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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

 

Ehimhen Ejemhen Okoh

A whole life cost analysis of a process for recycling scrap tyres as road pavement

Ehimhen Ejemhen Okoh

A whole life cost analysis of a process for recycling scrap tyres as road pavement

The increasing number of vehicles on the roads of developed and developing countries generate millions of used and worn-out tires every year. It is estimated that one scrap tire is generated per person in industrialized nations. Disposing of scrap tire has always been a problem, because they do not degrade in landfill, if disposed illegally they constitute an eyesore, provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and fire from such tire piles can burn for months sending toxic chemicals into the environment. This has instigated several legislative bans on the disposal of scrap tires. Hence, the public, industries, and government have invested in several ways of reusing and recycling these scrap tires. They include but not limited to artificial reefs, breakwater for shore protection, civil engineering applications such as playgrounds and sporting surfaces, pyrolysis, and tire derived fuels.
This research focuses on analyzing the impacts and benefits derived from the process of recycling scrap tires obtained from the United States (a developed country) to be used as road mats in Nigeria (developing country). It attempts to quantify the environmental and economic cost and benefits of the process thereby highlighting the importance of environmental and economically sound management in the use of scrap tires which will increase their potential and competitiveness. The SimaPro 5.1 software used for the life cycle analysis reveals that the process does not impose a significant environmental impact and it also highlighted several hotspots in the process where if necessary, improvements can be made to reduce the environmental burden of the process. The life cycle cost analysis performed between the road pavers and the alternative asphalt road construction confirmed the road pavers to be of lower life cycle costs. However, this process would be of immense benefit to both countries if the pavers’ presence improves communication, security, create jobs, and boosts the economy in Nigeria.