First Foam Application with a Bitumen containing a biogenic component in the UK

By using Nynas bitumen with biogenic components, it is possible to reduce the carbon footprint of cold mix asphalt. This was demonstrated by a groundbreaking project on the M65 slip road.

Nynas has extensive experience in conducting product development in the bitumen field, specifically in new future-oriented and customer-centric solutions that contribute to sustainable development.

In the 1990s, Nynas specialists developed emulsions for cold recycling, and when foam mixed asphalt was introduced in the UK, our Nyfoam series was launched.  After many years of detailed research another crucial technological step was taken in 2022 with the launch of Nypol RE. This is a polymer-modified bitumen containing biogenic material, resulting in the footprint from the polymer modification being negated without affecting the extended lifespan it provides.

Recently, the first foam application with a bitumen containing a biogenic component in the UK was tested in a project on the M65 slip road in Lancashire. Nynas participated along with construction materials supplier Aggregate Industries and Lancashire County Council.

“This project highlights Nynas’ commitment to providing sustainable products and solutions to help its customers and the industry on the road to net zero,” says Sarah Badley, Sales Manager for England & Wales at Nynas.

Before the surfacing work on the M65 began, extensive studies were conducted to assess that the properties of cold mix material using Nyfoam RE were comparable to mixes made using normal Nyfoam. Nyfoam RE was then used in Aggregate Industries' new Foamix® product, which is a cost-effective, high-quality solution that recycles the existing carriageway, offering a net zero solution production process and a highly sustainable option for asphalt construction projects.

“By incorporating Nynas’ biogenic containing binder as a component to our Foamix® product, we can deliver a carbon neutral solution without the use of carbon offsetting. This supports National Highways’ target to deliver net zero construction by 2040,” states Neil Leake, National Technical Manager Aggregate Industries-Contracting.

The project on the M65 demonstrates that Nynas' investment in the development of a range of biogenic binders will be an important addition to meet the industry's ambitious sustainability goals.

“Following our extensive product development, we are pleased that the results show the new Nyfoam RE will continue to offer the same performance benefits as our existing Nyfoam range, but with a reduced carbon footprint,” says Mike Lancaster, UK operations and Technical Manager.  

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Nynas experts lecture at KTH

Nynas traditionally maintains a close partnership with universities and higher education institutions. An illustrative example of this is the lecture on the oil industry held for students at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Research collaborations in focus

Complex research projects with industry and research institutes/universities highly contribute to knowledge build up not only for the future product development but also allow to identify the benefits of our products and their performance in the use phase.  At the same time, it contributes to the high level of specialist knowledge at Nynas.

Passion for Cold Recycling Projects

Whilst growth in cold asphalt using foam bitumen is on the increase, a select few are turning their focus onto emulsion. One of them is Roadways, a UK-based highways construction company that recently carried out resurfacing work in East Sussex. Roadways used Nymuls CP 50 in a cold asphalt binder course made with 100% recycled aggregates, which resulted in 40% less carbon dioxide emissions.