Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emission Factors For Clay Brick .

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Background Document for Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emission Factors for Clay BrickReuse and Concrete RecyclingEPA530-R-03-017November 7, 2003

TABLE OF CONTENTSI. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .1II. CLAY BRICKS .3Source Reduction (Reuse) .3Recycling.5Combustion .5Landfilling .5III. CONCRETE .6Source Reduction .6Recycling.6Combustion .10Landfilling .10IV. SUMMARY .11Appendix A. Data Used to Derive Clay Brick Source Reduction Emission Factor .13Appendix B. Data Used to Derive Concrete Recycling Emission Factor.14Appendix C. Conversion Factors Used in Calculations.18ii

TABLE OF EXHIBITSExhibit 1. GHG Emission Factors for Selected Materials and Waste Management Practices (MTCE/Ton) .2Exhibit 2. Potential GHG Emissions Associated with Various Building Materials .2Exhibit 3. Clay Brick Source Reduction (Reuse) Emission Factor (MTCE/Ton) .3Exhibit 4. Process Energy Emissions Calculations for Virgin Clay Brick .4Exhibit 5. Transportation Energy Emissions Calculations for Virgin Clay Brick.5Exhibit 6. Concrete Recycling Emission Factor (MTCE/Ton).7Exhibit 7. Process Energy Emissions Calculations for Virgin Aggregate .8Exhibit 8. Transportation Energy Emissions Calculations for Virgin Aggregate.8Exhibit 9. Process Energy Emissions Calculations for Recycled Aggregate.9Exhibit 10. Transportation Energy Emissions Calculations for Recycled Aggregate .9Exhibit 11. Aggregate Recycling Emission Factor (MTCE/Ton).9Exhibit 12. Current Baseline GHG Emissions and Reduction Potential for Concrete .12Exhibit A-1: Energy Data for the Production of 1 Ton of Clay Bricks .13Exhibit B-1: National Consumption of Energy by the Crushed Stone Industry in Physical Unitsa.14Exhibit B-2: National Consumption of Energy by the Crushed Stone Industry in BTU.14Exhibit B-3: Calculation of Delivered Cost of Distillate Fuel.15Exhibit B-4: Calculation of Consumption of “Other” and “Undistributed" Fuels.15Exhibit B-5: Production of Aggregate .15Exhibit B-6: Energy Consumption by Fuel, million Btu/ton virgin aggregate .16Exhibit B-7: Process Energy Consumption by Fuel, million Btu/ton recycled aggregate.16Exhibit B-8: Transportation Energy Consumption, million Btu/ton-mile .16Exhibit B-9: Process Energy Data for the Production of One Ton of Virgin Aggregate.17Exhibit B-10: Process Energy Data for the Production of One Ton of Recycled Aggregate .17Exhibit C-1. Conversions.18Exhibit C-2. Carbon Coefficients .18Exhibit C-3. Heat Content Factors.18iii

I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThis paper describes the methodology and data sources used to develop greenhouse gas (GHG) emissionfactors for reused1 clay bricks and recycled concrete. The emission factors presented below are the latest in a seriesof emission factors developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA’s research into the linkbetween GHG emissions and waste management began in 1994 and continues today. In 1998, EPA publishedGreenhouse Gas Emissions from Selected Materials in Municipal Solid Waste, which presented the methodologyfor conducting a life-cycle assessment of the GHG impacts of waste management for commonly-recycled materialsin the municipal solid waste stream. The key results of the report included life-cycle GHG emission factors for 12materials and 5 waste management options: source reduction, recycling, composting, combustion, and landfilling.These emission factors were the basis for a user-friendly spreadsheet tool called the WAste Reduction Model(WARM). WARM was designed to assist waste managers in quantifying the GHG benefits of their wastemanagement practices.As research on life-cycle impacts of waste management practices on these and other materials progressed,it became necessary to update both the report and WARM. Both were updated to include: (1) new data on energyand recycling loss rates, (2) an improved analysis of the GHG benefits of composting, (3) emission factors forseveral new material types and new categories of mixed materials, (4) new energy data for the calculation of utilityoffsets, (5) revised carbon coefficients and fuel mixes for national average electricity generation, and (6) updatedinformation on landfill gas recovery practices. The revised report, published in 2002, is entitled Solid WasteManagement and Greenhouse Gases: A Life Cycle Assessment of Emissions and Sinks,2 and covers 16 individualmaterials found in the municipal solid waste stream (e.g., aluminum cans, newspaper, dimensional lumber) and 7categories of mixed materials (e.g., mixed paper, mixed plastics).3All emission factors included in the first and second versions of the report have focused on either specificmaterials (e.g., steel cans) or mixed materials (e.g., mixed recyclables). In 2001, EPA began investigating thefeasibility of developing emission factors for materials outside the municipal solid waste stream. This paperdescribes the methods EPA used to apply the life-cycle approach presented in the 1998 and 2002 reports to twoconstruction materials: clay bricks and recycled concrete. The complexity of these emission factors necessitated aseparate report documenting the methodology, data sources, and assumptions we used.EPA’s interest in clay bricks and concrete is derived from a growing interest in environmentally-friendly or“green” building practices, including reusing and recycling the impressive quantities of construction and demolition(C&D) debris that are generated each year. EPA estimates that 136 million tons4 of C&D waste were generated in1996. In 2001, the US produced over 8.3 billion clay bricks.5 Concrete, composed of cement, water, and coarseand fine aggregates, is a high-volume, low-cost material that is used in extremely large quantities. Approximately970 million tons of concrete were produced in 20006 and approximately 200 million tons of waste concrete7 aregenerated annually from C&D and public works projects.1To maintain consistency with our other reports, the reuse of clay bricks may be referred to as “source reduction.” Reusingclay bricks reduces the need for brick production, in effect causing source reduction. However, it is important to note that,unlike in reference to other materials, the term “source reduction” does not imply a fewer number of bricks actually being used.2U.S. EPA 2002a. Solid Waste Management and Greenhouse Gases: A Life-Cycle Assessment of Emissions and Sinks, U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, June 2002. EPA530-R-02-006.3Report is available online at the following website: f.4In this report, the term “ton” refers to short tons. Metric tons are specifically denoted as “metric tons.”5U.S. Census Bureau 2002. “Clay Construction Products: 2001,” October 2002.6The total consumption of cement in 2000 was 120,700,000 tons. It was assumed that 100 percent of this cement was used tomake concrete and the concrete contained 12.5 percent cement by weight, resulting in a calculated concrete production of 970million tons. Sources: Consumption data from Van Oss, Hendrik G. 2001. Minerals Yearbook - Cement, 2000. U.S.Geological Survey; cement content data from Collins 2002, personal communication between Terry Collins of PortlandCement Association and Philip Groth of ICF Consulting, 2002.7Derived from: (1) Turley 2002, personal communication between William Turley of Construction Materials RecyclingAssociation and Philip Groth of ICF Consulting, 2002; (2) Wilburn and Goonan 1998, “Aggregates from natural and recycled1

Two emission factors were developed for clay bricks: source reduction (reuse) and landfilling. Similarly,two emission factors were developed for concrete: recycling and landfilling. The emission factor for sourcereducing clay bricks was calculated as the avoided GHG emissions from the manufacture of virgin bricks, includingprocess energy (pre-combustion and combustion), transportation energy, and process non-energy emissions. Therecycling emission factor for recycled concrete represents the GHG impacts of displacing virgin inputs withrecycled inputs. Landfilling emission factors for clay bricks and concrete were based solely on transportationrelated emissions, since neither clay bricks nor concrete generate methane (CH4) when disposed in a landfill. Thecement portion of concrete is capable of sequestering small amounts of carbon when placed in landfills. However,for reasons discussed below, this effect was not included in the landfill emission factor.The primary source of data used in the creation of clay brick emission factors was life-cycle researchconducted by Athena Sustainable Materials Institute in 1998. The concrete emission factors were derived from twomain sources: the U.S. Census Bureau’s 1997 Economic Census and Aggregates from Natural and RecycledSources, a U.S. Geological Survey Circular by David Wilburn and Thomas Goonan. All of the information anddata that was utilized in developing the GHG emission factors for clay brick and concrete is included in exhibitsand appendices throughout this report.Emission factors for clay bricks and concrete are presented in Exhibit 1 in metric tons of carbon equivalentper ton of product (MTCE/ton). These emission factors are comparable to factors presented in Exhibit ES-4 of the2002 EPA report. Although the emission factors for clay bricks and recycled concrete are lower than for someother materials, the potential for emission reductions is significant due to the high volume of these materialsdiscarded each year. Estimates of potential emission reductions by material type are presented in Exhibit 2.Exhibit 1. GHG Emission Factors for Selected Materials and Waste Management Practices (MTCE/Ton)Net SourceReduction(Reuse)NetNetEmissions ForCompostingCombustionCurrent Mix ofNet RecyclingNet erialInputsClay .0105NA – Not Available.a. Assumes a transportation distance of 30 miles for virgin aggregate and 15 miles for recycled aggregate. Thisassumption is discussed in greater detail below.Source: U.S. EPA 2002a.Exhibit 2. Potential GHG Emissions Associated with Various Building MaterialsMaterialClay BricksConcreteEstimated AnnualDiscards (tons)Source Reduction:Emission ReductionPotential (MTCE)Recycling: EmissionReduction Potential(MTCE)NANANA200,000,000aNA(420,000)NA – Not Available.a. Source: Derived from Turley 2002 and Wilburn, et al. 1998.sources—Economic assessments for construction applications,” U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1176. Available online html.2

II. CLAY BRICKSBricks are produced by firing materials such as clay, kaolin, fire clay, bentonite, or common clay and shale.The majority of the bricks produced in the US are clay, accounting for an annual production of approximately 8.3billion bricks. 8This report focuses on the source reduction of bricks that occurs when consumers reuse salvaged bricksrather than using new bricks. This report does not address the benefit of grinding and reusing broken or damagedbricks during the manufacturing process.To estimate GHG emissions associated with municipal solid waste (MSW) management options, weanalyzed whether the baseline scenario should include a mix of both virgin and recycled inputs. Athena discussesthe use of sewage sludge, contaminated soils, and fly ash when making clay bricks, but does not provide values thatcould be useful for calculating a current mix estimate. It describes these practices as feasible, but not widelypracticed at this time. Athena also notes that 4-8 percent of the volume of raw materials used in brick production iscomprised of damaged, finished ware that has been recycled back into raw materials. Because these inputs reflectpre-consumer recycling, not post-consumer recycling, the energy associated with manufacturing brick with theseinputs would still be considered “virgin” in our nomenclature. Based on the information provided by Athena, itappears that there is very little (if any) recycled-content brick being produced. Therefore, we assumed that virginproduction is the same as production using the current mix (nearly 100 percent virgin inputs).The following sections describe how we used information on clay bricks to develop life-cycle GHGemission factors for source reduction and landfilling.Source Reduction (Reuse)Source reduction activities reduce the demand for production of clay bricks, and consequently, reduceGHG emissions associated with brick production. Because reused bricks may lack the strength and durability ofnew bricks, the reuse of bricks is not appropriate for all brick structures. This is why the US Green BuildingCouncil (USGBC) recommends that reused bricks not be used in exterior structures in cold climates, as coldtemperatures can exacerbate existing weaknesses in reused brick.9 Clay bricks are sometimes reused in suchdecorative applications as brick fireplaces, hearths, patios, etc.The GHG benefits of source reduction are calculated as the avoided emissions from the raw materialsacquisition and manufacture of clay bricks. The energy used in these processes is primarily fossil fuel derived,resulting in GHG emissions. In addition, energy is required to obtain the fuels that are ultimately used in brickmanufacturing (i.e., precombustion energy). The calculation of avoided GHG emissions for clay bricks was brokenup into two components: process energy and transportation energy. Exhibit 3 presents emissions associated withthese components, as well as the net GHG emission factor for source reduction. The following sections provide asummary of the data and calculations used to estimate process and transportation-related emissions. Appendix Aprovides all raw data and more detailed information on the genesis of these numbers.Exhibit 3. Clay Brick Source Reduction (Reuse) Emission Factor (MTCE/Ton)(a)(b)Process Energy0.0782Transportation Energy0.0006(c)Net Emissions( a b)0.07888U.S. Census Bureau 2002. “Clay Construction Products: 2001,” October 2002.Webster, Mark 2002. “The Use of Salvaged Structural Materials in New Construction,” presentation posted on the US GreenBuilding Council website, /WS604 Webster P461.pdf, November2002.93

Avoided Process EnergyIn clay brick manufacturing, energy is required to obtain raw materials and to operate manufacturingequipment, as well as to extract and refine the fuels used in the brick manufacturing process (i.e., “pre-combustion”energy). Process energy GHG emissions result from both the direct combustion of fossil fuels and the upstreamemissions associated with electricity use. To estimate process emissions, we first obtained an estimate of the totalenergy required to produce one ton of clay bricks, which is reported as 5.1 million Btu.10 Next, we determined thedistribution of fuels that comprise this Btu estimate. Using this information, we then multiplied each fuel’s Btuestimate by each fuel’s carbon content to obtain carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for each fuel. The carboncoefficients we used are presented in Exhibit 4. We then conducted a similar analysis for fugitive CH4 emissions,using fuel-specific CH4 coefficients. Finally, total process energy GHG emissions were calculated as the sum ofGHG emissions, including both CO2 and CH4, from all the fuel types used in the production of one ton of claybricks. The calculations for process energy emissions from manufacturing clay bricks are provided in Exhibit 4.As the exhibit shows, the process energy for clay bricks results in 0.078 MTCE per ton of clay bricks produced.Exhibit 4. Process Energy Emissions Calculations for Virgin Clay Brick(d)(c)(e)(f)(g)(b)Million Btu Fuel-specificProcessProcessTotal ProcessFugitive CH4 Energy CO2 Energy CH4CarbonEnergyused for ssionsMTCE/Million (MTCE/Ton) (MTCE/Ton) (MTCE/Ton)Percent of Production(MTCE/Btu( b x c)( b x d)Total Btua ( 5.1008 x a) Million Btu)b( e f)1.89%0.09630.01990.00010.0019 0.00010.0019(a)Fuel TypeDieselNationalAverage FuelMix 0.0329Natural 100%5.1008n/an/a0.07490.00330.0782n/a – not applicable.a. Calculated

Bricks are produced by firing materials such as clay, kaolin, fire clay, bentonite, or common clay and shale. The majority of the bricks produced in the US are clay, accounting for an annual production of approximately 8.3 billion bricks. 8 This report focuses on the source reduction o

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