Potential carbon footprint reduction for reclaimed asphalt pavement innovations : Lca methodology, best available technology, and near-future reduction potential

Bizarro, Diana Eliza Godoi; Steinmann, Zoran; Nieuwenhuijse, Isabel; Keijzer, Elisabeth; Hauck, Mara


The carbon footprints of asphalt mixtures with increasing reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) content were estimated using a life-cycle assessment methodology. Three asphalt mixtures with different applications and technical requirements, namely porous asphalt (PA), stone mastic asphalt (SMA), and asphalt concrete (AC), were included. The technology leaps needed to achieve asphalt mixtures containing up to 93% RAP were modelled. Mixtures containing up to 57% RAP were hot-mix asphalts (175 °C), while mixtures containing more RAP were produced at 135 °C and 105 °C. The energy requirements and their respective carbon footprints were calculated based on the heat capacity of the aggregates, RAP, and other bituminous materials. Furthermore, the effects of changing the country’s electricity mix were also evaluated. A potential carbon footprint reduction of between 55% and 64% was found for one tonne of asphalt containing 93% RAP and produced at 105 °C compared to the 0% RAP mixture produced at 175 °C. Considering the uncertainty of this technology at its early stage of development, the reduction could be as low as 45% or as high as 79%. Changing the electricity mix to one that is likely to be implemented until 2030 in the Netherlands further reduces the footprint by 10%.