New government policies will require industrial heat users to reduce their CO2 emissions. Currently most industrial heat users rely on natural gas or even coal to generate heat for manufacturing. These fuels are significant contributors to CO2 emissions. Reducing CO2 emissions either requires carbon capture and storage or elimination of fossil fuels from the process of generating heat.
This technology can replace combustion heat with renewable energy in the form of electricity from variable renewable energy (VRE), such as photovoltaic (PV) solar and clean hydrogen (H2). Granular media functions as a heat-storage medium that enables renewable energy to be time-shifted from when it is available to when it is needed by an industrial process. The heated granular media, as the heat-transfer medium can direct transfer stored heat to the warm mixed asphalt (WMA) and hot mixed asphalt (HMA) industrial process. The heated granular media is also a raw material used in the WMA or HMA plants. The granular heat storage/heat-transfer media can include virgin aggregate and/or reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), which is recycled for use as a raw material in a WMA or HMA plant. This can enable the raw materials that feed WMA or HMA plants to contain a high fractional content of RAP, reducing the quantity of virgin aggregate required by the plant. RAP reduces the amount of carbon intensive virgin aggregate needed in manufacturing, resulting in operational, energy-saving, and environmental benefits. The energy required to crush RAP is less than that required to crush mined rock to the particle sizes required by WMA and HMA plants, which also can reduce associated CO2 emissions. Manufacturing would be able to operate at lower temperatures than a conventional WMA or HMA plant, which limits aggregate degradation to dust, thus reducing the loss of a valuable raw material and bag-house filtration costs, while maintaining the strength of the aggregate. Operating at much lower process temperatures also limits the volatilization of asphalt cement binder, reducing the loss of a valuable raw material, while limiting noxious atmospheric emissions that cause "blue smoke" and objectionable odors that can make it difficult to locate HMA plants close to population centers.
This technology reduces CO2 emissions by incorporating RAP and using renewable electricity to replace fossil fuels for heat. This is being driven by new Federal and State policies and incentives. There is government funding to replace traditional technologies with cleaner processes for industry. The State of California has also set goals to reduce carbon emissions from industrial processes. Those goals begin in less than 10 years.
Systems and Methods for Manufacturing Low Carbon Warm and Hot Asphalt has numerous advantages over traditional processes, such as:
- Reduced carbon emissions.
- Reduced local air pollution.
- Ability to recycle asphalt.
This technology has been developed to provide asphalt producers a way to meet new environmental regulations driven by climate change. It uses existing technologies that can be easily configured to meet requirements of asphalt manufacturers.
Current stage of technology development: TRL 2-3