Data quality and uncertainty assessment methodology for pavement LCA

In performing pavement life cycle assessment (LCA), users are facing various reports of energy intensity coefficient (EIC) of pavement materials which differ considerably among data sources and therefore alter the LCA results significantly. Instead of selecting a certain EIC without or of little explanation for the current pavement LCA practices, this study proposed a methodology to build probability density function (PDF) for EIC based on available data-sets and their qualities. Each data-set was first evaluated about the data quality indicator (DQI) through data quality pedigree matrix and converted to PDF in modified Beta distribution form. Three weighting methods, the DQI one, coefficient of variation (COV) one and analytical hierarchy process (AHP) one, were developed to assign weightings for different data-sets. Monte Carlo simulation was run with the weighted PDF of each data-set as input to obtain the ultimate PDF for EIC. A case study to estimate the bitumen’s EIC with eight data samples was performed using the proposed methodology. It was found that: (1) the estimates by the proposed methodology are of higher reliability (lower COV) compared to any single data-set due to utilisation of information of the overall data samples; (2) the AHP weighting method is most favoured despite that the results of the three weighting methods are close; (3) the central estimates of bitumen’s EIC are between 5.4~5.8 MJ/kg. The proposed methodology is helpful in aiding calculating EICs for pavement materials and capturing uncertainties in LCA results in a statistical sense.


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  • Accession Number: 01669027
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 17 2018 3:00PM