Helping you on your path to net zero

Bitumen is and will continue to be, in years to come, the best option in building roads. As a global leader in the industry, Shell is committed to reducing the environmental impact of our bitumen by lowering its carbon footprint and increasing circularity.

Shell Bitumen used in the road surface of the M25 around London

Shell Bitumen CarbonSink keeps carbon locked into the road

Carbon reduction on its own might reduce our footprint but won’t counteract ongoing emissions. Carbon removal and storage is key to achieving and maintaining net zero.

Our new bio-component binder, Shell Bitumen CarbonSink, locks carbon into asphalt and bitumen, turning the road into a technical carbon sink. As the asphalt road is recyclable, most of this carbon will not re-enter the atmosphere, even at the end of its life.

Components of biomass processing are engineered to ensure bitumen compatibility that won’t compromise the performance characteristics of asphalt, creating a binder that can be recycled while retaining captured bio-carbon in the long term.

We’re committed to creating a cleaner and better future. Using our knowledge, expertise and technical innovation to support customers in accelerating the decarbonisation of the construction and road sector.

Carbon reduction

The effective carbon sink created by Shell Bitumen CarbonSink reduces carbon footprint by up to:

  • 250kg reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent per tonne of bitumen

    250kg carbon dioxide equivalent per tonne of bitumen.

    (based on the biogenic carbon component used.)

  • 13kg reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent per tonne of asphalt

    13kg carbon dioxide equivalent per tonne of asphalt.

    (Based on 5% binder content within the asphalt mixture.)

  • 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent are locked in per km of road

    6 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent locked in per km of road.

    (Based on a model single surface layer with 50mm depth, 3.5m width and 5% binder content.)

Carbon removal and storage

High levels of asphalt recycling ensures that carbon remains locked into road and pavement surfaces:

  • 96% of RAP is reused in other pavement and road surfaces

    96% of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) is recycled or reused in roads and pavements.

  • 76% of recycled road and pavement surfaces is used to make new asphalt mixtures

    76% is reused in the manufacture of new asphalt mixtures.

  • 20% of recycled road and pavement surfaces is used in other engineering projects

    20% is recycled in unbound road layers and other civil engineering applications.

    *Source: EAPA – Asphalt in Figures Report 2018


Talk to a Shell representative to learn more about how our new bio-component binder Shell Bitumen CarbonSink can help you on your path to net zero

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The first UK case study

Recognising the need to be at the forefront of the UK’s construction and road decarbonisation journey, Aggregate Industries partnered with Shell to create a brand new product using Shell Bitumen CarbonSink called Superlow-Carbon.

Bob Allen, Head of Research & Development UK at Aggregate Industries commented, ‘We had confidence in our partnership with Shell, a credible and trust-worthy supplier. In our tests at Moordale, our R&D facility, we were able to validate the performance criteria of the biogenic material in the bitumen and conclude with confidence we could incorporate this in our Superlow-Carbon asphalt to be laid on the strategic road network.’

To put this performance into perspective, using biogenic materials in asphalt on the UK road network could save as much carbon as is emitted by 50,000 homes in an entire year.

Shell Bitumen biogenic binder CarbonSink

Tune in for expert insights

Listen to the Engineering Matters podcast episode ‘Decarbonisation – Growing Roads on Trees’, where Shell Bitumen’s Global Technology Development Manager Richard Taylor, and Aggregate Industries Bob Allen, Head of Research and Technical Services look at how a new plant-based bitumen could play a significant role in helping the UK achieve net zero.

Listen Now

Shell product ranges

Bitumen LT R

Low temperature solution made from end-of-life waste plastic, chemically converted into an additive, that can reduce emissions with no compromise on performance.

Bitumen FreshAir

Our ready-to-use bitumen that can effectively reduce the impact of road paving on air quality as well as neutralize bitumen odour.