The Effects of Limestone Powder Particle Size on the Mechanical Properties and the Life Cycle Assessment of Concrete
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The major environmental impact of concrete comes from the CO₂ emissions during cement production. The main goal of this research project is to develop an optimized cement replacement to reduce energy consumption and CO₂ emissions. This is tested by replacing cement with limestone powder and the implementation of limestone powder in concrete to meet construction specifications. This study utilizes limestone powders with different particle sizes to replace a part of portland cement in various replacement levels. Studying the microstructure of the limestone powder in concrete with a petrographic examination can provide a visual understanding of the distribution within the cement paste. Due to the dilution effect, partially replacing cement, there is a reduction in the physical properties of concrete. To assess the dilution effect, a modification to Féret’s equation is used to calculate an efficiency factor of the limestone powder in comparison to cement. To measure the environmental impact, a life cycle assessment is conducted on concrete with limestone powder. This allows for an evaluation that maximizes the environmental benefit and with minimal reduction in concrete strength.