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Nynas pushes for lower-carbon roads

Nynas, which, in addition to making lubricants like transformer oil, also sells bitumen products, has published a white paper about how the carbon footprint of roads can be reduced.

The study is based on using a selection of binders that include biogenic material, with this expected to be released later this year. Nynas suggests that if the serviceable life of roads can be lengthened, this will mean fewer interventions for maintenance will be required. In turn, this will reduce the need for further raw materials for road repairs, and it will mean fewer traffic jams and diversions, thus helping to reduce vehicle emissions.

Using polymer-modified bitumen (PMB) is a well-recognised way to achieve this, but unfortunately, the addition of the polymer substantially increases the binder’s carbon footprint. Nynas is getting round this by using a PMB that incorporates biogenic material in order to reduce the total carbon footprint.

In a statement, Nynas Bitumen’s Technical and Research Director, Carl Robertus, said about this process:

“Polymer modification extends the useful life of a road and with this product development we can offer all the benefits of PMBs, and more, without increasing the carbon footprint.”

Some academic studies that Nynas has participated in have also shown the biogenic material to bring additional benefits beyond reducing the overall carbon footprint, including better re-use performance, greater ageing resistance and superior adhesion. When it introduces the new products to selected markets next year, Nynas believes it will serve as a means for the road construction industry to reduce its overall impact on the climate.

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