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Peab Asfalt takes another step with lignin climate-improved asphalt in Forshaga

In Sweden, Peab Asfalt, a business area within the Nordic construction major Peab Group has announced that in collaboration with Forshaga municipality, it is paving another test section with lignin. Lignin is the wood's natural binder and when it partially replaces the oil-based bitumen, both environmental and technical benefits are achieved.

Peab Asfalt, a business area within the Nordic construction major Peab Group has announced that in collaboration with Forshaga municipality, it is paving another test section with lignin. Lignin is the wood’s natural binder and when it partially replaces the oil-based bitumen, both environmental and technical benefits are achieved (photo courtesy Peab Asfalt).

Lignin is the substance that holds the fibers together in wood. In addition to the environmental benefits of lignin, Peab Asfalt also expects a positive climate effect from biomass being bound into the asphalt.

Last year we performed our first test surfaces with lignin and this year the work has been intensified. We have now performed tests and test surfaces in a number of municipalities as well as a test section together with the Swedish Transport Administration. Our coatings with lignin have so far shown good results. It feels very exciting and important to have this cross-industry collaboration and to work closely with our customers to develop a climate-improved and more durable asphalt pavement. Cooperation is a prerequisite for driving these issues forward. We are happy to be able to lay this test stretch together with Forshaga municipality and Stora Enso, said Lars Jansson, laboratory manager, Peab Asfalt.

The section has been laid with ECO-Asfalt, in which the binder is partially replaced by lignin supplied by forest industry major Stora Enso.

At Stora Enso, we continuously develop new products from our renewable raw materials. Thus, we can offer solutions that help companies achieve their climate goals. In asphalt, Lineo, our lignin, replaces fossil-based bitumen, which reduces the carbon footprint, said Heikki Lotti, Business Development Senior Specialist Lignin, Biomaterials division, Stora Enso.

For two years now, ECO-Asfalt has been used in Forshaga municipality.

Forshaga municipality has a positive view on developments with a new domestic binder, which means less need for oil in the future. It feels exciting that Forshaga is the first in County Värmland with this type of coating. We will follow up on this street with great curiosity in the future to possibly carry out more projects with lignin, said Morgan Häggbom, Technical Manager in Forshaga municipality.

In the manufacture of asphalt, renewable fuel (bio-oil) is used for drying and heating up the stone material (ballast). As it is the most energy-intensive part of the process, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are radically reduced compared to using fossil fuels.

We see this as a very exciting development, where we can use raw materials from the forest to reduce our CO2 emissions and at the same time make ourselves less dependent on imports. If we can drive the development towards more binder for our paved roads being picked up from Nordic forests, it is very positive. We see environmental benefits, job creation, and more sustainable coatings ahead of us as we now develop the technology of adding lignin to our ECO-Asfalt, said Johan Bolander, Production Manager, Peab Asfalt.

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