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Title: A methodology to assess the sustainability of primary aggregates production in a life cycle perspective
Author: Wattanawan, Annuwat
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 3934
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2012
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The production of primary aggregates is considered an industrial activity that generates significant environmental burdens. This is because, by nature, the mining and minerals industry activities involve the removal of an underlying non-renewable resource and require both short-term and long-term use of the land. As a result, the sustainable development of mineral resources requires a delicate balance of economic, environmental and societal considerations. To respond to the challenge, the aggregate producers must be able to assess the performance of the production processes involved in the operation and ultimately be able to provide the eco-profile of their individual products. This would also allow the producers to identify the processes where improvements can be implemented to achieve maximum benefits through the lifetime of their operations. This research aimed to develop the necessary tools that assess the implementation of sustainable development concepts in primary aggregates production. The first part of the work focused on the development of a sustainability indicators framework, which can be used throughout the aggregate industry. The second part of the work aimed at developing a reliable and quantitative tool to measure and assess the full sustainability performance of primary aggregates production based on Life Cycle principles addressing both environmental and economic sustainability considerations. The holistic perspective offered by Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) enables decision makers to quantify significant environmental impacts throughout the primary aggregate life cycle and assess the trade-offs inherent in any change implemented to the production system. As LCA typically does not address the economical and social aspects of products/production systems sustainability, Life Cycle Costing (LCC) was used to complement the LCA tool developed. The LCC assessment tool evaluates all costs associated with the life cycle of aggregates production, covering initial capital costs, operating and maintenance costs as well as disposal costs. The optimisation of the trade-off between the life cycle cost factors and environmental impacts help in determining appropriate metrics to assess the sustainability of aggregates production operations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available