In the world today, there are few issues that are as talked about as air pollution and its effect on the environment. From melting ice caps to global warming, it is clear that steps need to be taken to help keep the planet as clean as possible. With this in mind, asphalt producers are continually seeking out new ways to ensure that the manufacturing and application of asphalt will not cause negative effects on the environment. Here is some information on how asphalt contributes to cleaner air.
Asphalt Plants are Eco-Friendly
It may come as a surprise, but asphalt plant emissions are strictly controlled, and thus the greenhouse gases that occur from the production of asphalt are very low. And while there was a time when this was not the case, since 1970 asphalt plant emissions have dropped to only 3% of what they were in the prior decades. Not only this, but the production of asphalt materials has risen nearly 250% since the 1970’s, so the decrease in emissions is even more substantial when taking this into consideration.
The Cooling Effect
One concern that often gets overlooked when trying to lower air pollution are the negative effects caused by hot pavement or asphalt, especially in urban areas. However, studies have shown that porous surfaces, like that of asphalt, will cool much faster than non-porous materials such as concrete. This means that there is less concern for the “heat island effect” when asphalt is used in place of other pavement elements.
Decreased Traffic Congestion
It may seem farfetched to link traffic congestion with paving materials, but there is no denying the correlation. When highways become congested with significant amounts of traffic there is an increase in the amount of greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere, not to mention the extra fuel that is being burned by the vehicles that are caught in the clutter. Thankfully, with asphalt, areas that are known for having congestion problems such as traffic jams, can quickly be adapted to meet the ever-increasing traffic demands.
Clean Air is Important
Asphalt is used for numerous applications, including highways, parking lots, and driveways, and therefore it is one of the most relied upon materials on the planet. With so much asphalt being used, it is important that it be environmentally friendly. To ensure that the atmosphere is kept free from pollutants, asphalt producers have substantially decreased emissions and greenhouse gases. In addition, asphalt cools more rapidly than alternative pavement materials and this too aids in keeping the air clean. Lastly, the easy application of asphalt means that it can be used to modify areas where traffic congestion is a problem. In the end, it is easy to see that asphalt is a material that helps to keep the air and the environment a cleaner place.