About the research
Bio-binders can be utilized as asphalt modifiers, extenders, and replacements for conventional asphalt in bituminous binders. From the rheology results of Phase I of this project, it was found that the bio-binders tested had good performance, similar to conventional asphalt, except at low temperatures. Phase II of this project addresses this shortcoming and evaluates the Superpave performance of laboratory mixes produced with the enhanced bio-binders.
The main objective of this research was to develop a bio-binder capable of replacing conventional asphalt in flexible pavements by incorporating ground tire rubber (GTR) into bio-oil derived from fast pyrolysis of agriculture and forestry residues. The chemical compatibility of the new bio-binder with GTR was assessed, and the low-temperature performance of the bio-binders was enhanced by the use of GTR.
The newly developed binder, which consisted of 80 percent conventional binder and 20 percent rubber-modified bio-oil (85 percent bio-oil with 15 percent GTR), was used to produce mixes at two different air void contents, 4 and 7 percent. The laboratory performance test results showed that the performance of the newly developed bio-binder mixes is as good as or better than conventional asphalt mixes for fatigue cracking, rutting resistance, moisture sensitivity, and low-temperature cracking. These results need to be validated in field projects in order to demonstrate adequate performance for this innovative and sustainable technology for flexible pavements.