Life Cycle Assessment of Geopolymer Concrete – What is the Environmental Benefit?

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Title: Life Cycle Assessment of Geopolymer Concrete – What is the Environmental Benefit?

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Publication: CIA

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Date: 2/28/2011

Abstract:
Cement production and therefore the construction industry is said to be responsible for 3.9 to 7.0% of the global CO2 emission. One way of reducing the environmental impact of the construction industry is the use of cement with a lower clinker content. Also alternative binders like geopolymers are said to enable a significant reduction of the environmental impact. The aim of this study was to investigate the extent to which the environmental effects of construction can be reduced by using geopolymer concrete instead of normal concrete. With the help of life cycle assessment methods (LCA), the ecological impact of geopolymer concrete was evaluated and compared to the ecological impact of normal concrete. The investigations showed that geopolymer concrete can lead to more sustainable buildings in terms of global warming potential (GWP) compared to normal concrete. However, a reduction of 80% GWP referred to in the literature, was not found for the concretes investigated in this study. For other ecological impacts like ozone depletion, photochemical ozone creation, acidification or eutrophication, normal concrete is much more favourable than geopolymer concrete.


Concrete Institute of Australia, International Partner Access.

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