American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
Federal Highway Administration
National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)
About the research
This project summarized findings from a National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) study to develop and demonstrate the application of bio-renewable polymers for use in asphalt pavements by utilizing soybean oil through chemical synthesis. Triglyceride molecules from vegetable oils have been considered as important renewable resources, which can be used as biomonomers and be polymerized into biopolymers with properties similar to petroleum-derived monomers and polymers. In this research, non-food soybean oil was selected as a starting point to produce biopolymers. The modification effects and the effectiveness of the biopolymers were evaluated through a comprehensive asphalt binder investigation to optimize formulation of the biopolymers. Meanwhile, evaluation of the actual field performance of the biopolymer modified asphalt mixture is ongoing via the construction at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) Test Track section.
Visit the Transportation Research Board’s project website