Under the auspices of the Illinois Department of Transportation, eight miles of Illinois Route 49 have just been resurfaced and widened with about 20,000 tons of sulfur-asphalt at a cost of $1.3 million. The project used a sulfur-asphalt technology invented by Frank E. Pronk and developed and licensed by the Sulphur Development Institute of Canada (SUDIC), Calgary, Alta. Rather than using the standard asphalt binder, the Pronk process replaces up to 40% of the asphalt with molten sulfur. The resulting emulsion, stabilized with an additive, is mixed with regular aggregate (sand, stone, crushed rock) to form the paving material. Several benefits accrue: Asphalt derived from increasingly scarcer and more costly petroleum is replaced with lower-priced and more abundant sulfur; lower quality--thus more economical--aggregates can be used; thinner pavements are made possible because sulfur asphalts are stronger and more durable than conventional pavement; fuel costs for producing the sulfur-asphalt mix are reduced; Gulf Oil Canada Ltd., another firm developing sulfur-asphalt technology, uses a somewhat different emulsion process that involves the use of specially designed blender, but the end product is essentially the same as Pronk's; this technology is one of two basic approaches to sulfur-containing asphalts. The second approach, developed by Shell Canada Ltd., uses the conventional asphalt binder but replaces high-quality aggregate with a mixture of sulfur and sand; in addition to the Illinois paving project, two other Pronk sulfur-asphalt placements were made this year in Minnesota and Wasington. The $300,000 Washington program included construction of a doughnut-shaped test track that is being used to assess the long-term durability of sulfur-asphalt; thus far, Gulf Oil Canada has laid 15 test roads in the U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands, and will begin building its first in Saudi Arabia next month.

  • Corporate Authors:

    American Chemical Society

    1155 16th Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20036
  • Publication Date: 1979-10-15

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  • Accession Number: 00302221
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 30 1980 12:00AM