Life-cycle assessment of climate change impact on time-dependent carbon-footprint of asphalt pavement

Xiaodan Chen, Hao Wang, Radley Horton, Josh DeFlorio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study aims to quantify life-cycle carbon footprint of asphalt pavement due to warming temperatures under climate change scenario. Pavement Mechanistic-Empirical (ME) Design Method was used to simulate long-term pavement performance with historic and projected temperature inputs. Life-cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted to calculate CO2 emissions in pavement life cycle including phases of raw materials, plant production, transportation, field construction, traffic delay, and use. In particular, time-dependency of CO2 emission was considered with physical decay to increase the accuracy in estimating cumulative radiative forcing. It was found that warming temperatures would lead to faster structural deterioration of pavement, resulting in earlier or more frequent overlay treatments. Pavement rehabilitation treatments generate more CO2 emission in material and construction related stages but cause the reduction of CO2 emission in pavement use phase. The LCA results show that climate change causes greater CO2 emission abundance over the years during the study period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102697
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Environmental Science(all)


  • Asphalt pavement
  • Climate change
  • CO emission
  • Life-cycle assessment
  • Pavement rehabilitation
  • Warming temperatures

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