Producing a Sustainable and Bio-Based Alternative for Petroleum-Based Asphalt

This project will develop, characterize, and demonstrate the application of a bio-asphalt based on swine manure and crumb rubber as an alternative to petroleum-based asphalt for highway construction. Work in Stage 1 will focus on producing and characterizing the bio-asphalt. Thermochemical liquefaction of swine manure followed by filtration and vacuum distillation will be used to produce bio-adhesives. The resulting bio-adhesive will be blended with crumb rubber with a specified gradation to produce bio-asphalt. Chemical and molecular structural characterization of the bio-asphalt will be performed to determine the make-up of bio-asphalts at different percentages of crumb rubber. The collected data will serve as input for molecular modeling and for correlating bio-asphalt's chemical make-up to its rheological properties. Following the development of atomistic models, computation experiments will be conducted to determine bio-asphalts' mechanical properties (adhesion, modulus, viscosity) and to correlate microscopic quantities with corresponding macroscopic quantities. Work in Stage 2 will focus on laboratory performance evaluation of bio-asphalt to determine whether bio-asphalt can replace petroleum-based asphalt. The study will include both binders and mixtures. Short- and long-term aging (RTFO and PAV) will be incorporated to account for oxidative aging occurring both during construction and pavement service life. At the mixture level, Superpave mixture will be used to evaluate the merits of replacing petroleum-based asphalt with bio-asphalt. Compacted asphalt mixture will be used to account for field compaction. Standard tests will be conducted to determine low temperature cracking of mixtures (ASTM D7313), mixture stiffness (AASHTO TP79) and moisture resistance (AASHTO T324). To evaluate the impact of the bio-asphalt on surface and ground water quality, compounds that leach from the mixture specimen will be characterized and compared with ground water standards. The final report will provide all relevant data and product specifications and guidelines for application of bio-asphalt by highway agencies.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $125000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-30, IDEA

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA)

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Jawed, Inam

  • Performing Organizations:

    North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro

    Greensboro, NC  United States  27411
  • Principal Investigators:

    Fini, Elham

  • Start Date: 20141209
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 38199

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01547492
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-30, IDEA
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Dec 10 2014 1:02AM