Bitumen and asphalt operations face increasing public concern about odour emissions, especially for production facilities located in urban and populated areas. These complaints can necessitate significant investment by our customers or even threaten the continued operation of their plant. Challenges associated with odour control for our customers include; restricted operational hours to avoid busy times, plant modification requirements related to odour, forced relocation of plants due to external concerns and limited flexibility of the range of bitumen grades used in construction.

To address these challenges, Shell Bitumen set about developing a solution — Shell Bitufresh. Shell Bitufresh is a bitumen additive that has been specially formulated to reduce the odour of bitumen, helping to improve working conditions for workers and to reduce odour nuisance for neighbouring local residents. Research was carried out between 2006 and 2009 with successful trials held from 2009-2011. Odour neutralising technologies were applied in an innovative way to improve the materials available to the road construction industry. Historically, people used masking agents (perfumes) to hide the smell, but innovations in Shell Bitufresh converted the odour agent into a thermally stable non-odorous compound. The product was commercialised in 2012 and has since been sold in many countries around the world. After appropriate addition, Shell Bitufresh helps maintain a low odour profile of the bulk bitumen through the manufacture of the asphalt mixture and laying of the pavement.

Once properly dosed, the reduction of bitumen odour should persist for at least two weeks under normal storage conditions. The low odour additive is designed to be effective at low dosage levels thanks to the well balanced mixture of neutralising components. As a result, the bitumen’s characteristics remain unchanged. Shell Bitumen seeks to develop and provide pavement solutions designed to help reduce impact on the environment. Shell Bitufresh is a product developed to help reduce bitumen smell, improve working conditions for staff and minimise odour nuisance for residents. Shell Bitufresh has advanced roadway development by; effectively reducing bitumen odour during bitumen storage at asphalt mixing and laying operations, helping to improve working conditions for staff and helping to reduce odour nuisance for residents. Reduction of odour can; allow extended operational hours, reduce likelihood of plant relocation (reducing potential costs), reduce modifications required to plants and increase the flexibility of the bitumen grades used.

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