Cue for India? Australia conducts world’s first trial to create roads with industrial waste

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Published: June 20, 2019 12:13:10 PM

This initiative has been taken with an aim to lower the pollution levels and the greenhouse gases emitted during the production of concrete for construction of roads. The concrete contributes 7% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Australia, is conducting the world’s first ever trial to construct roads using industrial waste from the coal-fired power stations as well as steel manufacturing plants (Representative image)

A brilliant infrastructural initiative to lower pollution levels! Sydney, the most densely populated city in Australia, is conducting the world’s first ever trial to construct roads using industrial waste from the coal-fired power stations as well as steel manufacturing plants. According to a recent PTI report, this initiative has been taken with an aim to lower the pollution levels and the greenhouse gases emitted during the production of concrete for construction of roads. The concrete contributes around 7 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. In the year 2018, about 4.1 billion tonnes of cement was produced across the world which contributed about 3.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, according to researchers.

Researchers explained that ‘geopolymer’ which is made from fly ash and blast furnace slag, generates just about 300 kilograms of carbon dioxide per tonne of cement, as compared with the 900 kilograms generated from the traditional cement production. It also saves the equivalent of the electricity which is utilized by an average household at every two weeks. Once the trials for the roads are successful, it is said that the researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney as well as the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) will use the same in order to create the first set of industry guidelines for the geopolymer concrete.

During the United Nations’ climate change conference COP24, several policy makers as well as environmentalists reached a consensus that there is an urgent need for the annual emissions from cement to decrease by at least 16 per cent by the year 2030. Clover Moore, Sydney’s Mayor was quoted saying that the projects like geopolymer trial for creating roads can result in new schemes that make a big difference in the carbon emissions. She stated that the city continue its efforts to reduce carbon footprint and that they are working with concrete suppliers to decrease the amount of pollution and greenhouse gases emitted during the production of concrete for their local roads. She added that they already use sustainable green concrete for all the footway renewal works, which adds up to almost 25,000m2 per year.

Stephen Foster, head of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNSW0 was quoted saying that the road performance after the trial will be monitored for up to five years and that the data collected in the initial 3-12 months will be utilized to confirm the models and strengthen their predictions.

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