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Marble quarrying: an energy and waste intensive activity in the production of building materials

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Marble represents an important component of Italian buildings, where it is often utilized as a covering for bottom surfaces, despite its relatively high price. Moreover, it characterizes several public buildings, for which it is by far the most important decorative material, also because of its structural features and its long durability. Unfortunately, marble quarrying is an energy intensive activity that requires relevant amounts of electric and thermal energy sources; in addition, the extraction of the marble blocks from the mountain sides does involve a noticeable quantity of explosives, particularly in sites where traditional working methods are utilized. Another important feature of the marble mining is represented by the high level of waste materials released during the quarrying process. Both these elements call for careful attention to the production of this material, aiming for a suitable reduction of the environmental impact exerted by the current working procedures. An energy audit analysis, moreover, could allow the singling out of the steps of the whole process where it would be possible to reach improved efficiency, in this way properly cutting the energy resources involved in the production of the functional unit of this natural stone. The feasibility of such considerations is verified by means of an application to a marble quarry in Sicily, the region where an important rate of the Italian domestic production is realized. The field energy audit, other than suggesting a general approach to the problem, does indicate the high inefficiencies actually present in the working chain of the Sicilian marble. Keywords: marble, life cycle assessment, energy and environmental audits, embodied energy, eco-indictors.
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Marble quarrying: an energy and waste
intensive activity in the production
of building materials
V. Liguori1, G. Rizzo2 & M. Traverso2
1Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale e Geotecnica,
Università degli Sudi di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Palermo Italy
2Dipartimento di Ricerche Energetiche ed Ambientali,
Università degli Studi di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Palermo, Italy
Abstract
Marble represents an important component of Italian buildings, where it is often
utilized as a covering for bottom surfaces, despite its relatively high price.
Moreover, it characterizes several public buildings, for which it is by far the
most important decorative material, also because of its structural features and its
long durability. Unfortunately, marble quarrying is an energy intensive activity
that requires relevant amounts of electric and thermal energy sources; in
addition, the extraction of the marble blocks from the mountain sides does
involve a noticeable quantity of explosives, particularly in sites where traditional
working methods are utilized. Another important feature of the marble mining is
represented by the high level of waste materials released during the quarrying
process. Both these elements call for careful attention to the production of this
material, aiming for a suitable reduction of the environmental impact exerted by
the current working procedures. An energy audit analysis, moreover, could allow
the singling out of the steps of the whole process where it would be possible to
reach improved efficiency, in this way properly cutting the energy resources
involved in the production of the functional unit of this natural stone. The
feasibility of such considerations is verified by means of an application to a
marble quarry in Sicily, the region where an important rate of the Italian
domestic production is realized. The field energy audit, other than suggesting a
general approach to the problem, does indicate the high inefficiencies actually
present in the working chain of the Sicilian marble.
Keywords: marble, life cycle assessment, energy and environmental audits,
embodied energy, eco-indictors.
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WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, Vol 108,
Environmental Economics and Investment Assessment II 197
doi:10.2495/EEIA080201
1 Introduction
The building sector plays a meaningful role in energy consumption and
environmental impacts. This sector is often defined the “40% sector” [1], since
its accounts for about 40% of the whole energy consumption. For this reason it is
important to adopt good policies and procedures for reducing the environmental
impact of this particular sector. In this field, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
established a strategic role for planning, monitoring and control of both energy
and environment fallouts.
Marble production is one of the most important sectors in Italy and in
particular in Sicily. In Italy its whole production accounts for 18% of world
output; Carrara, a province of Tuscany, and Custonaci, a municipality of Trapani
province (Sicily), plays the most meaningful role in marble tile production [2]. In
fact, 190 quarries are located in Carrara and 54 in Custonaci.
In normal operative conditions, the main impacts can come from air
emissions, the sludge and the large amount of scraps.
This work intends to present some results of a LCA application in marble
cycle production and to make a comparison between two of the most important
marble producers in the selected areas: Perlato di Sicilia and Bianco Carrara.
2 Marble and its production
Marble is a limestone or dolomite stone which is sufficiently close in texture to
permit it being polished. Many other ornamental stones - such as serpentine,
alabaster and even granite - are sometimes designated as marble, despite the term
it should be invariably restricted to those crystalline and compact varieties of
carbonate of lime (occasionally with carbonate of magnesia) which, when
polished, are applicable to purposes of decoration [3].
Right now the definition is even more general and includes, under the concept
of marble, all ornamental stones. The use of marble goes back several centuries.
It is common to find several examples of marble in old churches, buildings and
other important historical monuments.
Up till the XVI century, the techniques used for extraction of marble had been
directly inherited by the Roman quarrymen of the first century, before Christ,
and consisted of the careful use of the subtle cracks which divide the different
layers of marble. All work was carried out by slaves where, by using metallic
chisels and wooden wedges which were inflated by water, were then placed
inside the natural cracks and easily managed to separate the marble blocks from
the mountain. This was possible because there was a large amount of available
labour and unskilled workers.
With the arrival of explosives, the excavation procedures changed drastically
and the Apennine landscape went through a profound change and several
“ravaneti” appeared everywhere. They were formed by large build-ups of debris,
which were witness to the large waste of marble products due to the explosions.
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Step-by-step the industrial activity relating to marble extraction and
processing begun, with important factories established for the cutting and
polishing of slabs. These productive units concentrated themselves at the bottom
of valleys in order to benefit from the hydraulic energy generated by the rivers.
Since the end of the XIX century the helicoidally wire, a metallic cable able
to dig out the stone, substituted almost completely explosives and caused another
visible change in the landscape. The mountain stopped being destroyed, leaving
behind piles of wreckage, and begun to be literally “cut”, sculpted with
precision, creating surreal landscapes made of huge flights of steps, and
platforms called quarry warehouses where the stone is cut and prepared for
transport.
Today the production is more technological and its life cycle mainly includes
(figure 1) [4] the extraction in the quarry, the finishing treatment such as
smoothing, polishing and finishing and the transportation and sale activities.
QUARRY
SAWM ILL 2
SAWM ILL
Marble products
Multi-blade gangsaw
Block-cutters
Edge polishing
machine
Slabs polishing
machine
Mono-blade gangsaw
Transport
Transport
Escavator
diamond –saw
cutting machine
Hummer driller
Figure 1: Flow chart of marble production.
3 Custonaci and Carrara marble basins
The extraction activity in Carrara goes back to Roman times. Indeed, the
extraction of Custonaci marble started around 1950-51, mainly to cover local
demand for white Carrara marble, which was becoming difficult and costly to
supply. Anyway, in the Custonaci and Carrara marble fields, a wide amount of
marble products are currently extracted (figure 2).
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There are three important marble fields in Massa Carrara [5], the Torano
basin, Fatiscritti basin and Colonnata basin.
The first one is a western marble basin, consisting of thirty-one quarries with
a total production amount of about 27,000 tons/month. The quarried marbles are
amongst the most valuable ones: Statuario, Statuario Venato and Calacata. The
Fantiscritti basin consists of thirty quarries and produces more than 30,000
tons/month of marble products. The main products are: Bianco Ordinario and
Venato. The Colonnata basin constitutes the eastern part of the Carrara marble
region and holds about seventy quarries, 44 of which are still active, on a total
surface of 500 hectares.
-
200,000
400,000
600,000
800,000
1,000, 000
1,200, 000
1,400, 000
1,600, 000
1,800, 000
2,000, 000
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Tus c a ny
Sicily
Figure 2: Comparison of marble production of Tuscany and Sicily.
The Carrara marble is made by metamorphic rocks consisting of 98% calcite
and 2% dolomite, apatite, illite, goethite and quartz. They were originated from
several phenomena of deterioration, compression, erosion, entrainment and
deposit of detritus from pre-existent rocks and/or animal and vegetable remains
in marine habitat.
The importance of this district is underlined by the current Italian standard
that defines the Carrara Marble where it describes in details all characteristics
that the marble has to have for being defined “Carrara Marble”.
Also Sicily plays an important role in marble production in Italy. The various
kinds of marble extracted in Sicily are shown in Table 1, with their main physics
and geological characteristics.
Custonaci basin is consisting of about 54 marble quarries in a small area of 69
km2. Due to its geological conformation, characterized by extensive outcrops of
limestones of Mesozoic Dolomitic limestones, the territory of Custonaci is
characterized by wide deposits of precious stone materials that have been
exploited for fifty years and have contributed to the creation of a landscape
marked by human presence where the dominant features are quarries. Presently,
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the Custonaci industrial area produces 1,800,000 tons/year that represents about
85% of marble in Sicily; it is equivalent to 15.7% in Italy and 2.7% in the world.
Only 25% of this material is used commercially, while the remaining 75% is
constituted by waste of production.
Table 2 shows a comparison between characteristic data of two of the most
important types of marble, that is Perlato di Sicilia (Custonaci basin) and Bianco
Carrara (Carrara basin) [6].
Table 1: Kinds of marbles extracted in Sicily.
Name Material
kinds Mining area Manifacturing
Specific
Weight (SW)
[g/cm3]
Resistance to
compression
(RC) [kg/cm2]
Absorption
[%]
Compressive
Strength after
gelivity [kg/cm2]
Avorio Venato di Custonaci limestone Custonaci (TP) smoothing and
p
olishin
g
2.65 1,290 0.28 1,140
Pietra Lavica basalt Etna. Catania smoothing and
p
olishin
g
2.83 109 0.16 108
Granitello limestone Piana
p
olishin
g
2.68 1,230 0.26 1,215
Perlato di Sicilia limestone Custonaci (TP)
smoothing.
polishing and
bushammering
finish
2.68 1,250 0.32 1,045
Pietra Sabucina Calcarenit e Sabucina (CL) Columns and
ca
p
itals 1.33 130 7.5 92
Rosso Bolognetta limestone Bolognetta (PA)
smoothing.
polishing and
bushammering
finish
2.67 1,215 0.36 1,087
Botticino Venato limestone Custoanci
(
TP
)
smoothin
g
Grigio Mirto limestone San Marco D'Alunzio (ME)
smoothing.
polishing and
bushammering
finish
2.69 1,085 0.12 925
Pietra Pece di Ragusa Asphalt
Stone Ragusa smoothing and
p
olishin
g
2.18 133 2.74 128
Rosso San Marco - Rosso
antico di Sicilia limestone San Marco D'Alunzio (ME)
smoothing.
polishing and
bushammering
finish
2.67 1,335 0.16 1,268
Grigio San Marco limestone San Ma rco D'Alunzio (ME)
smoothing.
polishing and
bushammering
finish
2.68 1,220 0.11 1,036
Arenaria grigia dei Nebrodi o
Q
uarzarenite
Quarzarenit
eNebrodi smoothing and
p
olishin
g
2.6 1,040 1.82 887
Grigio San Marco limestone Messina
smoothing.
polishing and
bushammering
finish
2.68 1,220 0.11 1,036
Pietra di Cosimo Comiso smoothing and
p
olishin
g
2.81 1,320 0.93 1,060
Perlatino di Sicilia limestone Custonaci (TP)
smoothing.
polishing and
bushammering
finish
2.67 1,280 0.31 1,070
Grigio di Billiemi Calcareous
breccia Palermo
smoothing.
polishing and
bushammering
finish
2.7 1,430 0.12 1,226
Label Cream limestone Bolognetta (PA)
smoothing.
polishing and
bushammering
finish
2.61 1,280 0.34 1,083
Nerello di Custonaci limestone Custonaci (TP)
smoothing.
polishing and
bushammering
finish
2.61 1,088 0.21 984
Botticino di Sicilia limestone Custonaci (TP)
smoothing.
polishing and
bushammering
finish
2.66 1,180 0.34 1,040
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Table 2: Comparison of Custonaci and Carrara Marbles.
Name Description Specific
weight
(SW)
[g(cm3)]
Resistence
to
compressio
n
(RC)
[kg/cm2]
Compression
strength after
gelivity
[kg/cm2]
Water
absorp-
tion
coeff.
[%]
Impact
resistance
[cm]
Frictional
wear
coefficient
Perlato
di
Sicilia
Cretacious calcareous, it’s light
ivory in colour with brown
arabesques with darker or lighter
shades and beautiful pure calcite
streaks that recall the mother of
pearl inside of shells. Suitable for
any indoor or outdoor application
in modern building and also in
urban furnishing.
2.68 1,250 1,045 0.32 29 0.57
Bianco
Carrara
Bianco Carrara “D” is a marble
quarried in Carrara’s area. It has
grey background and dark grey
veins. The quality is determined
by the absence of large grey-black
veins and quartzite
concentrations. Suitable for any
indoor and outdoor application
and also for urban furnishing.
2.71 1,334 1,300 0.12 56 0.58
4 Energy and environmental audit of Custonaci marble
As has been previously pointed out, marble production has a very important
landscape and environmental impact, particularly during the extraction and
cutting steps. Where the marble quarry has a really large dimensions and usually
where the geology characteristics of land allows to extract marble, there are
several quarries in a small area. This can cause several environment problems,
such as: disposal of scraps and sludge, along with air pollutant emissions.
Generally speaking, during the extraction phase, the remarkable production of
the so called “ravaneti”, that is the scraps produced during the quarry operations,
represent by far the most important wastes. On the other hand, the cutting and
polishing phases produce a large amount of slush, that are essentially constituted
by a mix of marble dusts with the cooling water utilized in the working process;
the solid part of this mix is called “marmettola” that, sometimes, can be usefully
addressed toward the employment in the building and civil sector.
The energy audit carried out in this work is particular important because it
involves one of the most productive and impacting activity sector in Sicily.
In a context of energy saving and reduction of CO2 emissions, the proper
understanding of the amount of these impacts does represent a strategic move for
reaching the fixed environmental targets of the European Union.
The adopted impact assessment methodology is the so-called “problem-
oriented” [7] in which, as stated by the ISO series 14040 [8], the inventory data
are associated with specific environmental impact categories, in order to better
understand those impacts. The result of the energy audit is shown in figure 3.
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The contribution of the energy utilized for explosive purposes is very small in
comparison with the other compounds, but it has to be suitably considered
because of its environmental impacts.
The most relevant energy impact is produced by sawmills, where the marble
is cut and treated to be transformed into slabs and tiles.
-
200,000.0
400,000.0
600,000.0
800,000.0
1,000,000. 0
1,200,000. 0
1,400,000. 0
1,600,000. 0
1,800,000. 0
2,000,000. 0
Elec tric al
Energy. [MJ]
Expl osive [MJ] Diesel oi l [M J] Total energy
[MJ]
Quarry
Sawmill
finishing plant
Figure 3: Energy inputs of marble production in the examined site.
-
500.0
1,000.0
1,500.0
2,000.0
2,500.0
Spoil (quarry) Scraps
Quarry
Sawmill
finishing plant
Figure 4: Main wastes from marble production in the examined site.
The result of total produced scraps is shown in figure 4. The quarry scraps,
the so-called “spoil”, are obtained using the explosives for moving the cut blocks
from the mountain. This operation is necessary for allowing workers to
transform the almost shapeless mass of stone into squared or semi-squared
blocks, with standard dimensions. In fact, it is not possible to control the
explosion very well that is used to move the big blocks from the rest of the
mountain (since it depends on the characteristics of the deposit); so it often
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causes a big amount of spoil which is transferred directly toward a dedicated
landfill.
Other inputs, such as water and resins, along with their amounts are reported
in table 3.
Table 3: Other material inputs of marble production.
Marble-chip floor tiles &
slabs
Water in quarry [m
3
/m
3
]
0.21
Water in sawmill 1 [m
3
/m
3
]
0.12
Resin [Kg/m
3
]3.99
Floculating [Kg/m
3
]0.19
These inputs are related with the production of slabs and tiles: they are
referred to by the cubic meter of slabs and tiles produced, that is assumed as the
functional unit of marble (1 m3). The larger part of the water comes from private
draw water and is recycled by a depurator, sited in the sawmill. The flocculating
is a chemical compound, utilized for clarifying waste water and flocculating the
sludge. Then the sludge is filtered by a filter-press.
The resin is used to improve the resistance of slabs and tiles before the
finishing treatment takes place.
Greenhouses gasses produced, here referred to CO2 emissions, are reported in
figure 5. It is interesting to observe that the amount of CO2 emissions is two
orders of magnitude bigger than the other released pollutants.
446
595
116
343
414
90
852*100
621*100
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
CO2 NOx SO2 CO
[g/m3]
Marble-chip floor tiles
Slabs
Figure 5: Pollutant emissions from the marble production in the site.
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5 Results
The environmental impacts which have been taken into account in this study are
energy consumption, water effluents, soil and air emissions and resources
consumption. All results are reported in terms of functional unit (m3) of products
in order to allow a comparison with similar international and national data. Main
products in the plant analyzed are slabs and cheap-floor tiles.
The index here adopted to compare the result of energy consumption with
other building products is the embodied energy (EE) [9]. It is defined as the
energy consumed by all of processes associated with the production of a building
material, from the acquisition of natural resources to product delivery. The
results of this work are reported in figure 6. It is evident that marble tiles are
more expensive in terms of energy than slabs, while the biggest share of energy
is attributable to the electrical energy. The energy for explosive is very small in
comparison with the other two compounds but its use produces a remarkable
amount of soil spoil.
The last part of the environmental audit procedure refers to the effects of the
environmental emissions into some relevant damage categories [10], that allow
the evaluation of the environmental impacts by three different points of view:
- Human Health
- Ecosystem Quality
- Resources
The results for the Perlato di Sicilia are shown in the figure 7: the biggest
impact of functional unit of marble of Custonaci [m3] is on the Ecosystem
Quality category. This means that the impact is not directly related to the human
beings but it can seriously compromise the natural ecosystems and can contribute
to the climate change.
Electrical
energy
Diesel Explos ive Tota l
0.00
200.00
400.00
600.00
800.00
1000.00
1200.00
1400.00
1600.00
[MJ/m3]
E.E of slabs
E.E of marble-
ch ip floo r tile s
Figure 6: Embodied energy (EE) of the marble production in the site.
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0.00E+00
5.00E+02
1.00E+03
1.50E+03
2.00E+03
2.50E+03
3.00E+03
3.50E+03
Humann Health [DALY] Ecosystem Quality [PDF*m2*yr] R esources [MJ surplus energy]
Marble-chip floor tiles
Slabs
Figure 7: Eco indicator results of marble tiles and slabs.
6 Conclusions
The study presented in this work has reported the energy and environmental
audits of marble slabs and tiles produced in the Custonaci basin, along with a
simple comparison with that produced in Carrara. In fact, it represents an
important national problem in Italy which is why it is really important in singling
out the weak points of marble’s production cycle in terms of energy and
environmental efficiency.
The results indicate that the use of explosives is not so meaningful for air
emissions but it causes a large amount of solid waste. A comparison with the
Carrara marble production suggests a solution, by substituting the explosive with
straddle bearing in order to achieve more control in the moving operations of
marble blocks.
Moreover, the biggest environmental impact regarding air emissions is carbon
dioxide, that is a relevant pollutant component for the ecosystem stability and
for climate change. The biggest share of emissions, as shown in figure 3, come
from electrical energy consumption, so a good solution for compensating the
CO2 emissions could be the installation of photovoltaic panels in the plants for
producing electric energy from renewable sources. At present, access to these
kind of technologies is made interesting thanks to several incentive measures
introduced by the Italian national government in order to accomplish the main
goals of the Kyoto Protocol.
Of course, the one presented here must be regarded as a first application and it
surely needs other audits in the field with the aim of confirming these results.
Anyway, since it represents the first experimental approach in the Sicilian
productive context of marble, it can be usefully adopted for evaluating the
environmental impact of such important components of the marble production,
that is the “Perlato di Sicilia”.
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... For instance, Bovea et al. (2007) studied the red clay used in the ceramics industry in Spain, using a cradle-to-gate approach. Other LCA studies have analysed ornamental stones (Liguori et al., 2008), quarrying limestones (Kittipongvises, 2017), gypsum (Pantini et al., 2019) and the aggregates sector in general (Schneider et al., 2018). However, such analyses are always based on the extraction technique used in the case study, without analysing other options and their potential environmental implications. ...
... per metric ton of material, while blast-free quarrying was found to emit 1.85 kg of CO 2 eq./t. This range of emissions is consistent with other studies performed in ornamental quarries (Liguori et al., 2008), without including the cutting process. Figs. ...
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This review aims to provide a comprehensive assessment concerning alkali activation of natural stone wastes and minerals. In particular, the structure of the review is divided into two main sections in which the works dealing with alumino-silicate and carbonatic stones are discussed, respectively. Alumino-silicate stones are generally composed of quartz and feldspars, while carbonatic stones are mainly made of calcite and dolomite. The role of these minerals in the alkali activation process is discussed, attesting their influence in the development of the final product properties. In most of the works, authors use mineral additions only as fillers or aggregates and, in some cases, as a partial substitution of more traditional raw powders, such as metakaolin, fly ash, and granulated blast furnace slag. However, a few works in which alumino-silicate and carbonatic stone wastes are used as the main active components are discussed as well. Not only the raw materials, but also the entire alkali activation process and the curing conditions adopted in the literature studies here reviewed are systematically analyzed to improve the understanding of their effect on the physical, mechanical, and durability properties of the final products and to eventually foster the reuse of natural stone wastes for the purposes of sustainability in different applications.
... Therefore, it is described only briefly in the following section. When adopting the so-called cradle to gate approach, which means considering only a segment of the life cycle of this building material (i.e., the production), some concerns arise because its quarrying and processing activities demand significant amounts of energy and impact the environment (Liguori et al. 2008;Careddu and Siotto 2011;Gazi et al. 2012;Hanieh et al. 2014;Ozcelik 2016). However, it is worth pointing out here that despite all this, marble products have a better environmental profile than that of processed products such as, for instance, the ceramic ones, as demonstrated in the work carried out by Nicoletti et al. (2002). ...
... Main environmental impact factors of marble production (from Bcradle to gate^) When considering only the production (which is a segment of the life cycle) of a marble building component, some concerns arise because the quarrying and processing activities demand significant amounts of energy and impact the environment (Liguori et al. 2008;Careddu and Siotto 2011;Gazi et al. 2012;Hanieh et al. 2014;Ozcelik 2016), as stated above. However, it needs to be considered that marble products have a lower embodied energy compared to other processed products, such as ceramic ones (Talakonukula et al. 2013). ...
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Marble is a natural dimension stone that is widely used in building due to its resistance and esthetic qualities. Unfortunately, some concerns have arisen regarding its production process because quarrying and processing activities demand significant amounts of energy and greatly affect the environment. Further, performing an environmental analysis of a production process such as that of marble requires the consideration of many environmental aspects (e.g., noise, vibrations, dust and waste production, energy consumption). Unfortunately, the current impact accounting tools do not seem to be capable of considering all of the major aspects of the (marble) production process that may affect the environment and thus cannot provide a comprehensive and concise assessment of all environmental aspects associated with the marble production process. Therefore, innovative, easy, and reliable methods for evaluating its environmental impact are necessary, and they must be accessible for the non-technician. The present study intends to provide a contribution in this sense by proposing a reliable and easy-to-use evaluation method to assess the significance of the environmental impacts associated with the marble production process. In addition, an application of the method to an actual marble-producing company is presented to demonstrate its practicability. Because of its relative ease of use, the method presented here can also be used as a “self-assessment” tool for pursuing a virtuous environmental policy because it enables company owners to easily identify the segments of their production chain that most require environmental enhancement.
... The world's existing marble reserves are estimated to be approximately 15 billion cubic meters [3]. However, during the extraction of these marbles from the quarry and processing in the factories, between 30% and 75% marble waste is generated [4,5]. In contrast, marble wastes in factories generally appear as flat stone, palledien (small remnants from cutting plates into products of certain sizes and rupture of the plates) and marble powder. ...
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Citation: Basaran, B.; Kalkan, I.; Aksoylu, C.; Özkılıç, Y.O.; Sabri, M.M.S. Effects of Waste Powder, Fine and Coarse Marble Aggregates on Concrete Compressive Strength.
... Marble cutting process into slab form generates finely sized marble dust (MD) (Gazi et al., 2012;Güler and Polat 2018). The rate of MD generated during slab cutting varies volumetrically from 15% to 40% of marble block depending on the morphology, mineralogical composition and crystalline structure of the rock, type of slab cutting machine (gang saw or disc sawing) and slab thickness (Erdem and Öztürk, 2012;Liguori et al., 2008). ...
Article
Marble dust generated during slab cutting as reject causes significant environmental problems due to increased reactive surface area. It has closer size distribution with micronized quartz filler used in composite slab. Owing to its high hardness, micronized quartz production is an energy intensive process. This study was conducted to investigate the applicability of marble dust in composite slab production together with micronized quartz as filler. The filler mixture was roasted to mitigate drawback arising from low hardness of marble dust. XRD characterization revealed that phases in roasted filler were wollastonite, larnite, calcio olivine, quicklime and free quartz depending on the roasting temperature and time. Physical tests were applied to clarify the effect of sinter phases on slab properties. Physical properties were determined to retrogress as the roasting temperature increased to 1100°C possibly due to rate of free lime in roasted filler, and then improved again reaching peak point at 1200°C. They ameliorated by increasing roasting time at 1200°C. Larnite and quartz were determined to be effective on improved physical properties than wollastonite and calcio olivine.
... The extraction and energy emissions of the marble industry in Italy produce large amounts of marble mining dust during quarrying. The pollution is increased with the number of processes associated with marble production [67]. Turkey's marble production generates dust of 40-60% of the overall manufacturing volume. ...
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All over the world, increasing anthropogenic activities, industrialization, and urbanization have intensified the emissions of various pollutants that cause air pollution. Marble quarries in Pakistan are abundant and there is a plethora of small- and large-scale industries, including mining and marble-based industries. The air pollution caused by the dust generated in the process of crushing and extracting marble can cause serious problems to the general physiological functions of plants and it affects human life as well. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to assess the air quality of areas with marble factories and areas without marble factories, where the concentration of particulate matter in terms of total suspended particles (TSP) was determined. For this purpose, EPAM-5000 equipment was used to measure the particulate levels. Besides this, a spectrophotometer was used to analyze the presence of PM2.5 and PM10 in the chemical composition of marble dust. It was observed that the TSP concentrations in Darmangi and Malagori areas of Peshawar, Pakistan—having marble factories—were 626 µg/m3 and 5321 µg/m3 respectively. The (PM2.5, PM10) concentration in Darmangi was (189 µg/m3, 520 µg/m3) and in Malagori, it was recorded as (195 µg/m3, 631 µg/m3), which was significantly higher than the non-marble dust areas and also exceeded WHO recommended standards. It was concluded that the areas with the marble factories were more susceptible to air pollution as the concentration of TSP was significantly higher than the recommended TSP levels. It is recommended that marble factories should be shifted away from residential areas along with strict enforcement. People should be instructed to use protective equipment and waste management should be ensured along with control mechanisms to monitor particulate levels.
... Although increasing demand in marble production supports the economy, wastes originating in this sector cause many ecological, environmental, and health problems (Awad et al. 2020;Guimaraes et al. 2020;Singh et al. 2017a). Wastes from this sector can be divided into two categories: block marble quarry wastes and marble processing wastes (Liguori et al. 2008). These wastes exist in the form of rocks, powder, or slurry and pose a serious waste management issue in the marble industry (Alyamac et al. 2017;Gupta et al. 2020). ...
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Due to its fine particle size, waste marble slurry originating in cutting and processing units mixes into the air after drying, causing environmental and health problems in nearby areas. On the other hand, large amounts of iron particles are generated as metalworking industry waste, affecting the environmental system. In this study, 0%, 10%, and 20% marble powder (instead of cement) and iron particles (instead of fine aggregate) were used in mixtures, and the composites produced were subjected to two different curing periods: 7 and 28 days. The physical, mechanical, microstructural, and thermal properties of the fresh and hardened composites were ascertained via bulk density, consistency, porosity, water absorption, capillary water absorption, strength tests, particle size distribution, X-ray diffraction (XRF), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM–EDS), and thermogravimetric analyses (TGA). The results revealed that minimum water absorption (8.5%) and porosity (19.8%) values were achieved in 28-day composites produced with 10% marble–20% iron wastes among all composites. Thus, iron particles substituted for natural aggregates were mainly responsible for the increase in mechanical performance. A maximum flexural strength of 5.9 MPa and a compressive strength of 26.7 MPa were observed in 28-day composites containing 0% marble–20% iron wastes. Furthermore, capillary water absorption tended to decrease with the substitution of 10% marble powder.
... Several studies highlight that the main issues during ornamental stone processing (i.e. extraction, transportation, installation and disposal) are those related to energy, water consumption and waste management [1][2][3][4][5]. Waste deriving from stone industry can be divided into two categories: solid waste and stone slurry (or quarry mud). ...
Article
The use of marble sludge as precursor for new alkali activated materials was assessed studying three different curing conditions (air, humid and water immersion, respectively), after an initial curing at 60 °C for 24 h, and two glass powder fractions additions (2.5 and 5.0 vol%). Microstructural, physical (drying shrinkage, Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, X-ray spectroscopy (XPS)), thermal (differential thermal analysis – thermogravimetric analysis, DTA-TGA) and mechanical (flexural and compressive strength) properties were investigated. Air curing was the most favourable atmosphere for mechanical properties development because it promotes Si-O-Si polymerization and gel densification, as demonstrated by FT-IR and FE-SEM observations, respectively. Satisfactory mechanical properties were achieved (18 MPa and 45 MPa, for flexural and compressive strength, respectively) in particular for glass containing mixtures. Moreover, glass powder addition significantly reduced drying shrinkage of air-cured samples because it operated as a rigid aggregate in the matrix and strengthened the formed gel.
... The production of a specific Sicilian Marble (named Perlato di Sicilia) was deeply analysed by Liguori et al. (2008) and Traverso et al. (2010) who used an LCA approach to provide the results of potential environmental impacts of the marble production chain. Nevertheless, also in this case, the analyses were mainly based only on energy and water consumption. ...
Article
In the current EU Environmental and Raw Materials policies, raw materials play a key role in the transition from a linear to a circular economy, where a Life Cycle (LC) approach can help improve the overall sustainability. Within the dimension stone sector, some environmental studies have been developed through the standardised Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool. However, these studies are often based on incomplete or not fully representative inventory datasets. In this context, this paper contributes to fill some gaps in Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) datasets in terms of quality and availability. Detailed LCI datasets on stone quarrying, cutting and finishing techniques are described and discusses, as well as provided in file format for future use by LCA practitioners. Datasets refer to the techniques most commonly employed in the Italian stone sector (and exported worldwide) and are mainly based on primary data collected from 2014 to 2016. This contribution can therefore support future studies and concretely support more sustainable solutions in the stone sector, as well as boost the use of LCA among stone companies.
Chapter
Remote Sensing data and techniques play a great role in quarry and mining activity monitoring: UAVs, aerials and terrestrials LiDAR and optical sensors are widely used in quarry management in evaluating extraction phases and compliancy to working stages. Environmental management of large quarry areas requires not only precise 3D data to assess yearly volume changes, but also availability of datasets useful in monitoring compliancy to natural soil consumption previsions and water/extraction waste management rules issued by public authorities.
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Flooring materials, particularly ceramic and marble tiles, play a relevant role in the Italian economy since this country covers respectively 23% and 18% of the world output in this sector. In this paper a comparative Life Cycle Assessment between these two flooring materials has been carried out in order to identify the one with the best environmental profile and the hot spots of the two systems. The analysis has shown a better environmental profile for the marble tile, a particular relevance of the energy consumption in both the system and, in the ceramic system, the critical point has been found in the raw material used for the glaze manufacturing which are responsible, during the firing process, for the relevant arsenic emissions.
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We analyse the wood and concrete designs of the Wälludden building described by Börjesson et al. (Energy Policy 28 (2000) 575) in terms of their embodied energy, employing an environmentally extended input–output framework in a tiered hybrid life-cycle assessment, and in a structural path analysis. We illustrate the complexity of the inter-industry supply chains underlying the upstream energy requirements for the building options, and demonstrate that higher-order inputs are difficult to capture in a conventional process analysis. Our calculations show that Börjesson and Gustavsson's estimates of energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions are underestimated by a factor of about 2, and that corresponding greenhouse gas balances are positive at about 30 t C-eq. Nevertheless, Börjesson and Gustavsson's general result—the concrete-framed building causing higher emissions—still holds.
Input from environmental NGOs at the start of next round of the European Climate Change Program (ECCP), Climate Action Network Brussels, 24 th
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Environmental impact of marble mining: the case study of a Sicilian marble quarry
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The Eco-Indicator 99: A damage oriented method for Life Cycle Impact Assessment. PRè Consultants B.V., 2000. www.witpress.com, ISSN 1743-3541 (on-line) ©
AAVV,. The Eco-Indicator 99: A damage oriented method for Life Cycle Impact Assessment. PRè Consultants B.V., 2000. www.witpress.com, ISSN 1743-3541 (on-line) © 2008 WIT Press WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, Vol 108, Environmental Economics and Investment Assessment II 207
The Eco-Indicator 99: A damage oriented method for Life Cycle Impact Assessment
AAVV, 2000. The Eco-Indicator 99: A damage oriented method for Life Cycle Impact Assessment. PRè Consultants B.V.