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Energy and ecological balance of low temperature bituminous mixtures for asphalt pavements (VSS2010/542)

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project website
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport electrification (ELT)
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
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Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Switzerland and Liechtenstein annually mix around 100 stationary productions to five million tons produced and processed. A bituminous paving mix is the building material most widely used for the production of base courses and deck coverings and takes in the modern road and highway construction and the maintenance of existing measures to streets a dominant position.

The demand for rolled asphalt will be present in the future, because road surfaces from time to time have to be replaced, resulting in particular in a significant bout of recycled material. On the other hand, the roll Asphalt Products continually evolving (durability, noise reduction, etc.), resulting in addition to replacement demand.

The treatment plant is interested in bringing products to market that have to be delivered less hot: by a reduction in temperature of eg. 20 ° C may thereby be saved in production just over 5 kWh / t. This based on typical values of 80 kWh / t (thermal) plus 8 kWh / t (electric).


The aim of this sub-project is the development of a life cycle analysis LCA concerning energy use and ecological impacts of the production of low temperature bituminous mixtures and the subsequent construction of asphalt pavements. The emissions will be measured and the work includes the critical analysis of the theoretical models. Seven new methods for the production of low temperature material will be examined and compared with a reference material (conventional high temperature bituminous mixture).


This LCA is to be created in accordance with applicable international standards and in accordance with the ISO standards. The LCA is performed according to ISO 14044 in four steps:

[1] Definition of objectives and system boundaries

[2] Create the Life Cycle Inventory (eng. Life Cycle Inventory, LCI)

[3] Impact assessment (eng. Life Cycle Impact Assessment, LCIA)

[4] Interpretation of the environmental hazard (dominance and sensitivity analyses)


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


Today, a serious problem that leads to environmental pollution is the abundance and increase of waste tyre disposal. Large amounts of rubber are used as tyres for cars and trucks, and so forth. Although rubber as a polymer is a thermosetting material cross-linked to processing and molding, it cannot be softened or remolded by reheating unlike other types of thermoplastics polymer which can be softened and reshaped when heated. Due to an increase in service traffic density, axle loading and low maintenance services road structures have deteriorated and are therefore subjected to failure more rapidly. To minimise the damage of pavement such as resistance to rutting and fatigue cracking, asphalt mixture modification is required. Virgin polymer offers the possibility of producing mixtures that can resist both rutting and cracking.

Thus, using recycled polymer such as crumb rubber is a good alternative and inexpensive. Also, it is considered as sustainable technology, that is, “greening asphalt” which would transform unwanted residue into a new bituminous mixture highly resistant to failure. Thus, utilising crumb rubber obtained from scrap automobile tyre is not only beneficial in terms of cost reduction but also has less ecological impact in keeping the environment clean and to achieve better balance of natural resources.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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