RFID-based material passport system in a recycled concrete circular chain

Ali Vahidi*, Abraham T. Gebremariam, Francesco Di Maio, Kozmo Meister, Tahereh Koulaeian, Peter Rem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The construction industry urgently requires a resilient information system for effective coordination of data transmission among various stakeholders, including both the public and private sectors. Such an advanced digital solution would not only enhance transparency along the value chain but also improve both the quality of and confidence in recycled materials. Achieving circularity and reducing environmental impact are closely tied to the efficient management of material flows and life cycles. Within this context, Material Passports (MPs) are posited as a foundational element, particularly when integrated with a digital database. This integration is particularly beneficial for increasing the circularity of concrete, beginning with end-of-life concrete, a major contributor to global construction and demolition waste. MPs effectively transmit crucial information about the quality of recycled aggregates, thereby enabling their use in future construction projects. This study explores the feasibility of employing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology as an MP, aiming to enhance sustainability in the concrete industry by improving transparency, traceability, and data reliability in the recycled concrete supply chain. Extensive laboratory tests carried out in three distinct experimental phases revealed that RFID tags exhibit remarkable resilience to mechanical stress typical in the supply chain and consistently maintain readability when embedded in concrete. The water content in concrete samples was identified as a significant factor influencing initial tag readability, although readability improved over time. Other factors, such as the type of aggregates, particle size distribution, and proximity to steel rebar, had minimal to modest impacts on tag performance. Additionally, the study confirmed that the readability of RFID tags remains robust at typical transport speeds, which highlights the potential of an RFID-based system in advancing supply chain management. This study provides a solid foundation for future research in this evolving area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140973
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Circular economy
  • End-of-life concrete
  • Material passport
  • Recycling
  • RFID


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