2 November 2018

Researchers from Roskilde University develop climate-friendly asphalt

The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), as part of its outreach efforts about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, highlights two research projects in line with Goal 13: Climate action, headed by Professor Jeppe Dyre from Roskilde University, a UNAI member institution located in Denmark. This story is based on an article published by RUC Communications & Press.

2 November 2018 - Roskilde University (Denmark), a member institution of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), is an active component of two international consortiums that developed an equal number of innovative projects. Both were headed by physics Professor Jeppe Dyre, from the Department of Science and Environment of this institution of higher education.

The result of such projects is a climate-friendly asphalt that reduces rolling resistance between tyres and asphalt, and it is expected to reduce road noise and motorist fuel consumption, thus lowering CO2 emissions. Should the expected effects and durability of the asphalt be confirmed, the Danish government will introduce from 2020 climate-friendly asphalt across the entire national road network ready for new surface. 

“The specially-mixed asphalt will be very beneficial for citizens and companies, who can expect to save a combined DKK (Danish Krone) 40 million in fuel for each DKK million invested in the new surface. At the same time, the traffic noise will be reduced and significant climate benefits will be reaped by lowering road traffic CO2 emissions", indicated Ole Birk Olesen, Minister of Transport, Building and Housing, in a press release.

"By switching to climate-friendly asphalt, it seems that we will be able to generate a strong effect with a relatively small investment”, the minister added. The Danish Road Directorate is currently testing the climate-friendly asphalt on a total of 50 km of roads in different parts of the country in order to investigate its durability, wear resistance and driving properties. So far, the results of the experiment are promising.

The climate-friendly asphalt has been developed during two research projects, COOEE (2011-2015), which received funding of DKK 13.8 million from The Danish Council for Strategic Research), and ROSE (2016-2018), which received funding of DKK 10 million from Innovation Fund Denmark. Professor Dyre has been responsible for the basic research part of the projects. "On behalf of the entire consortium, I am happy and proud of the decision to introduce our climate-friendly asphalt on all national roads starting in 2020. It is surprisingly difficult to measure reliably the rolling resistance of the roads. Therefore, the work with the testing of mathematical models for rolling resistance will continue in a specially-built laboratory at Roskilde University. The laboratory is the only one in the world designed for this purpose”, said the expert.