Chemically stabilized rubber bitumen

Paving the 21st century

MOL Plc is set to produce and sell rubber modified bitumen (or ‘rubber bitumen’) products under the aegis of a circular economic business model. Within the framework of the Economic Development Operative Program (GOP 2010) MOL Plc. entered and won a bid of the value of 128 Million HUF in support of:

  • Building a 5000 ton/year capacity pilot factory at the Zala Refinery
  • Performing related Research and Development tasks
  • Collecting road building/practical experience/information
  • Marketing activities/conducting a product launch campaign

As a result, scrap truck and passenger tires are recycled into a raw material, and in parallel a new product is manufactured with better performance compared to conventional grade bitumen.

Recipient: MOL Plc. 18. Október Huszonharmadika str. Budapest 1117

Recipient: MOL Plc. 18. Október Huszonharmadika str. Budapest 1117


Contributor Organisation: MAG Hungarian Economic Development Centre Plc. 1139., Center Point 2. building downstairs 83 Váci str., Budapest 1139

WHAT IS RUBBER BITUMEN?

Rubber bitumen is a binder material used for asphalt mixture production and road construction. It is produced from bitumen and crumb rubber. Rubber crumbs are drawn from waste scrap tires. According to the related ASTM-D 6114 standard, the minimum rubber content of the product should be 15%. Hence, waste tires can be utilized without any further processing.

BENEFITS OF RUBBER BITUMEN

  • Longer lifespan
  • Lower life-cycle cost (lower maintenance/repair costs)
  • Better durability due to better weather and traffic resistance at low and high temperatures:
    • less deformation at high temperature (summer)
    • better cracking resistance at low temperature (winter)
  • Better fatigue characteristics
  • Better adhesion to aggregates also improves pavement durability
  • Noise reduction effect
  • Improved safety due to better skid resistance
  • Due to its longer lifespan and less maintenance needed when using rubber bitumen, lower CO2 emissions are produced during asphalt production and road construction.

EXPERIENCE WITH ROAD SECTIONS

Proven experience and road construction projects.

In several states of the USA (like Arizona, Texas, California, South Carolina, Florida, Colorado, Wyoming, Minnesota, Washington, etc.) the usage of rubber bitumen (or asphalt rubber as it is named in the USA) in road construction has a history of decades. The quality of the roads constructed from rubber bitumen in this period clearly confirmed its suitability and superior performance as a road construction base material.

In the USA the production is primarily undertaken by road constructors on the asphalt mixture production site. The reason for such practice is normally, the rubber bitumen binder is mixed with aggregates within a few hours after its production, because it is highly likely to separate. In order to solve this issue MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company, together with The University of Pannonia, developed a new, patented production method (WO/2007/068990, HU 226481), which is termed an “improved wet process” capable of producing Chemically Stabilized Rubber bitumen (CSRB) in refinery bitumen modifier units. Through using suitable technological methods the unfavourably high viscosity of classic rubber bitumen can be reduced to the level of commonly produced polymer modified bitumen binders. At the same time the separation of undissolved rubber crumb particles and inorganic materials derived from rubber crumbs is minimized, so the transportation of CSRB is not an issue anymore.

Asphalt mechanical tests and road construction projects have proved that the performance of CSRB is comparable to high quality polymer modified bitumen, or even better. CSRB have been used with success for base, binding and wearing asphalt course laying, as well. Excellent adhesion to aggregates, increased fatigue resistance and low temperature performance have to be strangely emphasized. CSRB performs the quality requirements of the MSZ 930 - Bitumen and bituminous binders; Rubber modified bitumen requirements standard.

CSRB is more than a high quality road construction material. It is a unique eco-friendly waste utilization method and, at the same time, an excellent solution for achieving long-life pavement.

AWARDS

MOL rubber modified bitumen won the following awards:

  • Environmental Innovation Award 2014 of Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture
  • To prove its eco-friendly nature MOL rubber modified bitumen gained ECO-label in November, 2014 from Hungarian ECO-labelling Organisation
  • House of the Hungarian Quality Award 2013 for MOL rubber modified bitumen process from Hungarian Society for Quality, 2013