Research and testing by Lafarge Tarmac is demonstrating that low temperature asphalt (LTA) technology has considerable potential for reducing carbon emissions associated with road construction. The lower temperatures used to manufacture these materials mean that less energy is required and therefore lower emissions, which create better working conditions and result in lower impact on the environment.
LTA was one of the technologies identified by the UK’s Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator Programme initiated in 2009 as having one of the largest potential impact on carbon emissions in the aggregates and asphalt sector. Research funding to progress the technique has been part provided by the Carbon Trust and UK Government`s Department for Business Innovation & Skills.
Lafarge Tarmac, in collaboration with project partners NynasBitumen and Atkins, subsequently worked closely with the Carbon Trust on a plan to develop the market for LTA and overcome the barriers for its adoption.
Demonstration of performance
The new approach to LTA developed by the project has demonstrated that in service performance of such mixtures was the equivalent of conventional hot asphalt. In addition the project identified the main barriers for uptake of these materials and delivered the first Specification for LTA in the UK, allowing mixes to be specified and purchased with greater confidence.
Lafarge Tarmac says that the project has lifted market barriers for the use of lower temperature asphalt used in road construction, which reduces energy costs, as well as cutting carbon emissions by between 7% and 39% per tonne, depending on the layer of application.
It also provides a better view of upstream and downstream impacts which can encourage collaboration between different actors within the value chain, leading to wider transformative change within the industry.