It is estimated that 90% of the 5.2M km of the Europe road network and 93% of the 4.1M km of US paved roads and highways are surfaced with asphalt mixes. A significant amount of resources is required not only for the construction of new pavements, but also for the preservation and renovation of the existing ones. The EU White Paper on Transport establishes as a priority the optimal use of natural resources, the support to innovations that boost cost-effectiveness, and the reduction and reuse of wastes.
In order to address the challenge, the project aims to demonstrate an innovative and integrated approach for the sustainable construction of roads considering the whole life cycle of the infrastructure. Several actions will be considered:
- enhancing the resource and cost efficient use of alternative materials;
- ensuring the recyclability of the roads developed with the alternative green materials;
- implementing a “circular economy approach” by taking advantage of the actual by-products and waste produced by the local industry.
The project focuses on two main components of the asphalt pavements. On the one side, it will look for the replacement of the virgin aggregates by recycled materials (e.g. reclaimed asphalt pavement) and by products (e.g. slags). On the other side, alternative green binders such as waste engine oils and bio-fluxing agents will be integrated in the mixes to reduce the use of petroleum-based binders.
- A protocol to define the amount of rejuvenator that optimizes the use of RAP and hence the reduction of oil-based binders, including the effect of bitumen age and the efficiency of the recovering effect of the rejuvenators.
- Laboratory and ALT validated asphalt mixes combining high rates of RAP and by-products with commercial high quality bio/waste
- rejuvenators that can perform as adequately as traditional binders and asphalt mixes.
- A Supply Management Plan. This regional approach covers the identification of the alternative materials, availability, logistics costs,
- legislation constraints, social sensitivities and first contacts with providers.
- A smart labelling solution based on advanced identification technologies as RFID for the labelling of the pavement components and
- future identification of their recycling routes after the end of life of the infrastructure.
- ALTERPAVE Manual. A document/guideline with all the information needed by road authorities, technicians and contractors to ensure
- the most effective use of asphalt mixes with the lowest possible rate of natural aggregates along the whole road cycle.