​Image : Robert Lipic

Environmental impact assessment tool for aggregates rewarded

Renova's Environmental Scholarship of SEK 100,000 goes this year to Gauti Ljungholm Asbjörnsson, researcher at the Department of industrial and materials science, Chalmers. For the development of digital environmental impact assessment tool which will make it easier for all producers of aggregates to calculate their environmental impact.

“We want to make it so simple that you do not have to bring in an environmental specialist, says Gauti.”

Want to know more about the assessment tool? Contact Gauti Ljungholm Asbjörnsson.

The need for aggregates is only increasing in society. The major infrastructure projects, railway constructions and the expansion of large cities are expected to devour materials in unreduced quantities for the near future. Only about two percent of the material used in constructions in Sweden is recycled - but now the possibility of an improvement in the area is increasing.

Gauti Ljungholm Asbjörnsson and his colleagues at Chalmers Rock Processing Research Group​ have developed a digital tool that simulates and calculates the process for aggregates production. The tool has also been developed to also include calculations of environmental impact, which is now rewarded with Renova's Environmental Scholarship. 
Requirements for information on environmental impact are increasing from the Swedish Transport Administration and other authorities and customers, which today is complicated and costly to obtain - and almost inaccessible for smaller players.
“Our tool makes it easier to calculate its environmental impact and thus be able to make good, environmentally based decisions, says Gauti Ljungholm Asbjörnsson.”
The use of excess material from different construction projects, for example, from buildings, roads and tunnels, is comparatively low in Sweden. The proportion of recycled rock material is only about two percent, while in several other European countries it is more than 20 percent.
“Far too little recycled material is used today, says Gauti Ljungholm Asbjörnsson. We hope to be able to help along the way so that it becomes easier to manage nature's resources.”
In Sweden, eight to ten tonnes of aggregates are used per person per year.
“It is as much as if someone were to unload a hundred kilos of stone a day in the driveway at our family's home of four people. If we can just reduce it a little, it still makes a big difference, says Gauti.”
“Getting this scholarship is absolutely fantastic! It helps us a lot to make the tool available to as many people as possible. Some interested quarry owners have already started contacting me, which shows that there is a great need, says Gauti Ljungholm Asbjörnsson.

This is how the tool works:

The tool retrieves information from environmental databases, current standards and other sources. This is linked to the own data on material quantities, energy consumption, transports and more.
“Then you basically press "play", and you get your environmental profile, says Gauti Ljungholm Asbjörnsson.”
The tool also links the data with the framework for environmental product declarations, EPD (Environmental Product Declarations). However, only a few actors published EPDs for their quarries.
“Taking the first step may be an obstacle for companies that are unsure of how much the work with EPDs requires, both financially and in terms of knowledge. We want to help bridge this.”

Renova's Environmental Scholarship:

Renova donates SEK 100,000 annually to a research scholarship for doctoral students and young researchers at Chalmers and Gothenburg universities in all fields of science. The research must be conducted in the environmental area and be related to Renova's operations.

Page manager Published: Fri 29 Oct 2021.