PROGETTI EU‎ > ‎

TESCOP


This is the page of the Brite Euram Project BE 96-3858 - Contract no: BRPR-CT97-0385 ; this site is mainteined by Contento Trade srl



Cleaner Technology Solutions in the Life Cycle of Concrete Products (TESCOP)

is a research project funded by EC under the Brite Euram III programme. 

The Tescop project started in 1997 and ended in 2000.



TESCOP PARTNERS

DTI - Danish Technological Insitute - Taastrup (DK)
Italcementi - Bergamo (IT)
Premix - Athens (GR)
Volker Stevin - Woerden (NL)
Danish Concrete Elements Association - Cophenaghen (DK)
Aalborg Portland - Aalborg (DK)
Alteren - Tessaloniki (GR)
Intron - Geldermanseln (NL)
Conphoebus - Catania (IT)
Contento Trade - Terenzano (IT)


1. WHAT IS TESCOP 


Research approach and technical programme in terms of structure and methodology

The main purpose with the project is to develop and implement cleaner technologies in the life cycle of selected concrete products. In order to determine the areas where the effect of cleaner technologies is largest, some methodologies (life cycle assessments and political scenarios) and a software programme will be developed and used.


The key words for the research approach are:
  1. Development and exchange of cleaner technologies 
  2. Life cycle assessments 
  3. Political scenarios 

Development and exchange of cleaner technologies

The environmental impact and the areas in the life cycle of the selected concrete products where it is relevant to develop cleaner technologies have been selected according to 2 and 3 and a survey of existing solutions has been carried out with the purpose of exchanging and adjusting existing cleaner technologies the European countries in between.

Thereafter, new cleaner technologies will be developed with the aim of reducing the selected environmental impact in the selected areas where cost-effective cleaner technologies do not exist.

These cleaner technologies are summarized in the following table:

Life Cycle Phase

Subject

1. Extraction and processing of raw materials

  • Belite rich clinker, cement production
  • Aggregate from recycling waste
  • Separate grinding system, cement production
  • Demolished concrete in cement

2. Concrete manufacturing

  • Recycling water from process in concrete element production
  • Self compacting concrete
  • Biodegradable releasing agents, form oil
  •  Energy saving
  • Software, logistic
  • Recycling fresh concrete waste and concrete mud
  • Substitution of chemicals and admixtures

3. Construction

  • Heating of concrete
  • Steel and concrete constructions, optimisation
  • Industrialised construction process
  • Photo voltage system

4. Maintenance

  • Light weight concrete
  • Repair materials, substitution

5. Demolition

  • Selective demolition


The cleaner technologies will be evaluated in a way so that the actions to introduce them does not cause more environmental impact than what they save. Further, the cleaner technologies will be evaluated with regard to economy so they are cost-effective too.

Life cycle assessments

The basis for the selection of areas to implement cleaner technologies in the life cycle of concrete products is life cycle assessments (LCA) where a number of environmental impact in the whole life cycle of the concrete products are investigated. The LCA model which will be used is based on the widely accepted SETAC model. The system boundaries and other limitations originates from draft proposal ISO/TC 207/SCI Life cycle assessments. Furthermore, the principles and methodologies from the Dutch project "Environmental life cycle assessment of products", (Heipings, 1992) will be used to as large an extent as possible.

The phases in the life cycle of concrete to be investigated are:

  • Extraction and processing of component raw materials 
  • Concrete production 
  • Construction and re-building/extension of buildings and constructions 
  • Operation and maintenance of buildings and constructions 
  • Demolition and disposal 

The environmental impact to be investigated are divided into the following parts. 

Energy resources
Component raw materials
Water
Area resources
Emissions to air
Discharge to water
Waste (solid, for special treatment and reuse)
Working environment

Thus the approach gives priority to inclusion of all life cycle phases and many types of environmental impact which gives overview rather than detailed information on selected areas. This is in contrast to other projects which aim to limit their investigations to either a single phase in the life cycle or to defined environmental impacts. The overview generated from this present project proposal together with the detailed knowledge from other projects will therefore make an overall environmental knowledge of concrete possible.

The analyzed concrete products are the following:

Product

Country

Bridge, deck pre-cast beams, in-situ cast

The Netherlands

Tunnel, in-situ cast

The Netherlands

Tunnel, pre-cast elements

The Netherlands

Floor element, pre-stressed hollow core slab

Denmark

Floor element, common Italian way

Italy

Pipe for a sewer system, small, diameter 300 mm

Denmark

Pipe for a sewer system, large, diameter 900 mm

Greece

Structural framework, in-situ cast beams, columns and floor

Greece

Structural framework, pre-cast beams, columns and slabs

Italy

Pavements, flags and pavers

Greece

Pavements, in-situ cast

Italy

Not supporting walls, light weight aggregate

Denmark



Political scenarios

From the results of the life cycle assessments the areas (phases in the life cycle and certain environmental impact) where the effect of cleaner technology is largest will be selected. However, the results of the life cycle assessments are a list of different types of environmental impact which probably individually will select different areas. In order to be able to select a limited amount of areas, different political scenarios with regard to environmental impact, which probably will be given priority in the future, has been set-up.

Political scenarios are defined as priorities of environmental impacts, for instance emission of CO2 as the first priority and recycling and raw materials consumption as the second and third priority.

The political scenarios has been set-up on the basis of discussions with or information from the department of the European environmental commissioner so that the effort on cleaner technology will be in areas which probably politically are given priority in the future (for instance areas where green taxes are to be introduced). However, also priorities in the Brundtland report and the national environmental policy in the European countries, the partners represent, has been taken in account when setting up the different political scenarios.

This approach is quite different from the often used approach in similar projects where different environmental impact are given a weight after different criteria (for instance greenhouse effect, CO2 -equivalent, ozone layer deterioration etc.). It is easy to argue for this approach, however when this approach is used the projects often only deals with a few selected environmental impact (for instance energy consumption and emission of CO2) which makes the calculations easier. Furthermore, the experts on this subjects do not agree on the formulas to calculate for instance effect on the green house problem and the ozone layer depletion.

It is the project proposers opinion that it is difficult to calculate scientifically the effect of for instance solid waste, discharge to water of aluminium and consumption of lime on the green house problem. Therefore, the present project will make the priority of different types of environmental impact on a political basis.

The selected priorities are reported in the following table:

 Area

High priority

Medium priority

Low priority

Denmark

CO2

Resource (water)

Fossil fuel (oil)

Substances harmful to health or environment (chemicals, heavy metals)

SO2, NOX

Local supply of resources as sand, stone, gravel, chalk and lime

Resource (recycling of waste of the building industry)

VOC (only relevant related to the working environment)

 

The Netherlands

Resource (energy)

CO2

Secondary materials/ resources/land use/ recycling

Resource (water) (water only has a high priority concerning water use by building owner, showers, etc.)

NOX, SO2

Substances harmful to health or environment (heavy metals)

Indoor climate/radon

VOC (only relevant related to the working environment)

Italy

CO2

NOx

Waste

CH4

N2O

Resource (water)

VOC (only relevant related to the working environment)

Substances harmful to health or environment (heavy metals)

Greece

Resource (energy)

Fossil fuel (coal)

CO2, CH4, N2O

Resource (water)

Solid waste

Substances harmful to health or environment (heavy metals)

Resources

SO2, NOX

European Union

Substances harmful to health or environment (toxic chemicals, heavy metals)

CO2, CH4, N2O

Resource (water)

SO2, NOX

Selective demolition

Water quality

VOC (only relevant related to the working environment

Waste (increased reuse, recycling, minimized depositing, selective demolition)

International

CO2

Resource (water)

Water quality

Secondary raw materials, recycling/waste minimization

Resource (energy)

 

Technical risks

The technical risks involved in the project may affect the general applicability of the results but results will be obtained. A good result requires that sufficient and reliable data for environmental impact in the life cycle of concrete products can be obtained and that it is possible to introduce and test cleaner technologies which has a positive effect on the environmental impact which is worth mentioning.

The main risks are therefore the following:

The quality of the environmental data differs from one manufacturer and construction company to the other, from concrete products to concrete products and from country to country to a larger extent than anticipated by the project proposer which makes the basis for selection of areas to develop cleaner technology uncertain.

It is not possible to develop cost-effective (in a short term basis) cleaner technologies in all selected areas which can reduce the environmental impact to a level which is worth mentioning.

The pilot operation period may be too short to allow a certain evaluation of the effect of the cleaner technologies.




TESCOP RESULTS


The following report gives a short presentation of the results already obtained in the Tescop project



1. ABSTRACT



This paper gives a presentation of the Brite Euram project Cleaner Technology Solutions in the Life Cycle of Concrete Products abbreviated to TESCOP. The objective is to develop and test cleaner technologies to reduce the environmental impact of concrete. A life cycle inventory of 12 selected concrete products will be performed and the used principle in data collection for the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) will be presented. Together with political scenarios, which will also be presented, the result of the LCI will be used to point out areas where cleaner technologies shall be developed. The selected areas where cleaner technologies are developed will be presented, too.


Key words: Cleaner technology, LCI, concrete, political scenarios.



2. INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES



The EU, national governments, and consumers will set up environmental requirements to all types of industries. Also the concrete industry will be forced to fulfil requirements by environmental taxes or by voluntary agreements in order to avoid government imposed taxes. To decrease the total amount of taxes or as part of voluntary agreements the concrete industry must develop and adopt the most appropriate and economically feasible technologies for achieving environmental targets based on effective and clean technology.


The concrete industry covers all partners involved in the life cycle of concrete spanning from extraction and processing of raw materials (life cycle phase 1), concrete manufacturing (life cycle phase 2), construction and rebuilding/extension of buildings and constructions (life cycle phase 3), operation and maintenance of buildings and constructions (life cycle phase 4) to demolition and waste treatment/recycling (life cycle phase 5).


The main industrial objectives are:


- To develop and implement cost-effective cleaner technologies to reduce environmental taxes and fulfil environmental requirements in the concrete industry compared to other building materials and to reduce the environmental impact of the concrete products. This will be valuable in marketing concrete products.
- To test the developed cleaner technologies in practice.
- To transfer cleaner technologies between the EU-countries and between the small and medium sized SME industries.


The duration of the TESCOP-project is three and a half years from March 1997 to September 2000.


In the project, the first subject was to prepare a survey of the European concrete industry especially in the four participating countries. On this basis 12 products were selected.
Further in the project, the environmental impact of these products will be analysed in their whole life cycle, called a Life Cycle Inventory (LCI). The environmental data have been collected, and a software program has been selected. A user interface oriented towards the concrete industry and the 12 selected products has been developed.


On the basis of the LCI results and a set-up of political scenarios prepared as a priority list of environmental impacts, areas where cleaner technologies must be developed, will be determined. The priority list of environmental impacts is prepared and a survey of existing cleaner technologies has been carried out with the purpose of exchanging and adjusting existing technologies the European countries in between. Furthermore, the purpose of preparing a survey of existing cleaner technologies will prevent that already developed cleaner technologies will be re-developed. Some of the LCI´s has been prepared and the rest is during preparation.


New cleaner technologies are developed with the aim of reducing the selected environmental impacts, where cost-effective cleaner technologies do not exist. The cleaner technologies are e.g. maintenance and repair materials for concrete, recycling of crushed concrete waste as aggregate in new concrete, use of alternative raw materials for cement manufacturing, new cement production methods with less energy consumption, reuse of disposal water into new concrete, substitution of mineral form oils with organic oils and optimisation of concrete casting method by use of self-compacting concrete.


The cleaner technologies will be evaluated with regard to economy, so they are cost-effective and with regard to environmental impact, so it does not result in a larger environmental impact to introduce them than they save. The developed cleaner technologies will be tested preferably in full-scale.


In the following a short presentation of the work done and the results will be presented.


3. SELECTED PRODUCTS



It was decided to select products representative of the participating countries and of much importance to the participating partners. 12 products in total, three from each country, were selected. The products are as follows:

 

Product

Country

Bridge, deck pre-cast beams, in-situ cast

The Netherlands

Tunnel, in-situ cast

The Netherlands

Tunnel, pre-cast elements

The Netherlands

Floor element, pre-stressed hollow core slab

Denmark

Floor element, common Italian way

Italy

Pipe for a sewer system, small, diameter 300 mm

Denmark

Pipe for a sewer system, large, diameter 900 mm

Greece

Structural framework, in-situ cast beams, columns and floor

Greece

Structural framework, pre-cast beams, columns and slabs

Italy

Pavements, flags and pavers

Greece

Pavements, in-situ cast

Italy

Not supporting walls, light weight aggregate

Denmark

 

4. LIFE CYCLE INVENTORY




It is decided to use a Life Cycle Assessment model developed by the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. The model is implemented in a software program called Sima Pro. The model is further developed and the software program is used with some modifications and supplements. A user interface oriented towards the concrete industry and the twelve selected concrete products is developed. Some of the Life Cycle Inventories (LCI) has been prepared.


4.1 Environmental data


For every process in the life cycle of the concrete products data on the environmental impacts are collected. The impacts are split in to in-put and out-put data and are expressed per unit, e.g. m3 of concrete or kg of produced material. The types of environmental data are for the input data: raw materials, energy resources and water and for the output data emissions to air, water and soil and waste production.


The work environment has been described qualitatively and where possible data has been collected. All the collected data have been put into a database in the software program.


4.2 System Boundaries


When making an LCI it is not possible to trace all components back to earth. The system boundaries have to be defined. In the TESCOP project the boundaries are defined as follows:


- The production of raw materials is included quantitatively, if the mass contribution is more than 1 % of the total mass of the concrete product. Treatment of emissions and waste is included. Overheads related to the plant/site, internal transport, storage, and process and storage losses are included. All transport between plants and sites and sites and deposits is included.
- The production of capital goods is excluded. Capital goods are defined as machinery, moulds, maintenance equipment etc. Maintenance materials for machinery are excluded.
- All energy production is accounted for in the 2nd order, which means that the acquisition, the conversion efficiency and the transport carriers are taken into account. Embodied energy of materials is not taken into account.
- Carbonation of the concrete during use is included. The concrete will carbonate during life time. Carbonation is a chemical reaction where the CO2 reacts with the calcium-hydroxide in the concrete.
- Working environment is included through qualitative descriptions.


Fly ash and micro silica are used in the production of cement and concrete as raw materials. Both products are waste materials from production of electricity and silicon. Only the environmental impacts caused by special treatment recommended by the cement and concrete industry and the transport to the cement and concrete plants are taken into account in the LCI.


4.3 Result of life cycle inventory


The collected environmental data are used to calculate the LCI for each of the twelve products. The result of the LCI is a list of environmental impacts for the specific product. The list can be split into the five life cycle phases, so it is possible to detect e.g. where the largest amount of CO2 emission arises.


Below is the total energy consumption for a lightweight concrete wall with a density of 1200 kg/m3 shown. The accumulated total energy consumption is shown for the five life cycle phases.



5. POLITICAL SCENARIOS




To be able to select areas where it is most valuable and required to develop cleaner technologies, a survey of the environmental policies and plans in the four represented countries, the EU, and internationally have been performed. The survey has resulted in six lists of environmental parameters like energy, CO2, water, waste etc. It was decided to separate the parameters into three groups with high, medium and low priority. Below the environmental priorities are presented.


 Area

High priority

Medium priority

Low priority

Denmark

CO2

Resource (water)

Fossil fuel (oil)

Substances harmful to health or environment (chemicals, heavy metals)

SO2, NOX

Local supply of resources as sand, stone, gravel, chalk and lime

Resource (recycling of waste of the building industry)

VOC (only relevant related to the working environment)

 

The Netherlands

Resource (energy)

CO2

Secondary materials/ resources/land use/ recycling

Resource (water) (water only has a high priority concerning water use by building owner, showers, etc.)

NOX, SO2

Substances harmful to health or environment (heavy metals)

Indoor climate/radon

VOC (only relevant related to the working environment)

Italy

CO2

NOx

Waste

CH4

N2O

Resource (water)

VOC (only relevant related to the working environment)

Substances harmful to health or environment (heavy metals)

Greece

Resource (energy)

Fossil fuel (coal)

CO2, CH4, N2O

Resource (water)

Solid waste

Substances harmful to health or environment (heavy metals)

Resources

SO2, NOX

European Union

Substances harmful to health or environment (toxic chemicals, heavy metals)

CO2, CH4, N2O

Resource (water)

SO2, NOX

Selective demolition

Water quality

VOC (only relevant related to the working environment

Waste (increased reuse, recycling, minimized depositing, selective demolition)

International

CO2

Resource (water)

Water quality

Secondary raw materials, recycling/waste minimization

Resource (energy)


The list presented for Denmark has been discussed with the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the list for EU has been discussed with representatives from the Commission.


6. CLEANER TECHNOLOGIES



In March this year it was decided in which area the cleaner technologies should be developed. The selection was performed according to the political scenarios and the interest of the partners. In the table below is the subjects shown organised in relation to the life cycle of the concrete products.


Life Cycle Phase

Subject

1. Extraction and processing of raw materials

·         Belite rich clinker, cement production

·         Aggregate from recycling waste

·         Separate grinding system, cement production

·         Demolished concrete in cement

2. Concrete manufacturing

·         Recycling water from process in concrete element production

·         Self compacting concrete

·         Biodegradable releasing agents, form oil

·          Energy saving

·         Software, logistic

·         Recycling fresh concrete waste and concrete mud

·         Substitution of chemicals and admixtures

3. Construction

·         Heating of concrete

·         Steel and concrete constructions, optimisation

·         Industrialised construction process

·         Photo voltage system

4. Maintenance

·         Light weight concrete

·         Repair materials, substitution

5. Demolition

·         Selective demolition



Some of the subjects mentioned in the table above could be placed in more than one Life cycle phase. For instance this concerns recycling of wastewater and concrete waste.


The cleaner technologies are developed now and a pilot testing will also be performed for some of the technologies. The pilot testing will for some technologies run to the end of the project September next year.


7. CONCLUSIONS



The present project was started in March 1997, and is scheduled to finish in September 2000. Up till the start of 1999 the project has been in the preparation phase, where a survey of products and productions methods has been performed. Environmental data for the products have been collected and entered into a database. A software program has been selected and developed with a user interface friendly to the concrete industry, and a set-up of political scenarios with a list of environmental impacts which have a high priority now and in the coming years has been made.


The core in the project is to develop cleaner technologies. To be able to select areas where technologies shall be developed, reliable LCIs by use of the collected data and the developed software has been prepared. The areas have been pointed out by use of the list of environmental impacts with priority in the future.


Amongst others cleaner technologies are developed in the cement production. Production of cement requires a lot of energy and thereby has a high rate of CO2-emission. It is therefore necessary to look at the production method of cement and to develop, test, and implement technologies, which can reduce the amount of CO2-emissions, e.g. to use waste as an energy source instead of coal or to use less cement clinker, where the clinker is replaced with by-products from other productions. It is also a possibility to look at the concrete composition and optimise the concrete with less cement. The development of cleaner technologies started at the beginning of 1999.


8. REFERENCES



/1/ Handbook in environmentally correct design, Volume 1 and 2, BPS Centre, DTI, Publication 121, 1997 (in Danish).
/2/ Proposal from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, A strengthened product-approach. An introduction to a debate, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Denmark, Danish Environmental Protection Agency, 1997 (in Danish).
/3/ SETAC, Guidelines for Life Cycle Assessment, A “Code of Practise”, ed.SETAC 1, 1993.
/4/ UMIP, Development of Environmental Friendly Industry-products, Volume 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Denmark, Danish Environmental Protection Agency, 1997 (In Danish).
/5/ TESCOP, project