There are real solutions out there, according to Angélique Brunon, Senior Product Engineer, Bitumen at Total Bitumen. "We offer our customers Total Ecosolutions-labeled products that deliver improved performance in terms of durability while also being more environmentally friendly."
In this case, we're talking about the capacity to lower the temperature of the asphalt mix by around 40 degrees Celsius to save on energy and reduce carbon emissions "by 30 percent to 35 percent in the mix phase and 8% across the entire process," comments Angélique. A warm mix also means less fumes and heat on the worksite, improving work conditions in terms of health and safety. Lowering the asphalt mix application temperature by just 10C reduces fumes by 50 percent.
"Total Ecosolutions products like the Styrelf ECO² range have to meet specific requirements concerning improved environmental performance, described in guidelines available on total.com. The product claims are audited by an independent third-party organization; we have to provide a detailed data package as part of the verification," says Angélique. "The product is awarded the label if it is more respectful of the environment and human health and safety. That's what makes it 'better energy,'" she adds.
These performances are an increasing draw for our customers, whether to support their own environmental engagement — like the U.K.'s Tarmac, which has made sustainability a cornerstone of its operations — or for regulatory reasons. "In Norway and in northern Europe generally, there are incentives for using more eco-friendly products," notes Angélique. "In France, the Grenelle Environment Forum really set this market in motion."
More about the ECO² bitumen range here
All good reasons to proactively encourage the use of this type of material, which, even if it costs slightly more, reduces the overall cost of the application process. "By lowering the mix temperature, overall energy consumption is also decreased. At the end of the day, the bill is lower for the customer," explains Angelique.
Alongside bitumen for warm mixes, Total also offers a range of reclaimed asphalt pavement that recycles coated aggregates from road materials. More innovations are in the pipeline for the longer term. "We have other 'better energy' ideas, but they're still under wraps," concludes Angélique.
Bitumen or tar?
Bitumen and tar look very similar, but are in fact very different. Bitumen, derived from crude oil, is produced in a refinery. Tar is a by-product obtained when coal is processed at very high temperatures, without oxygen. The process generates aromatic compounds that are harmful to human health. That's why many countries around the world ban the use of tar. Bitumen does not contain these harmful substances.
The Total Ecosolutions Program
Leveraging innovation to serve continuous improvement, the Total Ecosolutions program develops products and services to help our customers shrink their environmental footprint and be smarter, more frugal consumers. Awarded in accordance with the principles set out in the international ISO 14020 and 14021 standards and verified by an independent external auditor, Total Ecosolutions-labeled products and services outperform the market standard in terms of environmental and health impact.
More about othere co-efficient products: Pesticides,an Alternative Solution That Comes From Oil and Lubricants,the Unknown Factor in Energy Efficiency