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APSE Report Summary

Project ID: 603862
Funded under: FP7-ENVIRONMENT
Country: Spain

Periodic Report Summary 2 - APSE (Use of eco-friendly materials for a new concept of Asphalt Pavements for a Sustainable Environment)

Project Context and Objectives:
The construction of a new road has a number of implications for the environment. Materials commonly used are petroleum derived and extracted from quarries, therefore energy consumption and emissions associated are considerable.

The APSE project is a Seventh Framework Programme which emerges from the need of promoting a sustainable construction of asphalt roads. At present, potential measures with sound sustainability credentials are not widely implemented, regulated and harmonized within road construction and a wholesale shift to use of these types of materials has yet to occur.

The APSE project will contribute to it, reducing the environmental impact associated to the construction of roads and increasing its competitiveness and cost-effectiveness during their whole life cycle. It will be done by placing emphasis on recycling technologies, use of waste and novel green binders, all integrated appropriately into optimal and eco-innovative designs of asphalt pavements.

The concept of the APSE project is the design of an eco-innovative asphalt pavement designed through the substitution of asphalt mixtures by greener materials: reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), construction and demolition waste (C&DW), lignin (by-product of 2nd generation bioethanol processing) and bio-binder from vegetable oil.

The main objective is to establish a new concept of asphalt pavement structures with ecologically oriented attributes, significantly reducing the asphalt pavement carbon footprint while achieving a level of long term performance comparable or greater than that of conventional pavement structures.

This goal will be achieved by focusing on the two main components of asphalt mixture: bitumen and aggregates. In relation to bitumen, two types of greener binders will be addressed; the first investigates bio-fluxing bitumen, which enables part of the petro-chemical binder to be replaced with bio-based products (vegetable oils); the second uses lignin, also bio-derived, to replace the crude-oil derived polymer in modified bitumen. In relation to aggregates, two different approaches are also explored: the use of high rates of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in new hot asphalt mixtures, thanks to the addition of bio-fluxing agents which will allow working at lower temperatures, and the use of construction and demolition waste (C&DW).

APSE project Scientific and Technological objectives for this period are:
• To conclude the demonstration of a green modified bitumen made of revalorised waste products, specifically lignin, a by-product of the
2G bioethanol production.
• To provide a systematic approach for eco-innovative asphalt pavement design.
• To conduct preparatory works for the validation the eco-innovative asphalt pavement designs through accelerated load testing at pilot
• To scale up the production of the innovative solutions from lab scale to real industrial scale.
• To select the most suitable eco-innovative designs considering the demo cases (Madrid & Warsaw) specific requirements.
• To continue with the data collection for the demonstration of the environmental and economic value of the proposed practices, processes
and products by means of LCA and LCC.

Project Results:
In the reporting period (M19-M30) work has been undertaken on Work-Packages 2-7. Progress on each Work-Package (WP) is outlined below.

WP2: Analysis and selection of the green solutions for the asphalts manufacturing
During this period a modified bitumen suitable for use in surface course by substituting a proportion of the bitumen and polymer with lignin, a by-product from bioethanol production, was developed at laboratory scale.
Work was also carried out to demonstrate that the performance of the asphalt mixtures made with this lignin polymer modified bitumen were comparable to those of using commercial Polymer modified bitumen (PMB).

WP3: Integrated “eco-construction” design of asphalt pavements
Work was concluded on Deliverable 3.2: Optimized design of the eco-innovative pavement in Task 3.2. Typical asphalt pavement sections from Poland and Spain most likely to be used for the trial sections were selected from pavement design catalogues with predefined sections and analysed by a mechanical computation model using specific road performance software (Alizé LCPC software).
Work also progressed significantly in the remaining task of WP3 (Task 3.3). A range of preparatory works allowed the initial test pavement sections to be constructed and the trafficking trial to commence shortly after this reporting period concluded in M31.

WP4: Up-scaling of the green asphalt pavements production
During the second period work was carried out to demonstrate the technical viability of scaling up of the APSE materials while complying with the properties defined at laboratory scale. Not only these new materials were produced at large scale, but also their integration into the asphalt plant for the production of asphalt mixtures with green profile was reported in Deliverable 4.2: Report on the real scale implementation.
A Quality Control Plan regarding to the asphalt mixtures production has been also developed. In addition, within the same task, a Risk assessment plan associated with the production process of the materials developed in terms of Natural Environment and Health & Safety has been performed.

WP5: Demonstration and validation of the eco-pavement in real applications
The final stage of the project includes the validation of the performance of the eco-innovative asphalt pavement in a real scale scenario. To this end two local roads with medium-high traffic intensity but subjected to different weather conditions were selected during this period, one in Poland and other in Spain. The test section in Poland will be built in Chmielna Street, Makówka, in east-central Poland. In Spain the test section will be part of a construction project in Tres Cantos, Madrid.
Works for the Polish trial road are expected to start in Spring next year. The construction of the stretch road in Madrid is planned by next year 2017, once the tendering process is completed.

WP6: Analysis of the environmental and economic impact of the innovative pavement
In the WP6 the innovative technologies and materials developed in the project are analyzed from the environmental and economic perspectives, where the life cycle analysis, economic feasibility and market analysis are distinguished.
During the 2nd reporting period the scope of the life cycle analysis has been developed and economic model has been established which allows the comparison of the APSE developed innovative materials with the conventional pavement in the 3 EU countries where pilot sections (UK) and trial roads (Poland and Spain) are going to be built, examining several pavement types. The market analysis is indicating the segmentation of the EU market, identifying the shift in the potential demand for APSE products from asphalt plants to the refineries.

WP7: Dissemination and exploitation plan
During this period project website ( and other social media such as Facebook ( or Twitter (@APSEPROJECT) have been updated regularly.
From the academic perspective, different APSE partners participated in various events where information about project was disseminated and also various scientific papers were submitted.
Work also progressed significantly identifying the key exploitable results and potential strategies that could be set up for exploiting the results from the APSE Project. Work concluded on Deliverable 7.6: 1st version of the Exploitation Plan.

Potential Impact:
It is expected that APSE project will develop, validate and demonstrate an eco-innovative design of asphalt pavements based on the integration of more sustainable materials into the production cycle. APSE project will focus on the two main components of asphalt mixture: binders and aggregates. In relation to binders, the aim is to replace almost the 100% of the bitumen by greener materials from renewable resources, e.g. vegetable oils and lignin, by-product of bioethanol production. In relation to aggregates, efforts will be made to further enhance and optimally use Construction and Demolition Waste (C&DW) and reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP).
Transport infrastructure and roads in particular, with more than 5.000.000km , have a positive impact on economic growth, create wealth and jobs, and enhance trade, geographical accessibility and mobility of people. However, each kilometer of road built consumes a large amount of materials and energy, not only during its construction, but also during its maintenance and rehabilitation works. Hence, applying for more eco-friendly practices in road sector will increase the long-term sustainability of the construction of roads.
This increase will be reached from an environmental, economic and social point of view:

•Environmental: reducing the needs of the mentioned raw materials (resource-efficiency) and the energy consumptions and the associated emissions to their extraction, processing and transport and minimizing landfilling of CD&Ws, RAP and lignin.

• Economic: The development and demonstration of economically viable in the short to medium-term, eco-innovative technologies and designs will be crucial as well as creating new market opportunities and niches; reducing the dependence on crude oil.
One of the most remarkable impacts of APSE will be the creation of new market niches and business opportunities for SMEs, and large companies that considered sustainability as a business model, such as, BMR, AZVI, CEMEX, TEMECAL, DONG Energy and ACCIONA.

•Social: The exploitation of part of the project results strategy will also contribute to the creation of green jobs, as it includes two possible schemes of commercialization: the creation of a new spin off company or a joint venture in order to reach a quick market uptake.
Furthermore, the reduction of the manufacturing and paving temperature and the associated minimization of VOCs results in healthier working conditions for the paving crew.

Additionally, APSE project is in many ways aligned to the 6th Environmental Action Programme (2002-2012) and the EU Strategy, in which ensuring the sustainable management of resources and waste is one of the four priority areas. Also, it supports the main actions of the EU related to sustainable development: The Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe, Eco-innovation Action Plan (EcoAP) and the Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy (SCP/SIP) Action Plan.

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