Analysis of Asphalt Binders for Recycled Engine Oil Bottoms by X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy

This research, which started in 2010, resulted from discussions with the Illinois Department of Transportation. They had received asphalt binders which appeared to have been modified with phosphoric acid. Subsequent testing showed that they contained a residue from recycling used engine oil. It is also part of the responsibility of the chemistry laboratory staff at the Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) to develop and provide test methods for use by State agencies and industry for the analysis of pavement materials. Since 2010, the increased use of these residues in paving asphalt binders coupled with negative research findings associated with low temperature cracking published in Canada has generated great interest and controversy in their use, particularly in the New England States. In the U.S. there is a practice of recovering lubricating oils from waste engine oils. The processing generates a residue, recycled engine oil bottoms (REOB). Engine oils contain performance enhancing additives. The sulfur, zinc, calcium, phosphorous and molybdenum from these, and engine wear metals (mainly copper and iron), all end up in the REOB. Their presence can be readily measured using X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF). This paper presents a methodology to detect and measure the presence of REOB in asphalt binders. The analysis is not simple since some of these metals also occur in asphalt, many are found in ground tire rubber and some are found in scavengers sometimes added to asphalt to control emissions of hydrogen sulfide. The variable composition of REOBs imposes some accuracy limitations.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AFK20 Characteristics of Asphalt Materials. Alternate title: The Analysis of Asphalt Binders for Recycled Engine Oil Bottoms by X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Arnold, Terence S
    • Shastry, Anant
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2015


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 14p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 94th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01551001
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 15-2117
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 30 2014 12:45PM