If you’ve ever driven past a construction team resurfacing a road, you’re probably familiar with the distinctive smell of hot bitumen. Shell Bitumen FreshAir® was developed specifically to tackle the impact of asphalt production and paving on local 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. The need for cleaner construction and transport infrastructure requires every industry to do its part in developing cleaner ways of working.

Jason Wong, VP Shell Specialities (Global Bitumen and Sulphur)

During the production and paving of asphalt roads, certain gases and particulates are released. Shell Bitumen FreshAir® helps reduce those by an average of 40%1 in addition to eliminating the odour released when compared to conventional bitumen. Developed in our R&D centre in Bangalore, it consists of an innovative technology that acts directly with the chemical compounds affecting air quality, as well as odour-releasing molecules. This chemical reaction takes place in situ at a molecular level, helping to cut specific gases and particulates, or minimise their release into the air to reduce the impact on local air quality.

Shell Bitumen is the first major supplier of bitumen to develop a solution designed to reduce the impact of road paving on local air quality.

Switching to Shell Bitumen FreshAir® is estimated to have a similar impact as…

  • 16 trees

    ...planting 16 trees

    On particulate matter (PM10), it’s the equivalent of planting an average of 16 trees per kilometre of asphalt laid per year2

  • 40 cars

    ...removing 40 cars

    On NO2 levels, it’s the equivalent of removing an average of 40 cars per kilometre of asphalt laid per year2

Shell Bitumen FreshAir® has been tested with road constructors and air quality experts during externally monitored field trials in cities in France, the Netherlands, Singapore, Thailand, China and the United Kingdom. With its ready-to-use solution, it can be easily used with existing asphalt mixing and laying processes.

1 Tests showed that using Shell Bitumen FreshAir reduced the levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOC) and particulate matter (PM) by an average of 40% during asphalt production and road paving when compared to conventional bitumen

2 As compared with conventional bitumen. For full details, refer to Shell Bitumen FreshAir Technical Knowledge Guide

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