Lafarge Tarmac and Carbon Trust launch low-temperature asphalt specs
New specification could cut carbon footprint and save £42 million in energy costs over next 10 years
LAFARGE Tarmac and the Carbon Trust have today announced the findings of a three-year study to improve carbon efficiency in the manufacture of road materials, which has the potential to save the UK road industry £46.2 million in energy costs over the next 10 years as well as cut CO2 emissions by up to 39%.
The project successfully trialled the use of a ‘low-temperature asphalt’ (LTA) material which allows mixing and working at lower temperatures yet bonds road materials as effectively as conventional production methods. The trial has allowed the project team to develop specifications for use which will lift barriers to use and help accelerate the production and adoption of LTAs.
The project was led by Lafarge Tarmac and the Carbon Trust (within its Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) Programme). Funding came from Lafarge Tarmac and the Carbon Trust (via the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) and support from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.
Martin Riley, managing director of Lafarge Tarmac’s Asphalt & Aggregates business, said: ‘As a leader in sustainable construction solutions, we want to use our expertise to help bring these solutions to our clients and customers. This project with the Carbon Trust will help unlock barriers to bring lower-temperature asphalt into wider use, cutting energy use, reducing CO2 emissions and allowing us to deliver projects more quickly for clients.
‘It will take time for these materials to become available, but as producers follow our lead and adopt this technology, there will be a growing movement to embrace LTAs as direct replacements for conventional hot asphalts.’
If the new specification is adopted and the low-temperature asphalt market achieves 21% of the total UK asphalt market over the next decade, it could save £46.2 million and around 260,000 tonnes of CO2 during the manufacturing of these materials over the next 10 years.
Dr Nizar Ghazireh, project director with Lafarge Tarmac, said: ‘This pioneering project and the development of the national specification for LTA will fundamentally change the asphalt industry in the UK, producing sustainable low-carbon products. The developed specification will assist clients to procure these materials as standard products and feedback from their use will inform the future development of the European Standards.’
Other project partners included Nynas UK, Atkins, MIRO and The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). A new specification, open to all manufacturers, was published by TRL in October 2013, allowing LTA mixtures to be designed and specified.