Industry on the road to greener asphalt

Low-temperature asphalt could slash a third off the carbon emissions of the much-used material over the next ten years.


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Pioneering projects involving market leaders like Tarmac, United Asphalt and Aggregate Industries could see the asphalt industry’s annual carbon footprint fall by 39% by 2020.

Spearheaded by the Carbon Trust, the project is looking at way to reduce the heat needed to mix asphalt – which currently stands at about 170 degrees Centigrade.

Cooler asphalt will have the added advantage of hardening faster, reducing the delay between laying it and having a road surface that is ready to drive on.

The companies claim this could cut disruption caused by roadworks by up to 12 hours.

Dr Mark Williamson, director of innovations at the Carbon Trust, said: “There are huge carbon savings to be gained from using cooler asphalt.

“We are partnering with the leaders in the UK industry to prove the benefits, so that more cooler asphalt will hit our roads soon.

“The Carbon Trust has already launched a carbon-reduction strategy to help the aggregates industry reduce its carbon footprint by 20% and shave some £45million a year off its energy bills.

“We are now targeting the next level of carbon savings by demonstrating innovative technologies and solutions that could cut carbon across the industry and help cut the UK’s carbon footprint.”

The Carbon Trust is providing funding for the projects through its £15m Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator.

The Carbon Trust has been working closely with the aggregates sector over the past two years to identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency and has now published a report of it findings called “Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator – Guide to the asphalt sector”.

The report is available at www.carbontrust.co.uk/publications

David Gibbs

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