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'Green' asphalt promises to cut exhaust pollution

NEWS

ROADSIDE AIR pollution will be dramatically reduced by a new asphalt to be trialled in Trondheim, Norway, it was claimed this week.

A 300m stretch of highway is to be laid in August with Active Asphalt, developed by surfacing supplier Shell and Norwegian firm Applied Plasma Physics. According to Shell, particulate matter in the air including rubber dust and soot in vehicle exhaust will be cut by up to 10%.

Active Asphalt works by allowing suspended particulate matter to settle on the road surface.

It is described by Shell as a 'conductive' wearing course and works by preventing the build up of static charges in the road surface. Friction between rubber tyres and asphalt typically produces a positive electrostatic charge. Particles also carry a positive charge and, as a result, are repelled, remaining suspended in the air.

Dust is removed from the Active Asphalt surface by rain or mechanical road cleaning.

The trial will be monitored for at least a year by Trondheim University and the Norwegian Road Authority before commercial production begins.

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