Green lane: Tarmac confirms switch to low carbon asphalt

Low carbon asphalt is set to become a feature of Britain’s roads after Tarmac this week announced it is to make its emissions-saving warm mix material standard for road building in the UK.

From July, 40 of Tarmac’s asphalt plants across the UK will default to using the new warm mix for all lower layer materials, as the company phases out traditional hot mix asphalt for its highway projects.

The switch will save 13,500 tons of carbon dioxide each year – the equivalent of around 22,000 flights between London and New York, the company said, adding that the new material is one of the most significant advances in asphalt technology since Edgar Hooley first patented traditional hot mix asphalt in 1902.

With one in three roads in the UK containing Tarmac products, the firm is now calling on the highways sector to embrace warm mix materials as standard in order to sharply reduce the carbon footprint of new road and maintenance projects.

“While warm mix technology has been widely available to our customers over the past five years, against the backdrop of the climate emergency, we are now proactively switching our plants to offer this low carbon material as our standard and preferred option,” said Brian Kent. , technical director at Tarmac.

“This is a significant sustainability-focused improvement on Edgar Hooley’s original process, but it embraces the innovative spirit of our founder which remains at the heart of our business along with our clear commitment to help the UK transition to net zero.”

In addition to the carbon emission savings, the lower temperature material also enables road projects to be delivered faster than when using traditional materials. As the asphalt is delivered at a cooler temperature than hot mixes, its takes 90 minutes less to reach trafficking temperature – reducing disruption for road users.

to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Highways, embracing low temperature manufacture for asphalt production in the UK could deliver emissions savings of at least 61,000 tons of CO2 a year – the equivalent of cutting almost 300 million miles of car journeys.

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