Eco-friendly Materials for a New Concept of Asphalt Pavement

It is estimated that more than 90% of the 5.2 million kilometers of European paved roads and highways are surfaced with asphalt. Also, about 44% of goods are transported by road in the EU; maintaining their condition whilst in transit is crucial for the economy. The construction of a new road has a number of implications for the environment, consuming large amount of materials and energy. Also, the price of crude oil, which is the major source of bituminous binder, has significantly increased in recent years (the most noticeably in 2001–2008). This has led to an increase in the total price of asphalt mixtures. In order to promote sustainable practices and to combat price increase, measures with sound sustainability credentials need to be widely implemented. Developing novel materials and technologies to integrate greener material, waste and recycled materials into the production cycle of asphalt mixtures is a solution that improves both sustainability and cost-efficiency of the asphalt pavement industry. The main concept presented in this paper is the application of an eco-innovative asphalt pavement designed through partial substitution of greener materials into asphalt mixtures: reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), construction and demolition waste (C&DW), lignin (by-product of 2nd generation bioethanol processing) and bio-binder from vegetable oil. This paper discusses a new concept of an asphalt pavement structure with ecologically oriented attributes, achieved whilst maintaining a level of long term performance comparable or greater than that of conventional pavement structures. The two main components of asphalt mixture – bitumen and aggregates – are focused upon. In relation to bitumen, two methods to ‘green’ the fresh binder fraction are explored: The first investigates bio-fluxing bitumen, which enables part of the petro-chemical binder to be replaced with bio-based products; the second uses a specific industrial waste, also bio-derived, to replace the crude-oil derived polymer in modified bitumen. In relation to aggregates, two different approaches are also explored: The use of high rates of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in new hot asphalt mixtures, thanks to the addition of bio-fluxing agents which will allow working at lower temperatures, and the use of construction and demolition waste (C&DW). Optimal integration of C&DW as raw material will be established using a selective process for the separation of C&DW to increase the overall quality of the recycled aggregates. Considering the full pavement structure, the main innovations can be summarized as follows: (A) in surface course is the introduction of green bitumen modifier, derived from recovered waste bioethanol production as an alternative to the traditional additives used for polymer modification; (B) in binder and base course, bio-fluxing agents allow for the integration of higher percentage of reclaimed asphalt; and (C) the lower layers (sub-base and subgrade) are mainly composed of materials derived from construction and demolition waste. This paper describes the systematic approach for selecting the right combination of these main pavement components in the design of asphalt mixtures, from laboratory tests to real applications. This approach has been developed by a consortium of partners in the FP7 funded Asphalt Pavements for a Sustainable Environment (APSE) project.


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  • Accession Number: 01612624
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2016 8:35AM