Initiatives in the field

Vegecol wins PIARC Award 2007

At the opening ceremony of the 23rd World Road Congress, Michel Ballie, Technical Manager of Colas France, and Thierry Delcroix, project manager for plant-based binders, representing Vegecol, were handed the PIARC’s Maurice Milne Award 2007 for innovation.

Originally developed in 2002 to meet a local authority in Brittany’s challenge to construct the road of the future, this breakthrough innovation also won a national innovation prize from the Institute of Asphalt Technology in the United Kingdom in 2006 and an award from the IRF (International Road Federation) in 2005.

This innovative bitumen-substitute delivers three key benefits:

  • Renewable resources: it is manufactured from tree resin and vegetable oils, which replace the petroleum from which bitumen is extracted
  • Greenhouse gases: because of its lower temperature and its renewable source, the asphalt concrete becomes a "carbon sink", absorbing almost as much CO² as traditional asphalt contributes to emitting
  • Mechanical performance as good as if not better than that of bitumen, and blends much more easily with its surrounding because it is transparent and so can either be colored or left as is to highlight the natural color of its aggregates

Roughly 2,400 metric tons of Vegecol were employed on more than 450 sites in 2007. 10% of this was used outside mainland France for trial applications in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Martinique, Slovakia, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

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