29 September 2022
The aim of the research is to assess the environmental impact, through life cycle analysis (LCA) of a new concrete made with recycled peritoneal dialysis (PD) plastic (Baxter Renal Care) as an alternative aggregate material.
The LCA is conducted using Gabi Software, and the results obtained for the new concrete made with recycled PD plastic are compared to concrete for general construction made from a mixture of gravel, sand aggregate, cement, and water.
According to the environmental impact categories, the concrete made with recycled PD plastic implicated a smaller environmental impact than the alternative of incinerating the waste and producing concrete from mined sand.
The goal of the LCA is to compare the environmental impact of dialysis waste sent to landfill and concrete production to the proposed alternative of redirecting this processed waste to be used as an aggregate in concrete production. More specifically, two product systems will be studied. The first product is peritoneal dialysis plastics. The second product system considered in this analysis is general-purpose concrete for construction.
Recycling has a benefit in reducing global warming and ozone depletion impacts, however, the recycling process also has higher acidification and eutrophication impacts. The alternative of reusing the BPW also has significantly lower resource use than mining additional sand to make regular concrete. Although recycling plastic has lower environmental impacts in some categories, there are also additional processes required in this process that could cause additional emissions. For instance, the processes of sterilizing and granulating the BPW consume both water and electricity. Emissions caused by energy generation for the grid and for supplying water could likely be significant contributors to the higher acidification and eutrophication impacts.
The aim of the research is to assess the environmental impact, through LCA of a new concrete made with recycled PD plastic (Baxter Renal Care) as an alternative aggregate material. As a preliminary study, it required a number of assumptions and approximations that may lead to some variations in the results of the analysis. For instance, the present study did not include the transport of materials at any stage in the product life cycle. This simplification was taken on due to the lack of information and high variability of the locations of BPW sterilization and transport distances. The results of this study may be used to support the implementation of this initiative in real-world applications, and to inform any potential hot spots in emissions of the proposed alternative so that the solution may be improved upon.
The research will also be published as a Poster during the Ecomondo fair, which will be exhibited in the session on Tuesday 8 November, 9.30-17.30 Sala Tiglio, Pad A6.
Benedetta Copertaro1 firstname.lastname@example.org, Rebecca Craine2, Evangeline Buckmaster2, Jakob Winkler2, Vanessa O’Brien2, Thomas Pickard2, Olivia Flower2, Louise Bardwell2, Gianluca Magrini1, Ryan Pike3
1Newster System S.r.l., Via Pascoli, 26/28 – 47853 Cerasolo di Coriano (RN) – Italy; 2School of Engineering, The Australian National University- Canberra ACT 0200;3180 Waste Group 4/55 Thurralilly St, Queanbeyan East NSW 2620, Australia
Newster System S.r.l.
Via Pascoli, 26/28
47853 Cerasolo di Coriano (RN)
Tel. +39 0541 759160
Fax +39 0541 759163
VAT NUMBER IT09269221009