Exploring the Environmental Impact of Polymer Injection

(June 5, 2019)

Today is World Environment Day!

A 2018 independent research report explored the environmental impact of geopolymer injection when compared to traditional techniques for ground stabilisation.

Geobear is the original provider of geopolymer injection and we are committed to our “Zero Harm” policy of protecting the environment.

We commissioned experts in sustainability to analyze the environmental impact of our polymer injection when compared to traditional methods.  

The analysis was conducted by AAe Environmental Consultants and London environmental consulting firm, KLH Sustainability Ltd., based on a case study documenting work completed for the Oxfordshire Care Home in the UK.

The consulting firms analyzed a wide variety of sustainability concerns including:

  • Carbon footprint,
  • Total number of HGV movements and the associated socio-economic costs,
  • Water footprint,
  • Total waste generation (on-site and off-site),
  • Other lifecycle impacts,
  • Leaching and potential contaminated ground issues,
  • Installation programme, and
  • Health and safety impacts associated with manufacture and use.

An independent tunneling specialist supplied the quantities and measurements of materials required for both the Geobear polymer stabilisation and traditional stabilisation techniques. Once the materials were determined, the environmental experts could calculate the total impact of materials.

 

Report Highlights

  • Carbon Footprint: Polymer injection outperformed conventional methods in carbon footprint producing 10.4 tonnes CO2e compared to 19.5 tonnes CO2e produced in conventional methods.
  • HGV Movements: Polymer injection outperformed conventional methods in total number of one-way HGV movements to the site requiring just 5 HGV movements compared to 15 movements for conventional methods.
  • Socio-economic Costs (£): Polymer injection outperformed conventional methods in socio-economic costs of deliveries to the site costing 525£ compared to 1107£ for conventional methods.
  • Water Footprint: Polymer injection outperformed conventional methods in water footprint producing 117 m3 compared to 138 m3 for conventional methods.
  • Hazardous Waste: Conventional methods outperformed polymer injection in total generation of hazardous waste creating 0.03 kg of hazardous waste compared to 1.35 kg of hazardous waste created during the manufacturing process of the polymer mixes.
  • Non-Hazardous Waste: Polymer injection methods outperformed conventional methods in total generation of non-hazardous waste creating 211 kg of waste compared to 8,170 kg of waste created on-site during the conventional process.
  • Ozone Depletion Potential: Conventional methods outperformed polymer injection in the lifecycle impact projections for ozone depletion potential with the potential to create 0.0009 kg CFC11 eq compared to 0.0116 kg CFC11 eq potentially created in the manufacture of polymer mixes.
  • Acidification Potential: Polymer injection methods outperformed conventional methods in the lifecycle impact projections for acidification potential with the potential to create 18.05 kg SO2 eq compared to 22.55 kg SO2 eq.
  • Photochemical Potential: Polymer injection methods compared comparably to conventional methods in the lifecycle impact projections for photochemical potential with the potential to create 2.40 kg ethane eq compared to 2.37 kg ethane eq.
  • Eutrophication Potential: Conventional methods outperformed polymer injection in the lifecycle impact projections for eutrophication potential with the potential to create 2.62 kg PO2 eq compared to 3.36 kg PO2 eq.

Our ground stabilisation system demonstrated a range of sustainability benefits over conventional grout stabilisation.

Due to the high efficiency of the geopolymer (between 500 and 700%), Geobear’s method required far less material than the traditional method, resulting in a lower carbon footprint, water footprint, HGV movement, waste generation, and acidification potential.

In addition, because of Geobear’s reduced installation programme, we also had a lower site environmental impact, with reduced noise, dust, and water pollution potential.

To read more, click here to download the full report,

geobear-sustainability-report

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We deliver projects on any sort of building or structure – from conservatory extension problems to 80,000m2 warehouses and road infrastructure. In most cases we will have the best solution, so get in touch today.

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