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Miscellaneous - Bitumen EngineeringThe objective of presenting a subchapter separately from the complete bitumen and asphalt technical library is just to increase transparency, and help your orientation in the list of articles.
This is the structure of the bitumen and asphalt library, so either use the links to switch between the chapters, or visit the complete technical library.

1Raw materials for bitumen / asphalt production

2Production, equipment and technology

3Modified bituminous materials and their performance

4Specifications, standards, testing and quality control



Articles of `Miscellaneous` chapter are presented here in alphabetical order (please note that the content continuously grows):

Asphalt rubber demand in California, USA.
Asphalt rubber demand in Portugal.
Feedstock energy of bitumen - Approach of life cycle analysis of bitumen / asphalt pavement primarily from energy aspects.
Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991

Last Updated on Sunday, 21 October 2012 16:48

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Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991

Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 - Bitumen EngineeringMessage by Transportation Secretary Skinner
Summary of The Intermodal Surface Transportation
Efficiency Act of 1991

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, signed into law by President Bush in December 1991, establishes a new vision for surface transportation in America.  It represents a victory for the Nation, its citizens, and our economic vitality.  The Bill embodies one of the President's top domestic agenda items: the renewal of our surface transportation programs to address the changing needs for America's will create jobs reduce congestion, and rebuild our infrastructure. it will help maintain mobility. it will help State and local governments address environmental issues. Finally, it will ensure America's ability to compete in the global marketplace of the 21st Century.

Overall, this landmark Bill embodies the President's vision and direction as stated in his National Transportation Policy.  It maintains and expands the Nation's Transportation system; fosters a sound financial base for transportation; keeps the industry strong and competitive; promotes safety; protects the environment and improves the quality of life; and advances U.S. technology and expertise.

To all our partners in the transportation community, who worked so hard and long for this Bill, best wishes for every success as you take this Bill and create our transportation system of the 21st Century.

Samuel K. Skinner
Secretary of Transportation

Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991

On December 18, 1991, the President signed the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 providing authorizations for highways, highway safety, and mass transportation for the next 6 years.  Total funding of about $155 billion will be available in fiscal years (FY) 1992-1997. (See authorization table on pages 38-41 for a summary of funding by program.)

The purpose of the Act is clearly enunciated in its statement of policy:

"to develop a National Intermodal Transportation System that is economically efficient, environmentally sound, provides the foundation for the Nation to compete in the global economy and will move people and goods in an energy efficient manner"

The provisions of the Act reflect these important policy goals.  Some of the major features include:

•    A National Highway System (NHS), consisting primarily of existing Interstate routes and a portion of the Primary System, is established to focus Federal resources on roads that are the most important to interstate travel and national defense, roads that connect with other modes of      transportation, and are essential for international commerce.

•    State and local governments are given more flexibility in determining transportation solutions, whether transit or highways, and the tools of enhanced planning and management systems to guide them in making the best choices.

•    New technologies, such as intelligent vehicle highway systems and prototype magnetic levitation systems, are funded to push the Nation forward into thinking of new approaches in providing 21st Century transportation.

•    The private sector is tapped as a source for funding transportation improvements.  Restrictions on the use of Federal funds for toll roads have been relaxed and private entities may even own such facilities.

•    The Act continues discretionary and formula funds for mass transit.

•    Highway funds are available for activities that enhance the environment, such as wetland banking, mitigation of damage to wildlife habitat, historic sites, activities that contribute to meeting air quality standards, a wide range of bicycle and pedestrian projects, and highway beautification.

•    Highway safety is further enhanced by a new program to encourage the use of safety belts and motorcycle helmets.

•    State uniformity in vehicle registration and fuel tax reporting is required.  This will ease the recordkeeping and reporting burden on businesses and contribute substantially to increased productivity of the truck and bus industry.

The bill's comprehensive coverage is reflected in its eight titles:

Title: Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991
TITLE I - Surface Transportation (related to highways)
TITLE II - Highway Safety
TITLE III - Federal Transit Act Amendments of 1991
TITLE IV - Motor Carrier Act of 1991
TITLE V - Intermodal Transportation
TITLE VI - Research
TITLE VII - Air Transportation
TITLE VIII - Extension of Highway-Related Taxes and Highway Trust Fund.

TITLE I - Surface Transportation

This title covers matters relating mainly to highways, generally administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  Authorizations of $121 billion are provided in this title through programs that have been dramatically restructured from previous highway law.  Some of the program funds are distributed through procedures that are significantly different from the formulas of the past.  Layered on these differences are revised program eligibilities and requirements.


The Federal-Aid Highway Program, for the past 20 years, had been directed primarily toward the construction and improvement of four Federal-aid systems - Interstate, Primary, Secondary and Urban which constituted about 851,000 miles of the 3.9 million miles of roads in the United States.  Now, instead of four Federal-aid systems, there are two systems:

•    the National Highway System, and
•    the Interstate System, which is a component of the NHS.

Plus, a new block grant type program, the Surface Transportation Program, will be available for all roads not functionally classified as local or rural minor collector.  Thus, the Federal-aid program will encompass about 920,000 miles and will be based on a new framework.

National Highway System

The National Highway System will consist of 155,000 miles (plus or minus 15 percent) of major roads in the United States. Included will be all Interstate routes, a large percentage of urban and rural principal arterials, the defense strategic highway network, and strategic highway connectors.  The system, which will be proposed by the Secretary of Transportation, after consultation with the States, must be designated by law by September 30, 1995.  In the interim, the NHS will consist of highways classified as principal arterials.

The NHS funding level is $21 billion for the 6 years.  The formula for distribution is the same as for the Surface Transportation Program (STP) program (see discussion below).  A State may choose to transfer 50 percent of the NHS funds to the new STP program; if the Secretary approves, 100 percent may be transferred.


Although a part of the NHS, the Interstate System will retain its separate identity and will receive separate funding.  Provided is:

Complete funding of Interstate Construction ($7.2 billion).

Interstate Substitute highway projects ($960 million) (Interstate Substitute transit projects are funded at $325 million in Title 111).

An Interstate Maintenance program, at a total of $17 billion, finances projects to rehabilitate, restore, and resurface the Interstate System.  Reconstruction is also eligible if it does not add capacity.  However, high- occupancy-vehicle - HOV - and auxiliary lanes can be added.

The formulas for the three Interstate programs are basically the same as in previous law.  Interstate Construction and Interstate Substitute are based on an estimate of cost to complete. The factors used for Interstate Maintenance, like the previous Interstate Resurfacing, Restoration, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction, (4R) program, are lane miles and vehicle miles travelled.

Surface Transportation Program

The Surface Transportation Program (STP) is a new block grant type program that may be used by the States and localities for any roads (including NHS) that are not functionally classified as local or rural minor collectors.  These roads are now collectively referred to as Federal-aid roads.  Bridge projects paid for with STP funds are not restricted to Federal-aid roads but may be on any public road.  Transit capital projects are also eligible under this program.

The total funding for the STP over the 6 years is $23.9 billion.  However, this level may be augmented by the transfer of funds from other programs and by the equity funds (Donor State Bonus, Reimbursement, Hold Harmless, and 90 Percent of Payments) which may be used as if they were STP funds.  In addition, Minimum Allocation funds may be used for STP projects, as well as for projects under certain other categories.

The formula for distribution of funds is based on each State's FY 1987-1991 share of total national funding with appropriate adjustment for Interstate Maintenance and Bridge apportionments.

Once the funds are distributed to the States, each State must set aside 10 percent for safety construction activities, i.e., hazard elimination and rail-highway crossings, and 10 percent for
transportation enhancements, which encompass a broad range of environmental-related activities. The State must divide 50 percent (62.5 percent of remaining 80 percent) of the funds by population between each of its areas over 200,000 and the remaining areas of the State.  The remaining 30 percent (37.5 percent of remaining 80 percent) can be used in any area of the State.  Areas of 5,000 population or less are guaranteed an amount based on previous Secondary funding.

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program

The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program directs funds toward transportation projects in Clean Air Act non-attainment areas for ozone and carbon monoxide.  These projects will contribute to meeting the attainment of national ambient area
air quality standards.  If a State has none of these non-attainment areas, the funds may be used as if they were STP funds.

Total funding for the program is $6 billion.  The funds are distributed based on each State's share of the population of air quality non-attainment areas weighted by degree of air pollution. A 1/2 percent minimum apportionment is guaranteed to each State.

Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program

The Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program is continued at a total authorization level of $16.1 billion to provide assistance for any bridge on a public road.  The program is basically unchanged from previous years in its formula and requirements.  However, newly eligible are bridge painting, seismic retrofitting, and calcium magnesium applications.  A bridge discretionary program is continued, with a new timber bridge component, with $400 million in funding.  Forty percent of a State's bridge funds may be transferred to the NHS or the STP; the transferred amounts are not subject to the STP set-asides and sub-State distribution requirements.

Federal Lands

The Federal Lands Program authorizations, previously available through four categories, are now provided through three categories

•    Indian Reservation Roads,
•    Parkways and Park Roads, and
•    Public Lands Highways, which incorporates the previous Forest
•    Highway category.

Total funding for Federal Lands is $2.6 billion.  The funds are allocated on the basis of relative needs.  The Forest Highway portion of Public Lands Highways and the Indian Reservation Roads authorizations are allocated by administrative formula.

Special Programs

Special Projects - There are 539 Congressionally-designated highway projects in 6 broad groups:

•    High Cost Bridge;
•    Congestion Relief;
•    High Priority Corridors on NHS;
•    Rural and Urban Access;
•    Priority Intermodal; and
•    Innovative Projects.

There are other special projects and provisions throughout the Act that receive separate funding, some with contract authority from the Highway Trust Fund and some requiring annual appropriations.

•    National High-Speed Ground Transportation Programs – A magnetic levitation (Maglev) prototype development program is authorized at a sum of $725 million ($500 million from theTrust Fund and $225 million from the general fund).  These funds will be directed toward the development of one prototype project, selected from applicants across the Nation.

A separately funded ($25 million from the Highway Trust Fundand $25 million from the general fund) high- speed ground transportation demonstration program will fund selected projects that demonstrate new technologies related to any high-speed ground transportation projects, rail or maglev, already under construction or in operation.

•    Scenic Byways Program - Grant funds totaling $50 million are authorized for the planning, design, and development of State scenic byway programs.  In addition, an interim Scenic Byways grant program is funded at $30 million to allow States to undertake scenic byways projects.  Scenic byways, additionally, may be funded through the 10 percent set-aside of STP funds for enhancement activities.

•    Use of Safety Belts and Motorcycle Helmets - The Act permits the Secretary to provide grants to States that enact motorcycle helmet and safety belt use laws.  To carry out this program an authorization of $17 million is provided in the first year. Thereafter, the program will be funded by set-asides from Section 402 funds totalling $48 million.  States that do not enact these laws by FY 1994 will have penalties applied to their STP, NHS, and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds.  The penalty amounts must be transferred and used for the State's 402 Safety program.

•    National Recreational Trails Funding Program – Recreational trails for non-motorized and motorized uses will be funded from the Highway Trust Fund (see Title VIII discussion). Funds will be allocated to the States based in part on the amount of non-highway recreational fuel use and may be used for a variety of activities to construct and maintain recreational trails.  The program will be administered by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in consultation with the Department of the Interior.

Equity Adjustment Categories

Equity adjustment categories are the funds that were legislated to achieve equity in funding levels among the States. They cannot be considered programs because they are not directed toward a particular group of roads or activities.  However, they do represent amounts of funds that will be distributed to the States. Following is a brief description of each category's formula and eligible uses.

90 Percent Minimum Allocation - Each State is guaranteed an amount to ensure that a State's percentage of its total apportionments and prior year allocations for the base programs (Interstate Construction, Interstate Maintenance, Interstate Substitute, NHS, STP, Bridge, Scenic Byways, and Safety Belt and Motorcycle Helmet grants) equal 90 percent (compared to 85 percent in previous law) of the percentage of its estimated contributions to the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund.  One half of the amount distributed to each State is subject to the sub-State distribution rules of the STP.

Minimum Allocation funds may be used for the following: Interstate, Interstate Substitute, Bridge, NHS, STP, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality, Hazard Elimination, and Rail Highway Crossing projects.

Donor State Bonus - Donor States (those that contribute more to the Highway Trust Fund than they receive back in Federal-aid highway programs) receive a predetermined amount ($3 billion dollars over the 6 years) based on a comparison of a projection of all payments into the Highway Trust Fund and the amount received in Federal-aid apportionments.  Starting with the State with the lowest return, States are brought up to the level of return for States with the next higher level of return until available funds are depleted.

These bonus amounts effectively are treated as STP funds, except that the amounts are available until expended and one- half of the amount is subject to the sub-State distribution
rules of the STP.

Reimbursement - This category reflects each State's share of the cost of routes incorporated into the Interstate System in 1956.  For each of FYs 1996 and 1997, $2 billion is authorized.  A 1/2 percent minimum apportionment is guaranteed to each State.

These funds are transferred to the STP; however, one-half of the amount will not be subject to the set-asides and sub-State distribution requirements of the STP.

Hold Harmless - The Act establishes a legislative percentage each State must receive of the Nation's funding annually.  The funding programs included in this adjustment process, which
includes apportionments and prior year allocations, are:
Interstate Construction, Interstate Maintenance, NHS, STP,Congestion and Air Quality, Interstate Substitution, Bridge, Minimum Allocation, Federal Lands, Reimbursement, and Donor State Bonus.

Additions are made to the STP apportionment so that each State's total will achieve the legislative percentage.  One-half of Hold Harmless funds received is subject to the set-asides and sub-State distribution requirements of the STP. The 90 percent guarantee and priority projects are not included in this hold harmless adjustment.

90 Percent of Payments Guarantee - This category guarantees all States 90 cents in return for every dollar they are estimated to have contributed to the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account) for each year of the Act.  The computation is based on all highway funds in the bill, except for special projects. These also will be used as if they were STP funds; however, one-half of the amount is not subject to the set-asides and sub-State distribution requirements of the STP.

Other important provisions

Eligible Activities

The Act greatly expands the type of projects and activities that are now eligible under the basic programs.  Some of the notable eligibilities are:

Transit capital improvements are eligible for use under the STP program, as noted before.  Previous law only allowed the Federal-aid Urban Program funds to be used for transit capital.  Also, transit projects (and non-NHS highway projects) are eligible for NHS funds, under certain conditions, in the corridor of fully access- controlled NHS routes.

A State may choose to use an unrestricted amount of NHS and STP funds on transportation planning, and research and development.  Transit research and development is also eligible for STP funds.

Participation in wetland mitigation efforts is now an eligible use of NHS and STP funds.

Start up costs for traffic management and control (limited to 2 years on the NHS) are eligible for both NHS and STP funds.

Improvements necessary to accommodate other transportation modes are eligible uses of both NHS and STP funds.

Metropolitan Planning and Project Selection

The metropolitan planning provisions of the Act feature an enhanced role for local governments.  The metropolitan planning organization (MPO) is responsible for developing, in cooperation with the State and affected transit operators, a long-range transportation plan and a transportation improvement program (TIP) for the area.  The TIP must be consistent with this plan and must include all projects in the metropolitan area that are proposed for funding with either Title 23 or Federal Transit Act monies.

The planning process must now include additional considerations such as land use, intermodal connectivity, methods to enhance transit service, and needs identified through the
management systems.

Projects in areas over 200,000 population, which must be designated as Transportation Management Areas (TMA), are to be selected by the MPO in consultation with the State, except that projects on the NHS, Bridge, and Interstate Maintenance projects are selected by the State in cooperation with the MPO.  In other areas, projects are selected by the State in cooperation with the MPO.

Metropolitan planning is funded by 1 percent of the funds authorized for the NHS, STP, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program, Interstate Maintenance Program and Bridge Program.  In addition, metropolitan planning is an eligible activity under the NHS and STP.

Statewide Planning

Newly required under this Act are:
•    a statewide planning process,
•    statewide transportation plan, and
•    a statewide transportation program.

The statewide TIP must include all projects in the State proposed for funding with Title 23 or Federal Transit Act funds, and must be consistent with the longrange plan.  The States' funds that are earmarked for planning and research under 23 U.S.C. 307(c)(1), which amount to 2 percent of the major program funds, are available to carry out the statewide planning requirements, with some conditions.  Statewide planning also is an eligible activity under the NHS and STP.

Management Systems

In addition to carrying out the statewide and metropolitan planning requirements, the State must develop, establish, and implement six management systems:
•    highway pavement,
•    bridge,
•    highway safety,
•    traffic congestion,
•    public transportation facilities and equipment, and
•    intermodal transportation facilities and systems.

The States can finance the management systems with NHS, STP, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality, apportioned Bridge, and Planning funds.

In metropolitan areas, the systems must be developed and implemented in cooperation with MPO'S, and in TMA's the traffic congestion management system must be developed through the transportation planning process.  In TMA's that include non- attainment areas for ozone and carbon monoxide, highway projects which significantly increase capacity for single-occupant vehicles must be part of an approved congestion management system.  Non-implementation of the systems by FY 1996 will result in a 10 percent penalty of apportioned highway funds and transit funds. Additionally, the States shall develop traffic monitoring systems for highways in keeping with DOT guidelines and requirements.

Program Operation

States have more responsibility for standards applying to highways under the new law.  All non-NHS projects must be constructed in accord with standards established under State law.
Standards approved by the Secretary need only apply to NHS new construction, NHS reconstruction and NHS 3R (resurfacing, restoring, and rehabilitating) on multilane limited-access highways.

The States may approve plans, specifications, and estimates (PS&E) on NHS 3R projects if all work meets or exceeds standards. Also, the State can approve PS&E on any NHS project costing less than $1 million and on all non-NHS projects.

Certification acceptance is retained substantially as it existed.  It will apply to all apportioned programs (NHS, STP, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality, and Bridge), except for Interstate projects.  Final inspection of each project is no longer required.

Toll Roads

Tolls are permitted to a much greater degree than in the past on Federal-aid facilities, i.e., roads, bridges and tunnels.  Types of work that may be done are:

1.    Initial construction of toll facilities (except for Interstate),

2.    4R work on toll facilities,
3.    Reconstruction or replacement of free bridges or tunnels and conversion to toll facilities,
4.    Reconstruction of free highways (except Interstate roads) to convert to toll, and
5.    preliminary studies to determine the feasibility of the above work.

The tolls may be continued if used for transportation purposes under Title 23.

For the first time private entities may own the toll facilities.  However, the applicable public authority, regardless of ownership, must ensure that Title 23 requirements are being carried out.  A State may loan the Federal share of a project's cost to another public or a private agency constructing the project.  Repaid funds may be used for any of the purposes under the original category from which the loans were made.

Congestion Pricing

A congestion pricing pilot program that could involve the imposition of tolls will be initiated and will consist of five projects.  Up to three of the projects may be on the Interstate System.  The program will be funded by $25 million of FHWA's administrative funds for each of the FY's 1992-1997.

Outdoor Advertising

States may now use their regularly apportioned highway funds for removal of any lawfully erected nonconforming outdoor advertising sign, display, or device.  Outdoor advertising controls will apply to the Interstate System and roads that were on the Federal-aid Primary System as it existed on June 1, 199 1, and any highway which is not included above but which is on the NHS.

National Maximum Speed Limit Compliance Program

The Act amends the speed limit law to:

1.    Make permanent the law allowing 65 mph speed limit on some non-Interstate highways that are constructed to Interstate standards,
2.    Provide for data collection on roads posted at 65 mph as well as 55 mph, and
3.    Require regulations for a new speed limit monitoring and compliance program that will take into account

different types of roads and the degree to which the speed limit is exceeded.

Transfer of funds as determined through rulemaking will be required if the States fail to enforce the speed limit.  However, an enforcement moratorium is provided for failure to comply, in FYs 1990 and 1991, with the speed limit requirements in effect before the Act's effective date.

Congressional Reports

Contained in this title are 40 special studies and associated Congressional reports.  These reports range from Allocation Formulas for Distributing Federal Highway Funds to Feasibility of Recycling Pavement Material to an International Border Infrastructure study.
Most studies are required to be prepared by FHWA in collaboration with other Federal agencies; some, however, are the responsibility of other agencies (eg.  General Accounting Office). In other titles in the ISTEA, there are an additional 27  congressionally-required studies and associated reports.

TITLE II - Highway Safety

The non-construction highway safety programs, which are covered under this title, are basically unchanged from existing law.  These provisions are generally administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and FHWA.  A total of $1.6 billion is authorized.  The major programs are discussed below.

Motor Vehicle Safety and Cost Savings

The Act provides funding to continue the provisions of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, and the Motor Vehicle information and Cost Savings Act.

The Act includes a number of motor vehicle safety rulemaking requirements and additional directions for rulemaking, including:

•    Rollover protection for occupants of passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, and light trucks.

•    Side impact protection for occupants of multipurpose passenger vehicles.

•    Improved head impact protection (from interior components) for occupants of passenger cars.

•    Air bag crash protection systems for drivers and right front passengers in new passenger cars and new light trucks  (including light buses) and multipurpose passenger vehicles.


The Act expands the list of uniform guidelines for the State and Community Highway Safety Grant Program under 23 USC 402, requiring the Secretary to issue guidelines for programs on: speed limits, occupant protection, impaired driving, motorcycle safety, school buses, law enforcement services, and the collection and reporting of data on traffic-related deaths and injuries.

Beginning in FY 1993, the amounts are made available out of Section 402 authorizations for specific purposes (Section 410 alcohol incentive grants; motorcycle helmet and safety belt use law grants; and the National Driver Register).


Much of the language of Section 403 Highway Safety Research and Development Program is restated for clarity, but the substance of the program is not materially affected.


The Act revises the existing Section 410 Alcohol Impaired Driving Incentive Grant Program, making a new 6-year incentive program.  Under this program the Secretary will make basic and supplemental grants to States that adopt and implement specific programs such as prompt suspension of the driver's license of impaired drivers and mandatory sentences for persons who drive while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

For FY 1992, $25 million is authorized, and in the next 5 years, a total of $125 million is authorized from the sums made available for the Section 402 program.


A regional program is established to implement drug recognition programs and for training law enforcement officers to recognize and identify people operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, a controlled substance, or other drug.


The National Driver Register Act of 1982 is reauthorized without change in its provisions.

TITLE III - Federal Transit Act Amendments of 1991

The transit formula and discretionary programs requirements and program structure remain basically unchanged from previous law, but achieve such objectives as transit and highway funding flexibility and identical matching shares, rail modernization funding by formula, increased use of the trust fund, and an expanded research program.  However, a number of programs, including planning and research, are now funded as percentage takedowns from the total amount of funding provided rather than as separate line items.

Reflecting the broader mandates of the transit program, the Urban Mass Transportation Administration, who generally administer these provisions, is renamed the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

A total of $31.5 billion is authorized over the 6 year period of the Act.  Of this amount $18.2 billion (58 percent) is to come from the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund and is contract authority.  The remaining $13.3 billion is authorization of appropriations from the general fund.  The authorization table on pages 38-41 lists all the programs and funding by year.


The formula grant programs, Sections 9, 16(b)(2), and 18, are authorized at a $17.4 billion level over the 6 years.

The Section 9 formula grant program makes funds available on the basis of a statutory formula to all urbanized areas in the country.  The program is authorized at $16.1 billion for the 6 years.  For the first time, Section 9 funds may be used for highway projects in "Transportation Management Areas" (all areas over 200,000 and any other areas which the Governor requests), if all needs related to the Americans with Disabilities Act are met, the MPO approves, and there is a balanced local approach to funding highways and transit.

The Section 18 program provides funds on the basis of a statutory formula to rural areas.  The program is funded at $937 million for the 6 years.  Its share is established at 5.5 percent
of the total for Sections 9 and 18, up from 2.93 percent in previous law.  A new requirement is that a State must use 5 percent of the funds it receives in FY 1992, 10 percent in FY 1993, and 15 percent in FY 1994 for intercity bus service projects, unless the State certifies that intercity bus needs have been met.

The formula factors do not change.  However, areas under 200,000 get a slightly larger share: 9.32 percent of the Section 9 amount, and larger areas receive 90.68 percent.

The Section 16(b)(2) program provides transportation services for elderly and disabled persons.  The program authorization is established at 1.34 percent of the total program or $428 million. The current administrative practice to allocate these funds to the States is made statutory.  The funds may go to private, non-profit organizations or to public bodies which coordinate service.  Funds can continue to be used for capital,costs or for capital costs of contracting for services.

Operating assistance is continued as an eligible expense under Section 9. Operating assistance caps will be adjusted for inflation for all areas, not just those under 200,000 as is the case in previous law.


The Section 3 program is authorized at $12.4 billion for the 6 years.  Funds are split 40 percent for New Starts, 40 percent for Rail Modernization, and 20 percent for bus and other.

New Starts

Authorizations for new starts total $5.0 billion.  New Starts projects must meet the criteria that they are:

1)   Based on the results of alternatives analysis and      preliminary engineering;

2)   justified based on mobility improvement, environmental benefit, cost effectiveness, and operating efficiency; and

3)   Supported by an acceptable degree of local financial commitment.

Projects may not advance from alternative analysis to preliminary engineering, unless the project meets the requirements for project justification and local financial commitment, and is
considered likely to do so at the end of preliminary engineering.

The criteria are waived if:

1)   The project is in an extreme or severe nonattainment area and the plan is on the State Implementation Plan,
2)   The project requires less than $25 million in Section 3 funds,
3)   The Federal share is less than one-third, or
4)   The project is funded entirely with FHWA funds.

A substantial number of New Starts projects are earmarked in the bill.

Projects are to be funded using Letters of Intent and Full Funding Grant Agreements.  The sum of out year commitments may not exceed the amount authorized, although contingent commitments equal to one-half the uncommitted cash balance in the Mass Transit Account may be made.

Rail Modernization

Authorizations for the Section 3 Rail Modernization Funds, a total of $5 billion over the 6 years, are allocated by formula rather than on a discretionary basis as in previous law.  The formula uses statutory percentages to allocate the first $492 million to the II historic rail cities.  The next $70 million is allocated one-half to the historic rail cities and one-half to all cities with fixed guideways at least 7-years-old (and any other fixed guideway city which can demonstrate rehabilitation needs), on the basis of the Section 9 Rail Tier formula factors.  Any remaining funds are allocated to the same cities.

Bus and Other

Authorizations for bus and other projects total $2.5 billion. At least 5.5 percent of Section 3 Bus funds must be used in non-urbanized areas.

Matching Ratio

The basic matching ratio for capital projects is 80 percent Federal, the same as for highway projects in the FHWA program.  This is the same as previous law for Section 9, but is an increase from the present 75 percent for Section 3.

The matching ratio is 90 percent Federal for the incremental costs of bus-related equipment needed to meet the requirements for the Clean Air Act and Americans with Disabilities Act.

The matching ratio for operating assistance remains at 50 percent of net operating costs.


A new comprehensive transit planning and research program is funded as a 3 percent takedown of the total amount of funding provided.  A total of $944 million is authorized over 6 years. This program combines the former Sections: 6 Research, 8 Planning, 10 Managerial Training, 11 (a) University Research, 18(h) Rural Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP), and 20 Human Resources Programs.  Of these funds, 45 percent is for Metropolitan Planning, 5 percent for RTAP, 10 percent will go to States for planning, research, and training, 10 percent for a new Transit Cooperative Research Program, and 30 percent for a National Planning and Research Program.

The National Planning and Research Program includes a transit technology development program, and establishes an Industry Technical Panel to assist in identification of priority technology development areas.

A new Transit Cooperative Research Program, modeled after the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, will conduct problem solving research for transit operators.  The program will have an independent governing board and will be managed by the National Academy of Sciences.

The metropolitan planning provisions in this title basically parallel those in the highway title.  Metropolitan planning funds are allocated to the States under a formula apportionment on behalf of MPO'S.  States will pass though these funds to MPO's based on a State formula cooperatively developed with MPO's and approved by the Secretary.

TITLE IV - Motor Carrier Act of 1991

Title IV of the Act relates to motor carriers.  It reauthorizes the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program, establishes deadlines for States to participate in the International Registration Plan (IRP) and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), directs the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to establish a new program for motor carriers with ICC operating authority to register with States, and imposes a freeze on State requirements and limitations on the operation of trucks with double or triple trailers that weigh more than 80,000 pounds.


MCSAP funds State enforcement of Federal truck and bus safety requirements or compatible safety requirements.  States also may use MCSAP funds to support drug interdiction, vehicle weight, and traffic enforcement.  The Act authorizes a total of $479 million.


By September 30, 1996, States must join the International Registration Plan, a base-State agreement for the registration of trucks and buses operating in different States.  Likewise, States must join the International Fuel Tax Agreement, a similar agreement for fuel taxes, by September 30, 1996.  The Act authorizes a total of $30 million for grants to States for technical assistance, training, and equipment associated with participation in IRP and IFTA.  It also authorizes $6 million to fund a working group of State and local government officials which must report in 2 years with recommendations on improving IRP and IFTA.


The Act eliminates the bingo stamp program associated with 39 States' requirements for interstate motor carriers to register their Interstate Commerce Commission operating authority.  In its place, the ICC must establish a base-State system, whereby a motor carrier would register its ICC-operating authority and provide proof of required liability insurance with one State, and that State will distribute the collected fees to other participating States in which the carrier's vehicles operate.


The Act limits the operation of double and triple trailer combinations with gross weights in excess of 80,000 pounds to the States in which they were operating on June 1, 199 1, and prohibits the expansion of routes or the removal of operating restrictions after that date.  States must submit information on LCV limitations and requirements to the FHWA within 60 days of enactment.  The FHWA will publish an interim list of the requirements and limitations in the Federal Register within 90 days of enactment and a final list within 180 days.  The FHWA also will study the operation and safety of longer combination vehicles.

TITLE V - Intermodal Transportation

The purpose of Title V is to promote intermodal transportation.

The focus of the intermodal effort will be a new Office of Intermodalism, established within the Office of the Secretary of Transportation.  The office will maintain and disseminate intermodal transportation data, and coordinate Federal research on intermodal transportation.

The Secretary is authorized to make available $3 million in grants to States to develop model intermodal transportation plans. These plans must include systems for collecting data.

The Act establishes a National Commission on Intermodal Transportation to study the status of intermodal standardization, intermodal impacts on public works infrastructure, legal impediments to efficient intermodal transportation, financial issues, new technologies, problems in documenting intermodal transfers of freight, research and development needs, and the relationship of intermodal transportation to productivity.  The report is due to Congress by September 30, 1993.

TITLE VI - Research

This title, covering transportation research, is divided into three parts:

Part A- Programs, Studies and Activities,
Part B- Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems Act, and
Part C- Advanced Transportation Systems and Electric Vehicles.

PART A – Programs, Studies and Activities

Research and Technology

Substantial support is provided for enhanced research and development and the effective application of innovative technology to solve highway problems.  An important provision related to this initiative is new authority for collaborative research and development with other public and private entities, with an average Federal share up to 50 percent of the activity costs.

The Act provides a total of $108 million to implement the products of the completed Strategic Highway Research Program and to continue the Long Term Pavement Performance Program.

To expand technology transfer activities, the Act provides authority to carry out a transportation assistance program to supply modern technology to highway and transportation agencies in rural areas and in urbanized areas of 50,000 to 1,000,000 population.  Technology Transfer centers may be established for this purpose.

A new Applied Research and Technology Program is required to provide accelerated testing, evaluation, and implementation of technologies designed to improve the durability, efficiency,
environmental impact, productivity, and safety of highway, transit, and intermodal transportation systems.  Program guidelines from the Secretary are required within 18 months, and a total of $240 million is authorized with a Federal share of 80 percent.

The Act provides a strong focus on planning and guidance for the research and development agenda.  The Secretary is to develop an integrated national plan for surface transportation research and development.  Also, a National Council on Surface Transportation Research, as well as a new Research Advisory Committee, are created.  The Council will study: current surface transportation research and technology developments in the United States and abroad; identify gaps and duplication; and determine research areas which may increase efficiency, productivity, safety, and durability in the Nation's surface transportation systems.

The Committee will provide ongoing advice and recommendations to the Secretary regarding issues with respect to short-term and long-term surface transportation research and development.

International Highway Transportation Outreach Program

A new International Highway Transportation Outreach Program will provide for informing the U.S. highway community of foreign transportation innovations, promoting U.S. highway transportation expertise internationally, and increasing the transfers of U.S. highway transportation technology to foreign countries.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

A Bureau of Transportation Statistics is created in the DOT to enhance data collection, analysis, and reporting, and to ensure the most cost-effective use of transportation monitoring resources.  A total of $90 million is provided over the 6 years of the Act.  The Bureau is to publish a Transportation Statistics Annual Report; the first report is due January 1, 1994.

National Transit Institute

A National Transit Institute is established to conduct training programs for all involved in Federal-aid transit work. Funding is $18 million over the 6 years of the authorization.

University Transportation Centers/Research Institutes

Five new university transportation centers have been added to the University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program.  These centers, as well as the original 10 UTC's are funded by both the FHWA and the FTA.

Also, five additional university research institutes are established. Funding is from the Highway Trust Fund, other than the Mass Transit Account, and is in the amount of $37.5 million over the 6-year period.


An Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems (IVHS) Program is established, with approximately $660 million authorized for the 6-year authorization period.

The Act requires the promotion of compatible standards and protocols to promote widespread use of IVHS technologies, the establishment of evaluation guidelines for IVHS operational tests, and the establishment of an information clearinghouse.

A strategic plan must be submitted to Congress no later than I year after this Act is effective.  The plan must include the goals, mile-stones, and objectives of the IVHS program.

The Act also requires development of a completely automated highway and vehicle system which will serve as the prototype for future fully automated IVHS systems.  The goal is to have the first fully automated roadway or test track in operation by the end of 1997.  An IVHS Corridors program is established to provide for operational tests under "real world" conditions.  Corridors which meet certain transportation and environmental criteria can participate in developing and implementing IVHS technologies.

Other provisions relating to IVHS include authority to use advisory committees for carrying out the IVHS program and the availability of planning grants to State and local governments for studying the feasibility for development and implementation of IVHS.


A grant program is established for electrical vehicle and advanced transportation research and development.  The grants will be awarded to at least three consortia that must provide services including obtaining funding for the acquisition of plant sites, conversion of plant facilities, and acquisition of equipment for the development or manufacture of advanced transportation systems or electric vehicles, or other related systems or equipment, especially for environmentally benign and cost-effective manufacturing processes.  The non-Federal share of the grants must be at least 50 percent.

TITLE VII - Air Transportation
This title concerns amendments to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Act of 1986.

TITLE VIII - Extension of Highway-Related Taxes and Highway Trust Fund
The Highway Trust Fund, which is the source of funding for most of the categories in Titles I, II, III, IV, and VI, is extended to the end of FY 1999.  This means that highway-related user taxes, which were scheduled to expire at the end of FY 1995, have been extended 4 years.  The tax rate on motor fuel will be reduced by 2.5 cents per gallon after September 30, 1995.  The rate per gallon then will be 11. 5 cents for gasoline and special fuels and 17.5 cents for highway diesel fuel.

The Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund will be credited with 1.5 cents per gallon of the motor-fuel taxes, with the remainder going to the Highway Account.  This Act allows expenditures from the Mass Transit Account for "capital-related" as well as for "capital" purposes.

A National Recreational Trails Trust Fund is established to support the National Recreational Trails Funding Program.  Monies transferred to this Trust Fund will be equivalent to 0.3 percent of total Highway Trust Fund receipts in the first year, and afterwards, to "non-highway recreational fuel taxes." These taxes are from fuel purchased for use on recreational trails and in outdoor recreational equipment (e.g., camp stoves).

The National Highway Institute, which conducts training programs for Federal, State, and local highway employees, may now include training for employees of private agencies.  The Institute also may now charge fees to users of its training programs as long as they do not exceed the costs of the services provided.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 November 2012 07:54

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Asphalt rubber demand in Portugal

Portugal_lawDiary of the Republic, Series 2-No.44-March 2, 2007

Ministries of the Environment, Planning and Regional Development and of Republic works, Transportation and Communication

Government Order Number 4015/2007

Whereas the need to limit the use of natural resources and, consequently, promoting introduction often recycled constituents in the production of new materials;
Whereas the principle of giving preference to good use of residues instead of their elimination, as enshrined by national law specifically in decree Law number 178/2006, of September 5, within the ambit of which is also established any preferential trend for recycling over uses to the production of energy;
Whereas the provisions of decree Law number 111/2001, of April 6, which enshrines recycling as one of the principal fundamentals of the management of new tires and of used tires and the management objectives herein established according to which until January 2007, amongst other obligations, producers must guarantee the recycling of 65% of tires that are collected and not refurbished;
Whereas the application of modified bitumens containing rubber in the pavementing of roads as one of the possible applications of the granulate produced from the recycling of used tires:
Whereas the cost-benefit  ratio that may result from the incorporation of modified bitumens together with rubber in the pavementing of roads, proven by the experience of  application at the national level, throughout seven years, of bituminous mixtures with the bitumens having a high percentage of rubber;
Whereas the encouragement of the use of products incorporating recycled materials as one of the principal forms of promoting recycling;
Whereas the contribution of specific layers of waste with modified bitumens having a high percentage of rubber in the reduction of traffic noise and in the increase of highway safety by a way of an increase in friction and consequently a reduction in making distance, evidenced in various studies held on the matter and validated in real situations, in Portugal and abroad;
Whereas the current state of development in Portugal of the application of modified bitumens with a high percentage of rubber, in terms of a solution for pavementing of highway infrastructure;
Whereas also, government policy to encourage the promotion of ecologically friendly public purchasing, now in development;
Now therefore, the following has been decided:
1-The public organizations responsible for the contracting of construction firms, or those involved in the repair of maintenance of highway infrastructure, must provide for in their tasks, the use in pavementing of bituminous mixtures incorporating modified bitumens containing rubber made from frecycling worn out tires.
2-Without prejudice to a case by case analysis, with regard to the specifics of each builder, it is considered advantageous to use bituminous mixtures that contain modified bitumens with rubber which have been proven to fulfill the following objectives:
a) To increase resistance against the development of tears, specifically, using antifissure interfaces or layers and that prevent propagation of tears;
b) To reduce the cost of maintaining road surfaces by way of increasing their durability;
c)To increase friction in tire/surface contact, by way of adequate macro and micro textures;
d) To reduce traffic noise, by way of mixtures that facilitate drainage or those that are porous or wrinkled and have an adequate macro texture.

3- Bitumens modified with a rubber and or the corresponding bituminous mixtures must be certified by comptent entities, be they national or European, in accordance with applicable legislation.
4-Cumulatively, the bituminous mixtures reffered to in paragraph numbers one and two must be certified by competent entities, through the issue of a document of application containing a technical opinion favorable to their use and their respective functional and structural performance properties.
5-The certificates referred to in the previous numbered paragraph must be the object of wide-ranging dissemination by licensing organizations for highway infrastructure, through important technical organizations and economic agents that are active in the sector.
6-The entities that produce bitumens modified with a rubber must carry out technical and environmental studies of situations for the application, whether of bitumens or of bituminous mixtures which they produce, especially in respect of their advantages and limitations, in the sense of promoting ever wider use of these materials.
7-This government order shall take effect from the date of its signature.

January 30, 2007-Secretary of State for the Environment, Humberto Delgado Ubach Chaves Rosa-the Adjunct Secretary of State for Public Works and Communications,

Paulo Jorge Oliviera Ribeiro de Campos.

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Last Updated on Monday, 12 November 2012 20:25

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Asphalt rubber demand in California, USA

California_lawAssembly Bill No. 338

An act to add Section 42703 to the Public Resources Code, relating to recycling.

[Approved by Governor October 7, 2005. Filed with Secretary of State October 7, 2005.]

Legislative Counsel’s Digest

AB 338, Levine. Recycling: crumb rubber.
Existing law requires the State Procurement Officer, in purchasing any materials to be used in paving or paving subbase for use by the Department of Transportation and any other state agency that provides road construction and repair services, to make contracts available that utilize recycled materials, including crumb rubber, unless the Director of Transportation determines that the use of the materials is not cost effective based on specified factors. This bill would define the terms “asphalt containing crumb rubber” and “rubberized asphalt concrete” and would require the department to require the use of crumb rubber (CRM) at a specified percentage, per metric ton, of the total amount of asphalt paving materials used for state highway construction or repair projects that use asphalt as a construction material. The bill would require the amount of asphalt paving materials containing crumb rubber, on and after January 1, 2007, to be not less than 6.62 pounds of CRM per metric ton of the total amount of asphalt paving materials used. The bill would require the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing, on or before January 1, 2009, and on or before January 1 annually thereafter, to prepare a specified analysis comparing the cost differential between asphalt containing crumb rubber and conventional asphalt, including specified information. The bill would require the department, on and after January 1, 2010, to use not less than 8.27 pounds of CRM per metric ton of the total asphalt paving materials used, and on and after January 1, 2013, not less than 11.58 pounds of CRM per metric ton, unless the department delays the implementation of these requirements, pursuant to a specified procedure. The bill would specify that, for purposes of complying with those requirements regarding the use of specified percentages of asphalt containing crumb rubber, only crumb rubber manufactured in the United States that is derived from waste tires taken from vehicles owned and operated in the United States may be used. The bill would require the department and the California Integrated Waste Management Board to develop procedures for using crumb rubber and other tire-derived products in other projects and would require the department to notify and confer with the East Bay Municipal Utility District before using asphalt containing crumb rubber on a state highway construction or repair project that overlays district infrastructure.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Thirty-two million scrap tires are currently generated in California each year.
(b) By the year 2020, more than 43,000,000 scrap tires will be generated each year in California.
(c) There are currently up to 6,000,000 tires in legal and illegal scrap tire piles.
(d) Twenty-five percent of California scrap tires, more than 8,000,000 tires, are disposed of in landfills or stockpiled in legal or illegal dumps.
(e) Crumb rubber from recycled scrap tires can be used as an additive for making asphalt for highway construction and repair.
(f) It is state policy to not discard scrap tires in landfills or legal or illegal stockpiles, and to find alternative uses for recycling tires that have been generated in California.

SECTION 2. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of Transportation explore all feasible means to stimulate increased usage of crumb rubber throughout the 12 regional districts to help expand the marketplace for crumb rubber in the state.

SECTION 3. Section 42703 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:
42703. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (d), the Department of  Transportation shall require the use of crumb rubber in lieu of other materials at the following levels for state highway construction or repair projects that use asphalt as a construction material:
(1) On and after January 1, 2007, the Department of Transportation shall use, on an annual average, not less than 6.62 pounds of CRM per metric ton of the total amount of asphalt paving materials used.
(2) On and after January 1, 2010, the Department of Transportation shall use, on an annual average, not less than 8.27 pounds of CRM per metric ton of the total amount of asphalt paving materials used.
(3) On and after January 1, 2013, the Department of Transportation shall use, on an annual average, not less than 11.58 pounds of CRM per metric ton of the total amount of asphalt paving materials used.
(b) (1) The annual average use of crumb rubber required in subdivision
(a) shall be achieved on a statewide basis and shall not require the use of asphalt containing crumb rubber in each individual project or in a place where it is not feasible to use that material.
(2) On and after January 1, 2007, and before January 1, 2015, not less than 50 percent of the asphalt pavement used to comply with the requirements of subdivision (a) shall be rubberized asphalt concrete.
(3) On and after January 1, 2015, the Department of Transportation may use any material meeting the definition of asphalt containing crumb rubber, with respect to product type or specification, to comply with the requirements of subdivision (a).
(c) (1) The Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing shall, on or before January 1, 2009, and on or before January 1 annually thereafter, prepare an analysis comparing the cost differential between asphalt containing crumb rubber and conventional asphalt. The analysis shall include the cost of the quantity of asphalt product needed per lane mile paved and, at a minimum, shall include all of the following:
(A) The lifespan and duration of the asphalt materials.
(B) The maintenance cost of the asphalt materials and other potential cost savings to the department, including, but not limited to, reduced soundwall construction costs resulting from noise reduction qualities of rubberized asphalt concrete.
(C) The difference between each type or specification of asphalt containing crumb rubber, considering the cost-effectiveness of each type or specification separately in comparison to the cost-effectiveness of conventional asphalt paving materials.
(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if, after completing the analysis required by paragraph (1), the secretary determines that the cost of asphalt containing crumb rubber exceeds the cost of conventional asphalt, the Department of Transportation shall continue to meet the requirement specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), and shall not implement the requirement specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a). If the secretary determines, pursuant to an analysis prepared pursuant to paragraph (1),  that the cost of asphalt containing crumb rubber does not exceed the cost of conventional asphalt, the Department of Transportation shall implement paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) within one year of that determination, but not before January 1, 2010.
(3) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if the Department of Transportation delays the implementation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), the Department of Transportation shall not implement the requirement of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) until  three years after the date the department implements paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).
(d) For the purposes of complying with the requirements of subdivision (a), only crumb rubber manufactured in the United States that is derived from waste tires taken from vehicles owned and operated in the United States may be used.
(e) The Department of Transportation and the board shall develop procedures for using crumb rubber and other derived tire products in other projects.
(f) The Department of Transportation shall notify and confer with the East Bay Municipal Utility District before using asphalt containing crumb rubber on a state highway construction or repair project that overlays district infrastructure.
(g) For purposes of this section the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Asphalt containing crumb rubber” means any asphalt pavement construction, rehabilitation, or maintenance material that contains  reclaimed tire rubber and that is specified for use by the Department of Transportation.
(2) “Crumb rubber” or “CRM” has the same meaning as defined in Section 42801.7.
(3) “Rubberized asphalt concrete” or “RAC” means a paving material that uses an asphalt rubber binder containing an amount of reclaimed tire rubber that is 15 percent or more by weight of the total blend, and that meets other specifications for both the physical properties of asphalt rubber and the application of asphalt rubber, as defined in the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard Specification for Asphalt-Rubber Binder.


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Last Updated on Monday, 12 November 2012 20:22

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Feedstock energy of bitumen and asphalt mixtures

Bitumen feedstock energy - Bitumen EngineeringThe ISO 14044 standard defines feedstock energy as the following:
“heat of combustion of a raw material input that is not used as an energy source to a product system, expressed in terms of higher heating value or lower heating value”.

The standard goes on to state that such feedstock energy should be included in a product life cycle inventory, alongside process energy use and other energy use categories (see ISO 14044, Section In case of pavements, the most notable input material that falls under this policy is bitumen / asphalt cement.

Bitumen (also referred to as asphalt or liquid asphalt mostly in the USA) is usually a product from the crude oil processing. As a hydrocarbon, bitumen has a significant amount of chemical energy, estimated at 40.2 MJ/kg by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. To put this into perspective, this review found a published range of bitumen production energy between 0.4 to 6 MJ/kg in the pavement life cycle analysis literatures. According ISO 14044, this means that the embodied primary energy of bitumen (defined as the process energy plus the feedstock energy) is as high as 46.2 MJ/kg, or 7.7 times greater than the maximum bitumen production energy value found in reference.

The difference between bitumen feedstock energy and bitumen production energy is significant enough to alter the results and conclusions of asphalt pavement life cycle analysis when bitumen feedstock energy is not included. Not all life cycle analyses reviews accounted for the feedstock energy of bitumen in their energy inventories. Strictly speaking, the omission of bitumen’s feedstock energy is at odds with the ISO 14044 guidelines and common practice in the life cycle analysis community for products containing hydrocarbon feedstock (e.g., plastic bottles, paints, and lubricants). The reasons for such omissions are not entirely clear (for the opinion of Bitumen Engineering please read the final section of this article), but may include limitations in the data and/or methods used in a particular study, lack of knowledge of life cycle analysis standards, or the misperception that, as a residual product, bitumen is not a viable source of energy. Whatever the reasons for past omissions, moving forward the inclusion of bitumen feedstock energy in pavement life cycle analysis is important for holistic energy accounting and cross-study results compatibility. Clearly, for life cycle analysis that assume either landfill disposal or perpetual recycling/use of asphalt at the pavement end-of-life phase, the chemical energy potential of bitumen remains “untapped” in the pavement life-cycle system.

While there is guidance and precedence for the accounting of feedstock energy in the life cycle inventories of petroleum feedstock products, this review found little evidence of accounting for feedstock mass composition in such life cycle inventories. Such accounting would improve estimates of potential pollutant emissions should the chemical energy be released (e.g. via end-of-life energy recovery), and lead to a better understanding of the implications of contaminants stored in such feedstocks. Energy recovery is likely not practical for end-of-life asphalt mixture, but as a residual product, bitumen does contain a number of substances of environmental concern. Improved mass composition accounting would allow the life cycle analysis community to better explore the pros and cons of petroleum feedstock use with respect to such substances, including relative impacts compared to its alternative use as a fuel.

Bitumen as a direct energy source
Bitumen, like any other hydrocarbon, can technically be combusted in order to release its feedstock energy given the right conditions. The burning of bitumen and other crude residuals is complicated by their high carbon residue content, asphaltene content, and viscosity, all of which are generally considered impediments to efficient and clean combustion. Special procedures are needed to overcome these hurdles, such emulsification of the bitumen, utilization of a catalyst, and gasification of the bitumen, amongst others. In practice, boilers have been developed that have the ability to fire bitumen and similar heavy residual fuels to produce steam, demonstrating that bitumen can in fact be used directly as a fuel. Circulating fluidized beds have also be successfully used to combust bitumen and related fuels. However, combustion itself produces a slew of potential environmental problems due to the chemical makeup of bitumen. Bitumen naturally contains high levels of fuel-bound nitrogen, and sulfur, resulting in the formation of the criteria pollutants NOX and SOX during the combustion process. Moreover, the high content of vanadium, nickel, and other metal elements yields a highly corrosive ash product that erodes metal walls and piping and should be treated as a hazardous waste. Bitumen and residuals also produce high levels of CO2 emissions per unit of feedstock energy, making them higher contributors to global warming than most other fuels. Another critical aspect is the efficiency of bitumen-firing technologies in converting feedstock energy to work, but the literature does not provide much insight into this issue.

Opinion of Bitumen Engineering
The opinion of Bitumen Engineering is that including feedstock energy of bitumen into life cycle analysis is impractical. The reason is that bitumen extraction from asphalt mixtures is costly, involves further processing.
By using various hydrocarbon conversion technologies (e.g. coking) conversion of reclaimed bitumen to lighter hydrocarbons should not be a problem (instead of burning).
Overall Bitumen Engineering does not fully agree with the content above, but it is definitely an interesting approach.

N. Santero, E. Masanet, A. Horvath: Life Cycle Assessment of Pavements: A Critical Review of Existing Literature and Research, Research report No: DE-AC02-05CH11231, March 2010.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 November 2012 07:53

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