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Carbon Footprint Comparison of Geogrid Reinforced and Reinforced Concrete Retaining Walls in Turkey

Geosynthetics are playing an increasingly more important role in environmental and geotechnical applications, as local sources of natural barrier and drainage materials diminish. The purpose of this study is to compare the carbon footprint or equivalent greenhouse gas emissions of 3-meter, 4-meter and 5-meter high geogrid reinforced and reinforced concrete walls in kg of CO2 equivalents. The location of the wall is assumed to be in Turkey. The analysis found that, geogrid reinforced wall is expected to produce 69% less carbon for 3-meter high wall, 75% less for 4-meter high wall and 80% less for 5-meter high wall for average transportation distances. The largest component of the overall carbon footprint which creates the difference between two wall types is the amount of concrete and rebar used in the reinforced concrete wall. The production of concrete emits 55% and rebar emits 20% of total carbon footprint of reinforced concrete wall on average. The transportation footprint of two type of walls are almost identical.