OF LIFE CYCLE ENERGY USE AND GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS IN ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNING PROCESSES: EXAMPLES OF SWEDEN, NORWAY, DENMARK AND THE NETHERLANDS
Open this publication in new window or tab >>CONSIDERATION OF LIFE CYCLE ENERGY USE AND GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS IN ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNING PROCESSES: EXAMPLES OF SWEDEN, NORWAY, DENMARK AND THE NETHERLANDS
Show others...
2014 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, ISSN 1464-3332, E-ISSN 1757-5605, Vol. 16, no 4Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with life cycle stages of roadinfrastructure are currently rarely assessed during road infrastructure planning. This studyexamines the road infrastructure planning process, with emphasis on its use of EnvironmentalAssessments (EA), and identifies when and how Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) canbe integrated in the early planning stages for supporting decisions such as choice of roadcorridor. Road infrastructure planning processes are compared for four European countries(Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands).The results show that only Norway has a formalised way of using LCA during choiceof road corridor. Only the Netherlands has a requirement for using LCA in the laterprocurement stage. It is concluded that during the early stages of planning, LCA could beintegrated as part of an EA, as a separate process or as part of a Cost-Benefit Analysis.

National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-161191 (URN)10.1142/S1464333214500380 (DOI)
Note

QC 20150410

Available from: 2015-03-09 Created: 2015-03-09 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
4. Robustness and relevance of a new model assessing life cycle energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of road corridor alternatives: a case study in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Robustness and relevance of a new model assessing life cycle energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of road corridor alternatives: a case study in Sweden
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
road infrastructure planning; Life Cycle Assessment; road corridor alternatives; greenhouse gas emissions; energy consumption; model robustness and relevance
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-184161 (URN)
Note

QS 2016

Available from: 2016-03-29 Created: 2016-03-29 Last updated: 2016-04-18Bibliographically approved
5. Life cycle assessment in road infrastructure planning using spatial geological data
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life cycle assessment in road infrastructure planning using spatial geological data
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
LCA, Road, Geology, GIS, Energy, GHG emissions
National Category
Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-184162 (URN)
Note

NQC 201604

Available from: 2016-03-29 Created: 2016-03-29 Last updated: 2016-09-22Bibliographically approved

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