Tackling air quality
Road infrastructure is essential to modern living but urbanisation and denser transport and industrial activity have resulted in worsening levels of local air quality.
Developing cleaner solutions for road paving plays a part in a wide-ranging approach to improving the air quality of cities. That’s why we have developed a new bitumen solution that actively reduces the emission of specific gases and particulates during production and paving - Shell Bitumen FreshAir.
Making road paving cleaner
The innovative active technology has been tested with road constructors and air quality experts in cities around the globe and has reduced specific gases and particulate matter from asphalt mixtures* by an average of 40%. The mixture of inhibiting components of Shell Bitumen FreshAir act directly with chemical compounds which are the source of gases, particulates and odour-releasing molecules (Nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM) and volatile organic compounds (VOC)). The chemical reaction occurs in situ at a molecular level, which helps to cut specific gases and particulates or minimise them becoming airborne, and therefore reducing the impact on air quality as well as neutralise odours.
Switching to Shell Bitumen FreshAir is estimated to have a similar impact on the following:
- On particulate matter (PM10), it would be equivalent of planting an average of 16 trees every year.
- On NO2 levels, equivalent to an average of 40 cars removed per kilometres of asphalt laid per year.
(The above scenarios use Shell field and laboratory studies to calculate the potential emissions reduction scenarios per km of road paved with Shell Bitumen FreshAir. For full details, refer to Shell Bitumen FreshAir Technical Knowledge Guide.)
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*compared to conventional bitumen