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Life Cycle Assessment on contaminated dredged sediments: Case study Ala Lombolo
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In the years to come extensive dredging in the Baltic Sea area will result in large amounts of dredged sediments. This is due to expansion of harbors and maintenance of navigation channels. Dredged sediments are often contaminated and can be difficult to handle as the water content and organic content may be high. Traditional handling methods to take care of dredged sediments have been dumping in the sea and disposal at landfills. These alternatives have become more difficult to perform with new laws and restrictions, especially for contaminated sediments. A new technique for taking care of the masses is to stabilize and solidify them while using the masses as construction material. Stabilization and solidification are achieved by mixing in binders in the masses, common binders are cement, ground granulated blast furnace (GGBS) and fly ash. The binder recipe is adapted to the sediments so that the result becomes a product that has the geotechnical properties needed to be used in a beneficial way, for example as a filling material.

This master thesis discusses three alternative ways to handle dredged and dewatered sediment from a lake, Ala Lombolo, in Kiruna. The sediments are contaminated by heavy metals including mercury as well as loose laying ammunition. The total amount of sediments needed to be dredged is 75 000 m3. The three handling alternatives that are compared in this study is; landfill, thermal treatment and process stabilization. The three methods are compared using an analysis tool for environmental systems, life cycle assessment (LCA), where the input and output data is compiled and evaluated in environmental impact categories within the chosen system boundary. In this study the comparison has been on global warming potential (GWP) and depletion of non-renewable natural resources.

The goal with this study has been to compare the chosen environmental impact categories for each scenario to see if it’s possible to see which handling method that has the lowest potential impact. Another goal was to find the hot spots in each scenario where large environmental impact take place. 

The result showed that the alternative of landfill had the lowest global warming potential while thermal treatment had by far the highest GWP. Process stabilization had the lowest depletion of natural resources and landfilling had the highest depletion. No scenario had the lowest or highest results on both environmental impact categories. The hot spots where different for each scenario. For landfilling it was the transportation of the dredged sediments to the landfill, for thermal treatment it was the thermal plant and for process stabilization it was the production of cement.

Since landfilling is not an alternative for the sediments in Ala Lombolo process stabilization is recommended as the handling method.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 53
Keywords [en]
Life Cycle Assessment, LCA, dredged sediments
National Category
Geotechnical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-66876OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-66876DiVA, id: diva2:1162100
External cooperation
WSP
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Civil Engineering, master's level (120 credits)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-02-01 Created: 2017-12-03 Last updated: 2018-02-01Bibliographically approved

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