An eco-efficiency analysis demonstrating the ecological and economical benefits of micro surfacing techniques to protect engineered road pavements and extend their service life has been verified by NSF International, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The eco-efficiency analysis was conducted by BASF and Vance Brothers, a Kansas City, Missouri, asphalt manufacturer, in accordance with BASF's eco-efficiency analysis methodology, which has been third-party validated by TÜV Rheinland, an independent company that certifies the safety and quality of new and existing products, systems and services and NSF International.
'The eco-efficiency analysis compares micro surfacing to mill and fill (hot mix asphalt) technology to better understand the environmental burden and life cycle costs associated with asphalt pavement preservation techniques,' said James Andrews, Marketing Manager, Construction/Asphalt, for BASF in North America.
BASF has been an advocate of pavement preservation techniques such as micro surfacing - which use water-based asphalt emulsion modified with BUTONAL styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) polymers - to help protect road surfaces, promote better driving conditions, and minimize surface deterioration and the potential for structural failure.
'BASF's eco-efficiency analysis evaluates the environmental impact of the production, use, and disposal of a product or process in the areas of energy and resource consumption, emissions, toxicity and risk potential, and land use,' said Bruce Uhlman, Senior Sustainability Specialist for BASF's Environment, Health and Safety Product Regulatory/Stewardship team in North America. 'It also evaluates the life cycle costs associated with the product or process by calculating the costs related to, at a minimum, materials, labor, manufacturing, waste disposal, and energy.'
The customer benefit applied to all alternatives for the base case analysis is the preventive maintenance of a one-mile stretch of a 12-foot lane of an urban road to a similar profile and performance using best engineering practices over a 40 year period.
The results of the eco-efficiency analysis show that micro surfacing demonstrates clear ecological advantages in all six major impact areas, and has the lowest life cycle cost when compared to mill and fill (HMA). This combination makes the micro-surfacing alternative the most eco-efficient.
'Micro surfacing achieved these advantages because of its ability to maintain desired road characteristics and performance through the use of a significantly reduced amount of materials,' stated Andrews. 'By doing preventive maintenance early in the pavement's life-cycle, a DOT can cost-effectively extend the life of the road and reduce the overall environmental impact associated with the maintenance of the road.'
BASF's eco-efficiency analysis is an award-winning and strategic tool, based on the ISO 14040 standard for lifecycle analysis, which quantifies the sustainability of products or processes. It is a comprehensive comparison of two or more products analyzed from the end use perspective.
BASF's eco-efficiency analysis tool was developed jointly with an external consultant in 1996. So far, more than 400 eco-efficiency studies have been completed globally for customers, suppliers and regulatory agencies.
'Eco-efficiency analysis is a comprehensive and quantitative tool that effectively takes a large amount of environmental and cost data and presents it in a way that supports strategic decision making and facilitates clear communication of complex information,' said Uhlman. 'This analysis enables us to quantify how micro-surfacing can be a key enabler for promoting the sustainability of our roads.'
Information regarding pavement preservation techniques utilizing BUTONAL SBR polymers is available at www.basf.com/asphalt. Information regarding eco-efficiency analysis is available at www.basf.com/group/corporate/en/sustainability/eco-efficiency-analysis/index.
BASF - The Chemical Company.
BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has approximately 16,000 employees in North America, and had sales of US$13 billion in 2009. For more information about BASF's North American operations, or to sign up to receive news releases by e-mail, visit www.basf.us.
BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics and performance products to agricultural products, fine chemicals and oil and gas. As a reliable partner, BASF creates chemistry to help its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges, such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of more than €50 billion in 2009 and had approximately 105,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.