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posted by janrinok on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:30AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Frying-Tonight dept.

AnonTechie writes:

"Haifang Wen is professor in civil and environmental engineering at Washington State University where he uses his education to research new ways of making asphalt better and cheaper.

'The asphalt used in roads has traditionally been made from aggregate small particles of rock and products made from crude oil. When crude oil is refined, it produces a variety of products including light fuels like gasoline, heavier plastics and also dense asphalt. But the price of asphalt made from crude oil is pretty high, about $700 to $800 per ton', Wen said. 'That really adds up. One lane of a highway, paved for one mile, costs about $1 million. Now you know where your taxes go !'

One alternative to traditional asphalt that Wen and the people in his lab are looking into is bioasphalt. Instead of using petroleum, waste cooking oil is processed into asphalt.

http://news.wsu.edu/2014/02/18/rock-doc-designing- better-asphalt-at-wsu/"

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by NewMexicoArt on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:59AM

    by NewMexicoArt (1369) on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:59AM (#8959)

    in some areas used cooking oil is not free anymore, due to the demand for use as diesel fuel etc. i would be cautious about any business venture based solely on free cooking oil

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by SMI on Saturday March 01 2014, @07:00AM

      by SMI (333) on Saturday March 01 2014, @07:00AM (#9000)

      I'd be cautious about any business venture based solely on free anything, too, but I do think that someone ought to point out that before there was demand, restaurants had to pay to have that used cooking oil hauled away.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Covalent on Saturday March 01 2014, @04:06AM

    by Covalent (43) on Saturday March 01 2014, @04:06AM (#8960) Journal

    ...has highlighted a major problem with biodiesel - it has a much higher cloud point than petroleum diesel. This property of biodiesel to solidify at higher temperatures works against its use as a fuel in cold weather climates. But that same property might work in its favor as an asphalt substitute.

    As someone dealing with terrible road conditions, anything that helps improve road conditions at a lower cost is great with me.

    --
    You can't rationally argue somebody out of a position they didn't rationally get into.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Fluffeh on Saturday March 01 2014, @04:51AM

    by Fluffeh (954) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 01 2014, @04:51AM (#8966) Journal

    I find it interesting how they talk very openly about the current cost of asphalt, but no-where in the article does it mention how much this will cost - not even a ballpark saving of "about 10%" or "around half" etc. Seems it would have made a great addition to hyping your discovery when it came to this sort of release.

    • (Score: 1) by klondike0 on Saturday March 01 2014, @07:00PM

      by klondike0 (1511) on Saturday March 01 2014, @07:00PM (#9190)

      Yep, hype opportunity missed. It seems a little premature to say where the cost of the feedstock end up at for the quantities required, but the article states there could be temperature reduction in making asphalt from 300 F to 220 F, which I take to mean an energy savings of 25 - 40% at the construction site.

      If there's that kind of tangible economic benefit for the construction company, it might actually make to the real world depending on what happens in the crop oil market over the next 10 years.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by rytier on Saturday March 01 2014, @06:26AM

    by rytier (3480) on Saturday March 01 2014, @06:26AM (#8988)

    concrete road :) from what I read in Wikipedia, there is little reason not to use this technology more.
    source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_surface#Concrete [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Noldir on Saturday March 01 2014, @12:33PM

      by Noldir (1216) on Saturday March 01 2014, @12:33PM (#9078)

      I dunno, I regularly cross the border into Belgium and the concrete roads they have there are very noisy and make the whole car vibrate.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Boxzy on Saturday March 01 2014, @01:24PM

    by Boxzy (742) on Saturday March 01 2014, @01:24PM (#9093) Journal

    It will be. Planning anything else for it is a waste of time.

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