Technical feasibility and life cycle assessment of an industrial waste as stabilizing product for unpaved roads, and influence of packaging
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The use of industrial solid wastes with a high content of SiO2 and Al2O3, called “precursors” is often studied in the construction industry when combined with NaOH as “activator”. The precursor and activator system is generally proposed as a binder material with similar characteristics to Portland cement. In this work, we technically and environmentally evaluated such a system elaborated with an industrial waste: coal ash with caustic soda in solid state. This product, mixed with the soil, acts as a stabilizer to increase the capacity of load support, allowing the improvement of the conditions of performance in low volume traffic roads. An experimental design applied to the stabilizing product showed the incidence of different factors on the load carrying capacity response: packaging material, type of seal, baling moisture and storage humidity. The application of the stabilizer product was found to increase the resistance of the ground over a 500%. Finally, the environmental aspects were evaluated through a simplified Life Cycle Assessment methodology (LCA), the scope of the study was restricted to cradle to gate, collecting data up to the packaged stabilizing product. The results showed that the highest impacts were caused, for most impact categories, by NaOH production, and transport was relevant as well. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.
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