Life cycle impact assessment methods for water use in concrete production




Concrete production, water use, water impact assessment, sustainability


Within the concrete industry, production requires large amounts of water and generates significant amounts of wastewater. Most of the concrete production impacts studied to date are related to CO2 emissions and energy consumption. In order to assess the impacts related to water use, knowledge and understanding is required of available life cycle impact assessment methods that include water-related impact categories relevant to the life cycle of concrete production. The aim of this article is to summarize the life cycle impact assessment methods needed to translate environmental aspects related to water use in concrete production into potential environmental impacts. Four impact categories were found to be relevant to concrete production: water use, acidification, eutrophication and toxicity. Twenty-eight life cycle impact assessment methods suitable for concrete production are presented. Further study will be needed for a better understanding of the characterization models and calculation procedures for each method.