Budimex and Lotos Asfalt are developing fragrant bitumen

News date: August 23, 2021
Budimex and Lotos Asfalt are developing fragrant bitumen

Although volatile compounds released from typical hot bitumen used in the production of bituminous mixtures are not harmful to humans, they are characterised by a specific smell. This is why Budimex and LOTOS Asfalt have produced a mixture that smells of... flowers.


Work comfort and safety are important elements, which, if ensured, increase the effectiveness and involvement of employees. For different people, work comfort means something else. For employees who work with asphalt, the smell is one of the most important aspects of working with a hot bituminous mixture.


Road bitumen 35/50 with reduced odour intensity was created based on technology developed by LOTOS Asfalt during the implementation of industrial bitumen PS 95/35 S.


Cezary Godziuk, managing director of LOTOS Asfalt, says: – "Our company is particularly concerned about the environment and the comfort of employees and has been successfully implementing the policy of sustainable development for many years through the production, implementation and promotion of innovative ecological products for road construction. We approached the evaluation of the new product based on our experience with PS 95/35 S bitumen. The additive used in the reduced-odour bitumen is a mixture of natural and synthetic essential oils and has a pleasant floral aroma."


The compounds in the additive work in two ways. Most of the active compounds act as odour neutralisers, reacting with odour-forming substances present in the bitumen vapour and, as a result, reducing its volatility (spreading). The remaining compounds produce a characteristic odour that is different from that of typical petroleum bitumen. When an appropriate proportion of active agents is used, the concentration of odorous compounds in the vapour of bitumen used at technological temperatures in road construction is reduced.


During the pre-implementation delivery, comparative tests on bitumens and full testing of the product with reduced odour intensity (type tests) were carried out. The results confirmed compliance with the PN-EN 12591 standard and no significant differences in product characteristics were observed.


What were the sensations of the workers during the production and placing of modified asphalt with this bitumen? Deputy site manager Sławomir Szpak from Budimex S.A. says: "Working with a mixture containing bitumen with reduced odour intensity was different, i.e. it was clear that there was no characteristic smell of traditional bitumen. In some places, there was the smell of flowers, which made the work more pleasant."


"This is a promising product that also fits into the green and ecological trend in construction. Currently, laboratory tests and analyses of the bituminous mixture that contained this special bitumen are being carried out," says Łukasz Bargenda, director of the Budimex laboratories.


"Environmentally beneficial investment activities and sustainable development are at the core of Budimex's activities. We implement and encourage the use of low-emission technologies and those that minimise the generation of waste in the construction process. We care for the natural environment and the improvement of working conditions of our employees, and the project we are implementing together with LOTOS is an example of such action." – summed up Ewelina Karp-Kręglicka, director of the Purchasing, Quality and Environmental Protection Office at Budimex.


"The first tests of the odourless bituminous mixture turned out to be promising. Budimex is considering introducing such a solution on a wider scale. We intend to enrich our range of bituminous mixtures with this product." – Ewelina Karp-Kręglicka adds.