Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Possible green replacement for asphalt derived from petroleum to be tested on Iowa bike trail

Date:
October 6, 2010
Source:
Iowa State University
Summary:
Christopher Williams was just trying to see if adding bio-oil to asphalt would improve the hot- and cold-weather performance of pavements. What he found was a possible green replacement for asphalt derived from petroleum.

Christopher Williams used his Iowa State University and Institute for Transportation lab to study and develop asphalt mixtures made from bio-oil fractions.
Credit: Photo by Bob Elbert

Iowa State University's Christopher Williams was just trying to see if adding bio-oil to asphalt would improve the hot- and cold-weather performance of pavements. What he found was a possible green replacement for asphalt derived from petroleum.

That finding will move from Williams' laboratory at the Institute for Transportation's Asphalt Materials and Pavements Program at Iowa State to a demonstration project this fall. The project will pave part of a Des Moines bicycle trail with an asphalt mixture containing what is now known as Bioasphalt.

If the demonstration and other tests go well, "This would be great stuff for the state of Iowa," said Williams, an associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering.

He said that's for a lot of reasons: Asphalt mixtures derived from plants and trees could replace petroleum-based mixes. That could create a new market for Iowa crop residues. It could be a business opportunity for Iowans. And it saves energy and money because Bioasphalt can be mixed and paved at lower temperatures than conventional asphalt.

Bio-oil is created by a thermochemical process called fast pyrolysis. Corn stalks, wood wastes or other types of biomass are quickly heated without oxygen. The process produces a liquid bio-oil that can be used to manufacture fuels, chemicals and asphalt plus a solid product called biochar that can be used to enrich soils and remove greenhouses gases from the atmosphere.

Robert C. Brown -- an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor of Engineering, the Gary and Donna Hoover Chair in Mechanical Engineering and the Iowa Farm Bureau director of Iowa State's Bioeconomy Institute -- has led research and development of fast pyrolysis technologies at Iowa State. Three of his former graduate students -- Jared Brown, Cody Ellens and Anthony Pollard, all December 2009 graduates -- have established a startup company, Avello Bioenergy Inc., that specializes in pyrolysis technology that improves, collects and separates bio-oil into various liquid fractions.

Williams used bio-oil fractions provided by Brown's fast pyrolysis facility at Iowa State's BioCentury Research Farm to study and develop Bioasphalt. That research was supported by the Iowa Energy Center and the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Avello has licensed the Bioasphalt technology from the Iowa State University Research Foundation Inc. and has produced oak-based bio-oil fractions for the bike trail project using funding from the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Williams said the project will include a mix of 5 percent Bioasphalt.

Jeb Brewer, the city engineer for the City of Des Moines, said the Bioasphalt will be part of phase two of the Waveland Trail on the city's northwest side. The 10-foot-wide trail will run along the west side of Glendale Cemetery from University Avenue to Franklin Avenue.

Brewer said the demonstration project is a good fit for the city.

"We have a fairly active program for finding ways to conserve energy and be more sustainable," he said. "We're interested in seeing how this works out and whether it can be part of our toolbox to create more sustainable projects."

Contractors involved in the Bioasphalt demonstration project are Elder Corp. of Des Moines, Bituminous Materials and Supplies of Des Moines and Grimes Asphalt and Paving Corp. of Grimes with the Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa supporting the project.

Iowa State's Williams said a successful demonstration would lead to more pavement tests containing higher and higher percentages of Bioasphalt.

"This demonstration project is a great opportunity," he said. "We're introducing a green technology into a green environment in Des Moines. And it's a technology that's been developed here in Iowa."

Note: Avelloฎ and Bioasphaltฎ are registered trademarks of Avello Bioenergy, Inc.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Iowa State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Iowa State University. "Possible green replacement for asphalt derived from petroleum to be tested on Iowa bike trail." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101006145049.htm>.
Iowa State University. (2010, October 6). Possible green replacement for asphalt derived from petroleum to be tested on Iowa bike trail. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101006145049.htm
Iowa State University. "Possible green replacement for asphalt derived from petroleum to be tested on Iowa bike trail." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101006145049.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Several communities were evacuated and some international flights were diverted on Friday after one of the most active volcanos in the region erupts. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — The mystery of the moving rocks in Death Valley, California, has finally been solved. Scientists are pointing to a combo of water, ice and wind. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

AP (Aug. 27, 2014) — Thundering surf spawned by Hurricane Marie pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town. High surf warnings were posted for Los Angeles County south through Orange County. (Aug. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins