Life cycle assessment of geopolymer concrete: a Malaysian context

T. E. McGrath, S. Cox, M. Soutsos, D. Kong, L. P. Mee, J. U.J. Alengaram

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther

14 Citations (Scopus)


The production of Portland cement is well acknowledged as having as significant impact on the environment, accounting for 8% of global CO2 emissions (4bn tonnes per annum). Concrete is the most widely used material in the world and therefore has vast potential to absorb high volumes of waste and by-product materials. These materials can act as partial replacements as supplementary cementitious materials or total replacements and perform as binders in geopolymer concretes. The use of Pulverised Fuel Ash (PFA) from coal-fired electricity generating stations to substitute Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) is well established. Quantifying the potential environmental benefit of using such materials can be difficult. The life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology, internationally standardised through ISO14040 series, may be used to quantify the environmental impact of products and processes. This paper outlines the use of the LCA methodology to compare the environmental impact of OPC precast concrete products to PFA precast concrete products in a Malaysian context. The four stages of LCA are detailed and consequences of designating materials as a by-product or waste are discussed. A review of other LCA studies completed in Malaysia for the built environment are also presented so as to identify which impact assessment methods are most frequently used.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication14th International Conference on Concrete Engineering and Technology, CONCET 2018
PublisherIOP Publishing
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventInternational Conference on Concrete Engineering and Technology 2018 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Duration: 8 Aug 20189 Aug 2018
Conference number: 14th (Proceedings)

Publication series

NameIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
PublisherIOP Publishing
ISSN (Print)1757-8981


ConferenceInternational Conference on Concrete Engineering and Technology 2018
Abbreviated titleCONCET 2018
CityKuala Lumpur
Internet address

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