Poland’s LOTOS Asfalt in cooperation with the Gdańsk University of Technology undertook to develop innovative eco-asphalt for Polish roads that will significantly contribute to the reduction of air pollution in the area of the road lane. The value of the project is over 5 million zloties (1 million euros).
The project Ecological asphalts was created in response to the challenges posed by air pollution in Polish cities. Concerned about the health of citizens, the research consortium has started to work on an innovative asphalt modified with a photocatalyst, the use of which is to ultimately reduce the content of harmful substances, including nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds.
“Photocatalytic air purification systems are currently one of the most dynamically developing technologies, but they are not without flaws and imperfections,” pointed out Professor Anna Zielińska-Jurek from the Department of Process Engineering and Chemical Technology, which coordinates the project on behalf of the university.
The technology is based on innovative hybrid photocatalysts, which provide a higher reduction of nitrogen oxides concentration in asphalt under the influence of solar radiation and additionally enable the degradation of carcinogenic organic compounds into simple and harmless inorganic compounds as explained by Professor Zielińska-Jurek.
The idea is very promising as currently there is no road surface with such functionality available on the market.
The joint concept of Lotos Asfalt and Gdańsk University of Technology was one out of over 50 projects that applied for funding under the Smart Growth Operational Program to secure financial support. Eventually, the project will be supported with over 5 million zloties (1 million euros), 65 per cent of which will come from European funds.
Cezary Godziuk, President of the Management Board of LOTOS Asfalt underlined that as street surfaces in cities are in over 90 per cent covered with asphalt, an innovative and eco-friendly solution could significantly improve the quality of life for the inhabitants.
Zofia Paryła, Acting President of the Management Board of Grupa LOTOS highlighted that one of the strategic goals of Lotos is the development of innovative solutions building the Polish economy and the eco-asphalt project, developed together with the Gdańsk University of Technology perfectly meets these objectives.
As we are becoming more and more aware of the harmful consequences of road traffic, it is important to note that roads and parking lots have greatly expanded to accommodate the growing number of vehicles, creating another series of problems. The materials used, primarily asphalt and concrete, negatively impact the environment as it triggers the emission of significant quantities of harmful substances into the atmosphere. Innovative initiatives like the eco-asphalt concept can play a major role in achieving climate targets by reducing the amount of these emissions.