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New 'glue' for road construction

The construction of asphalt roads would be made ‘greener’ by using waste vegetable oil instead of bitumen, says international building-materials company Aggregate Industries.

According to spokeswoman Helen Bailey, the 1.25M tonnes of bitumen used every year carries a “significant environmental and economic cost”.

She has already been awarded the Fiona and Nicholas Hawley Excellence in Environmental Engineering Award by the Worshipful Company of Engineers for her work.

Now her new system, which is awaiting a patent, will shortly be pioneered on road surfacing projects in Lincolnshire.

She says: “I wanted to find an alternative with the same key properties as bitumen in the asphalt mix, using a waste product readily available in the UK. My new method meets all UK standards, but is much better for the environment.”

She adds: “I was delighted to find that the waste fat produced by cooking chips, one of the nation’s favourite dishes, can be used to glue our roads together!”

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