Today’s Solutions: June 13, 2024

Standard asphalt is composed mostly of bitumen, a byproduct of crude oil distillation. Like concrete, its production is resource-, carbon- and energy-intensive. It is also a poor choice to pave roads, since it easily cracks and degrades into potholes, requiring frequent and expensive maintenance. Various research teams around the world are on the quest for non-petroleum-based, more sustainable asphalt alternatives. Cooking oil, lignin – a natural substance found in plants and trees – soybean, canola oil, even coffee grounds are being explored. So far, however, microalgae is emerging as the most promising option to develop sustainable bioasphalt.

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