One of the primary goals of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is to protect the state's natural resources and promote environmental stewardship. As such, in 1991, NCDOT directed its field forces to use biodegradable asphalt solvents. Numerous companies have developed a variety of solvent products using citrus, pine, and/or soy extracts purported to remove asphalt from tools and equipment used in patching and paving operations. While products are marketed as environmentally friendly, safe, and effective, environmental or safety issues may still exist. Initially the Department's approval process consisted of a review of the product's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and field trials. The various formats used for the MSDS, the allowable practice of listing ingredients as "proprietary" or "trade secret," and the subjective nature of the field trials made this approval process difficult to administer. Unfortunately, there is no standard test regimen that satisfies the safety and environmental concerns, as well as the efficacy claims made by vendors. Considering the potential safety and environmental impacts of purchasing, storing, and using such products, the NCDOT has developed a laboratory-testing program for asphalt solvent products. Implementing this testing program not only ensures that the Department is proactively addressing environmental and personal safety issues, it will also ensure that a cost-effective product is purchased. The development of such a program could potentially benefit other state and local highway agencies in a comparable manner.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 133-141
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00960090
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: E-C052,, MMC03-032, MMC03-029
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 15 2003 12:00AM