Asphalt with wax palm oil
An ecologic asphaltic blend with wax palm oil has adherence and durability capabilities and production savings greater than conventional asphalt mixed with petrochemicals.Medellín, 26 de octubre de 2016 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
“We arrived to this result after performing a series of laboratory tests where we observed that asphalt blends combined with wax palm oil were beneficial for the environment. And they noticeably reduced production costs”, said Conrado Lopera, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) in Medellín Infrastructure Engineering and Transportation Systems master’s candidate.
According to Professor Jorge Eliécer Córdoba, Director of the UNal-Medellín Department of Civil Engineering, it is not necessary to use other adherence additive to this asphalt as the blend includes all of them, therefore the savings are substantial. And as they use lower temperature there are less polluting substances, less solvents and less thermal sensation, considerably helping the environment.
Normally conventional asphalt or with additions of oil byproducts has a 60/70 penetration and blending temperatures between 150° C (302° F), while one with wax palm oil addition reduces its blending temperature to 135° C (275° F) producing a semi-dense blend which has, among other properties, delays in pavement aging.
“Modifying conventional asphalts with raw wax palm oil results in benefits, such as using this oil which is a waste of the palm tree industry. Furthermore with the laboratory results we proved the reduction of the blending temperature, improvement of the resistance to susceptibility produced by moisture and reduction of volatile organic compounds between production to implementation of bioasphalt,” said Julie Fernanda López Contreras, Director of the Corasfaltos Laboratory, entity in charge of validating the compound.
Future of the industry and country development
Beyond the environmental benefits that bioasphalt brings to the table and the cost reductions, its physical properties are compatible with the parameters established by the Kyoto Protocol which goal is to reduce emissions of six glasshouse effect gases which cause global warming, turning it into a great alternative to use in the construction industry.
“At some moment in time the industry will have to turn its attention to producing natural asphalt and this is a crucial moment to take the first step so we can provide trust to the industry and start substituting petroleum for palm oil or other biochemical products”, said Sergio Cifuentes Mosquera, Quality and Innovation Area Officer of Corasfaltos.
For the Colombian Oil Palm Grower's Federation (Fedepalma, for its Spanish acronym) this UNal-Medellín research project is a contribution to the productive sector of the country as it expands use of oil which many farmers produce in Colombia.(Por: Fin/AGG/DMH/LOF