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Assessing the carbon footprint of transporting primary aggregates

By J.M. Mankelow, D. Oyo-Ita and M. Birkin


Minerals are essential in maintaining our economy and lifestyle, but their extraction, processing and handling are responsible for about 7% of total global energy consumption. Reduction of this significant carbon footprint in the face of accelerating demand for commodities and construction materials is a major challenge facing the mining industry and its regulators over the next 30 years. \ud Transport of primary minerals is responsible for around 40% of the energy consumed by the industry. Although no figures are available, the proportion of energy consumed transporting bulk construction materials such as aggregates is likely to be even higher. Moves toward more sustainable procurement and transport of aggregate minerals are therefore likely to have a significant effect on the overall carbon footprint of the minerals industry in the UK. \ud In order to be able to look for savings in carbon emissions it is important to evaluate the output resulting from the current transport of aggregate minerals. This research has sought to obtain a strategic assessment of the carbon footprint resulting from transporting aggregates by rail within England

Year: 2010
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