Bioasphalt binder is a proprietary product blend for use as an additive or direct replacement for petroleum based liquid asphalt.
Bioasphalt binder is Avello’s proprietary blend of bio-oil fractions suitable for use as an additive or replacement for asphalt materials. Bioasphalt binder is produced using Avello's fast pyrolysis based process, Avello®FRAC.
The US economy is highly dependent on its aging transportation infrastructure, and asphalt is used in 90% of all paved roads and highways in the US. In recent years, petroleum refinery modifications to maximize liquid fuel production have decreased the supply of asphalt and increased the price. Limited asphalt supply in combination with potential carbon capture and storage to reduce carbon emissions provides an economic opportunity for the production of renewable and sustainable asphalt construction materials.
Background. Asphalt is the residue from traditional crude-oil refining distillation processes and is primarily used for road construction and roofing applications. Many refineries in the US have switched to heavier crude oil feedstocks and installed petroleum coking units that do not produce asphalt. These changes in refining have resulted in less asphalt available to the market. Several states have reported shortages of liquid asphalt or the petroleum derived polymers that improve asphalt pavement performance. A significant price increase for asphalt occurred during the commodity price run up from 2004 through 2008 which followed price increases for crude oil.
The benefits of Bioasphalt binder include:
- Renewable. Bioasphalt binder is produced from domestic non-food resources such as agricultural and wood residues. Using biomass derived Bioasphalt binder decreases our national demand for imported petroleum.
- Immediate. Extensive research at Iowa State University has shown that bio-oil fractions can be a direct replacement for petroleum based liquid asphalt as an additive, modifier or extender, in existing paving and roofing applications.
- Reduced Carbon Footprint. Bioasphalt binder can lower the production temperature of hot mix asphalt, which may decrease paving costs by 20% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 30% because less energy input is required. Bioasphalt binder may also provide an anti-oxidant effect which could increase the service life of pavement. The grade range of asphalt may be extended with the addition of Bioasphalt binder.
- Cost Competitive. Proforma economic analysis indicates Bioasphalt binder can be priced competitively below today’s asphalt prices without subsidies.
Avello Bioenergy is evaluating the potential for Bioasphalt binder to store biobased carbon in asphalt pavements and roofing materials.
Bioasphalt binder was demonstrated for the first time on a trail in Des Moines, Iowa in October 2010. See the Bioasphalt binder Demonstration page and Bioasphalt binder Press Release for more information.