Bitumen, also known as asphalt, is a mixture of hydrocarbons and is used in roads, runways, bridge decks, roofs, and in other waterproofing materials. In the construction industry, recycling asphalt pavement has both economic and environmental benefits. Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), for example prepared from old roads, can be used as an alternative material in the construction or reconstruction of roads. During the recycling process, aged bitumen is extracted from stone aggregates and re-blended for reuse. Currently, a toxic solvent-wash approach is utilized to extract the aging bitumen. However, this approach is harmful to the environment. Hence, a sustainable method is needed to recover bitumen in asphalt recycling.
Researchers at Arizona State University have developed a bioagent to recover and rejuvenate bitumen used in asphalt and other materials. The bioagent facilitates separation of the bitumen in reclaimed asphalt and peptizes and rejuvenates the bitumen for reuse. The recovered bitumen can be recycled and used in the production of new asphalt. The bioagent can also clean deposited crude oil compounds by separating out hydrocarbons.
- Asphalt recycling
- Cleaning oil-contaminated soils and sands
- Un-clog crude oil compounds from pipes or other facilities in petroleum production lines
Benefits and Advantages
- Reduction or elimination of toxic solvents used in conventional asphalt recycling
- Extracted bitumen can be upcycled
- Enhanced water damage resistance in recycled and rejuvenated bitumen
- Environmentally friendly cleaning method for soil, sands, and stones
- Mitigate serious environmental damage related to oil spills