There are a number of studies around the world looking at biochar as an additive in bitumen. Bitumen or asphalt can occur in natural deposits but most of the bitumen used in road construction around the world is refined from crude oil.
The push toward non traditional products used in the bitumen process is largely economic because the bitumen price is directly related to oil price and subject to global supply and demand. There is also a need for the bitumen industry to become more sustainable, increase the durability of bitumen and reduce its carbon footprint. Something it seems can be achieved by using biochar.
In one study, biochar reduced the temperature susceptibility and significantly increased the rutting resistance of the asphalt binder. In addition, the bio-char showed little effect on the fatigue and cracking resistance. See more here.
Another study where biochar was used at ratios of 5%, 10% and 15% showed that the softening point and viscosity increased and the penetration and thermal sensitivity decreased with increased biochar contents. See “Effects of various biochars on the high temperature performance of bituminous binder” for more info.
We produce high quality biochar from a range of feedstocks, we are engaging with industry stakeholders to conduct research to see what types of feedstocks would produce the best biochar for blending with bitumen. Please watch this space or contact us for more information.