Asphalt with lignin test road construction
Asphalt is getting ever greener

Many holidaymakers know the feeling: the relief when you cross the border after a long journey and drive onto the Dutch motorway. Rarely does that comfortable road surface evoke warmer feelings than at such a moment. But when nature is required to give way to motorways, asphalt seems blacker than ever: made of boiling bitumen and rubble and churned in energy-guzzling, smelly asphalt mixers.

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Low temperature asphalt made with linseed oil

Traditional asphalt consists of a mixture of rubble, sand, aggregate and bitumen. These materials are mixed at about 150 degrees Celsius in the asphalt mixer. But a lot of energy is needed to reach these high temperatures. By adding linseed oil and biobased residual products, such as wood chips, tree bark and flax, the temperature can be reduced significantly, to 100 degrees or even lower. Compared with traditional asphalt, this so-called Lynpave results in a 30 to 35-percent CO2 saving in the asphalt plant.

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Asphalt with Recell
Cellulose as a green asphalt additive

Besides lignin, the 'glue substance', cellulose is also a common substance in plants. Cellulose is a natural polymer that provides strength to the plant cell walls. The material is frequently used in the pulp and paper industry and now has a useful application in asphalt as well: it can replace the less sustainable synthetic drip inhibitors. And studies by the Ashalt Knowledge Centre AKC show that it performs better, too.

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