A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

How environmentally sustainable are fibre reinforced alkali-activated concretes?

Open Access hybrid publication

Publication Details
Authors: Abdulkareem Mariam, Havukainen Jouni, Horttanainen Mika
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2019
Language: English
Journal acronym: jclepro
Volume number: 236
Issue number: 117601
ISSN: 0959-6526
JUFO-Level of this publication: 2
Open Access: Open Access hybrid publication
Location of the parallel saved publication: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe2019090426587


Alkali-activated concretes have been receiving increasingly attention as they are identified to be key
components towards achieving sustainable construction in future. A detailed comparative environmental
assessment study of different mix-designs of fibre reinforced alkali-activated concretes (FRAAC), conventional concrete (CC) and steel fibre reinforced conventional concrete (SFRCC), was conducted using
Life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. LCA study was conducted to determine the environmental
performance of the different FRAACs when compared to CC and SFRCC, and also to identify the most
important contributing factors to their environmental burdens. Results from the contribution analysis
conducted indicated that sodium silicate solution was the major contributing material in the different
FRAACs mix-designs. This is because, in addition to the high amount of energy required in the production
of sodium silicate solution, high quantities of the solution is required in the development of the alkali-activated concretes. Furthermore, sensitivity analysis conducted indicated that there is a high variability
in the environmental assessment results when different life cycle inventory (LCI) data sources of sodium
silicate solution are used. Thus, amount of constituents and source of LCI data used, can hugely influence
the overall results of the LCA study. As a result, constituent materials required in the development of
FRAACs (especially ones which result in higher environmental burdens in FRAACs e.g. sodium silicate)
should be cautiously utilised. Alternatively, they can be substituted with materials of lower environmental
impacts where applicable, while ensuring the mechanical properties of the alkali-activated
concretes are not compromised upon.

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