Carbon Footprint Assessment of Polypropylene Fiber Reinforced Concrete Floors

By Teresa Cutright, Michael Mahoney, Keith Franey and Anil Patnaik.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In response to growing climate change concerns, researchers are focused on decreasing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions or carbon footprint. The building sector is a major contributor of carbon footprint or CO₂eq. One way to decrease the CO₂eq associated with building practices is to use materials that have a smaller carbon footprint. Polypropylene fiber reinforced concrete (PFRC) is a versatile and high performance concrete particularly for industrial and building floors. However, the use of PFRC to reduce CO₂eq is not yet well recognized in the construction industry. This paper outlines the relevant background information needed for the determination of carbon footprint of PFRC. Different phases including extrusion of fiber from polypropylene pellets, cutting to the required length, bagging, distribution and transportation to the construction sites are considered. The system boundary and other key parameters in the assessment of carbon footprint are also presented. A 150,000 square feet floor was used as a case study and details of the assessment are outlined. The calculations presented in this paper demonstrate that it is possible to reduce the CO₂eq by 56% for the example floor if PFRC is used in place of steel reinforced concrete. On a global basis, large reductions of CO₂eq are feasible.

Keywords: Carbon Footprint, Polypropylene Fiber Reinforced Concrete, Climate Change Concerns

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.73-84. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 949.397KB).

Dr. Teresa Cutright

Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, OH, USA

Dr. Cutright has background in the material balances needed for completing a carbon footprint.

Michael Mahoney

Euclid Chemical Company, Cleveland, OH, USA

Keith Franey

Euclid Chemical Company, Cleveland, OH, USA

Dr. Anil Patnaik

Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, OH, USA