Sustainable supply chain and scalability assessments

Assuming that ERW will carry on, what might its impact look like, say, five years after this study has finished? And what about 15-20 years later?

Life cycle assessment featuring a central hexagon with the title 'Life Cycle Assessment' with 6 other hexagons surrounding it. The title of the other hexagons are cost analysis, environmental impact, supply chain, risk profiles, GGR potential and scalability.

How might we ensure a sustainable supply of crushed rocks if ERW was to scale up nationally? How might scaling up in the supply chain affect net emissions?

This work package’s aims are to:

  • conduct “consequential” life cycle assessment (LCA) approach to assess the impact of ERW, considering all stages of the value chain, from mining of rocks, the crushing process, transport to application in the field for all field sites.
  • develop detailed up-scaling case studies for 5 and 10-years post-demonstrator and quantify artificial silicate resource availability, dissolution kinetics, risk profiles and GGR potential.

By performing a sustainable lifecycle assessment, including a cost analysis, we’ll be looking at emissions from all stages of the value chain, including construction and demolition stages for products derived from demolition waste.

We’ll also be evaluating the impact on environmental ecosystems, such as crop production, pollination, risks to habitat and biodiversity, and scenic quality, as well as impacts on the risks of erosion and water quality.

In terms of scalability, we’ll be researching different routes to scale-up by modifying and expanding the current supply chains of crushed rocks. This could take the form of using natural silicate waste rocks and replacing agricultural lime, or supplementing the existing farmland fertilizer supply chain with crushed rocks to act as a soil conditioner. And we’ll be looking further into the future, considering what expanding the current igneous rock mining could mean, or whether artificial silicates - obtained from construction waste without the need for mining - might be more suitable and efficient.