Innovations for sustainable road surfaces...

Posted on 11 Sep 2020

Green asphalt that is even quieter  

NV De Vriese, an asphalt plant in Koolskamp, will renew the N37 between Ardooie and Pittem with 'green asphalt'. It mainly focuses on the maintenance of regional roads and municipal roads.

Asphalt is a mixture of crushed stone, sand, filler and bitumen and is heated between 150 and 180 degrees Celsius. With 'green asphalt' another bitumen is used, which is the glue that holds everything together. In this case it is sufficient to heat the mixture to only 100 to 130 degrees Celsius. Because much less is fired, the emissions from the asphalt plant can be reduced considerably. The result is a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions during measurements at the tower.

At the end of last year, the company invested in a brand-new 43-metre-high asphalt plant. This power station is fully equipped with the latest techniques to produce the green asphalt.

For a project such as the reconstruction of the N37 in Pittem, no less than 27,000 tonnes of asphalt is needed. This is also good news for the residents of Pittem because the noise level of the traffic on the N37 will certainly drop a few decibels.

Old concrete becomes new concrete   

Our northern neighbours are also working on innovative road surfaces. The Rijkswaterstaat wants to work circularly by 2030: without producing waste. In the Netherlands, Rijkswaterstaat is the largest client in the construction industry. That's why in 2018 it held a competition for companies to make asphalt circular and climate-friendly. 

The BAM company won this competition and will cover part of the A73 motorway with more environmentally friendly asphalt. This will be a pilot area so that the asphalt can be tested.  

This asphalt consists of 95% recycled material, derived from old asphalt. BAM found a way of separating the useful components from old roads from sand, filler and bitumen. These useful asphalt parts are mixed with a little new material (mainly new bitumen) and rolled out. The installation process is also environmentally friendly: by working at a lower temperature, the company saves 30 percent of energy and CO2 emissions.    



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