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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Railroads Roads Use, Reuse, Maintenance Asphalt- The heavy residue from the oil refining process.Crude oil must be subjectedto high heat and pressure toseparate asphalt. Asphaltmust be kept hot to keepit from solidifying. Transportation to the constructionsite is required and uses energy. Aggregate- Rocks that aremined and crushed to providethe railroad a sturdy baseand to be mixed with the cement. vs Road Transportation to the constructionsite is required and uses energy. Portland cement- A mix ofminerals to be mixed withthe aggregate to create concrete. This concrete willbe used for the railroad'sties. Aggregate- Rocks that aremined and crushed to bothprovide the road a base andmix with the asphalt. Steel- Iron ore is smelted tocreate steel. Steel factoriesheat Iron ore to very hightemperatures. This processgives off excess CO2.This steel is used in the rail as well as the tie plateof the train track. Railroad Raw Materials Roads and railroads are the two most usedtransportation mediums in the country for moving both people and products. But whichof the two is less environmentally impactful?The answer to this question may becomevery important to the future budget and planfor how you get around. Paving- The aggregate is laiddown and the asphalt cementis laid over it and rolled out. Itis then left to be cooled. By: Jacob Matriccino Manufacture Asphalt cement- the product of mixing asphalt and aggregatestogether. This is the actual paveable material. End of Life Aggregate is laid down as a base.Next, ties are placed and tie plates are placed on top of each tie.The rail is then moved into position and fastened to the tie plates. Therails are welded together and moreaggregate is added over the track. Maintenance- Every other year therailroad's aggregate must be milledto make sure that it is adequately securing the track. The lifespan of a road is 25 years. After that,the asphalt cement can be completely pickedup and recycled. The aggregate base can alsobe collected and reused for another project. The lifespan of a railroad is 25 years. After that,the rails are too worn to be used. The rail mustbe loosened from the tie plates. Both the tieplates and the rail can be recycled as they areboth steel. Next, a machine helps pick up the ties. They can be either reused or recycled.Finally, the aggregate is picked up and reusedelsewhere. Pollution Aggregate and Iron ore mining pollutes the air with dustand disrupts the ground water supply. When smelting steel, excess CO2 is released into the atmosphere. However,since no part of the railroad parts are toxic, no other real pollution is created from the life cycle except for runoff from exposed earth into local bodies of water. Aggregate mining pollutes the air with dust and other particles.It also disrupts the water system of the area. Land clearingcauses erosion and runoff into local streams. During use,the non-permeable road surface prevents water from goingdirectly to the ground water. It also forces it to run off the road bringing harmful carcinogens and other chemicals into the environment. Finally, during removal, pieces of theasphalt may be left behind and can poison wildlife who tryto ingest it. Conclusion The pollution from road construction is much greater from that of railroad construction. Also, as you can see from the pollution section above, the road pollution is also far more toxic than anything that is produced from therailroad lifespan. The potential for carcinogenic pollutants to go into theenvironment is very harmful and must be considered as very damaging.Also, the life cycle for a road uses almost twice the energy than is used in railroads.In conclusion, railroads are clearly the less environmentally impactful than roads.Railroads create less pollution and use less energy. They should be considered as the prefereable transportation medium of the future. Maintenance- Every 7 years theroad is treated with a thin layerof extra asphalt to rejuvinatethe surface of the asphalt. It also fills any cracks that mayhave been created.
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