Aggregates producers will be keeping an eye on a new technology that eliminates the need for virgin aggregates.
Brooks Construction Co. Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind., held a grand opening to celebrate its new state-of-the-art facility, and to introduce its HyRAP 100-percent recycled asphalt paving material. Developed in conjunction with Crowley Chemical Co., HyRAP is the first material of its kind in the country, according to the company. State and local officials were on hand, and attendees had the opportunity to tour the facility, watch a live paving demonstration utilizing the HyRAP machinery and learn how the new product is manufactured.
"We are excited to have the opportunity to share the news about HyRAP and the important role this environmentally friendly material will have in the future development of our region and across the nation," said John Brooks, co-owner. "This is a perfect example of the fact that even after 100 years of successful business operations, Brooks Construction continues to pursue innovation that leads the industry."
The National Asphalt Pavement Association estimates that there is more than $18 billion worth of asphalt infrastructure on roadways in the United States today. "There is no need for taxpayers to bear the continually rising cost of road construction when these assets are in place to recycle and reuse and have already been paid for once. We can begin mining our own roads," said Brooks.
Additional benefits include:
- HyRAP can be produced without any additional mining of aggregates and without the usage of virgin aggregate, thereby, reducing petroleum consumption and reliance on foreign oil.
- Future HyRAP facilities can be located in close proximity to jobsites because there is no need to be near virgin aggregate material sources or quarries. This significantly reduces the costs as well as the emissions associated with trucking in our industry.
- The materials in reclaimed asphalt pavement are not affected by time and reuse. The properties of the original virgin materials still exist in their entirety and can be reused indefinitely. As the costs of virgin materials continue to rise over time, there is no reason not to fully recycle existing materials.
Brooks also stressed the uniqueness of the new Brooks Construction facility and that the new venture was funded entirely by private dollars, without grants or government funding. "This plant is the first of its kind in the United States and the only one with proven capabilities to produce consistent quality at high rates of recycle usage, using up to and including 100 percent recycled materials," he said.
During HyRAP production, a rejuvenating agent restores resident asphalt bitumen back to performance grade material, often exceeding the original value and specifications. Advanced quality control methods and new technological applications allow HyRAP to meet or exceed current hot mix asphalt performance standards. The plant is expected to produce asphalt at the same rates as traditional facilities.
Preliminary tests show that emissions of this facility are at or below current plant standards in Indiana and are far below the plant that existed on this property prior to Brooks Construction's investment. Projected plant energy consumption is either neutral or negative when taking into account the energy consumed from the quarry to the highway or parking lot using more traditional hot mix methodologies, according to the company.
Brooks noted that recycling is nothing new to Brooks Construction. "We were the first and only local company to take advantage of landfill waste gases to help drive our Fort Wayne asphalt plant," he stated. He also said that Brooks endeavors to use as much recycled concrete as possible for aggregate base on paving projects.
The use of this product has allowed the company to pass the cost savings on to customers while reducing landfill usage. The company has also integrated the use of steel slag into asphalt, a by-product of the steel mills that when combined with traditional RAP and a small percentage of virgin binder, produces a very high quality and great looking surface.
Processed shingles, rubber and glass have been utilized to reduce the consumption of finite virgin natural resources as well as reduce reliance on foreign oil. Finally, warm and cold asphalt mixes are also used, which significantly lowers energy consumption as well as plant emissions, making the company a better environmental steward.