Taylor & Francis Group
School of Engineering
With growing global concerns related to energy security and sustainability, interest in bio-fuels has increased significantly. Production of biofuel mostly begins with pyrolysis, a process that converts the biomass to liquid biooil, solid biochar and gases. A large amount of carbonaceous biochar is generated as a by-product during the pyrolysis. However, no major effort has been made in the past decade to utilize the biochar in pavement applications, especially as a bio-modifier to asphalt binders. In this study, an attempt was made to evaluate the carbonaceous biochar, obtained during bio-fuel production through pyrolysis of Mesua ferrea seed cover waste, as an asphalt modifier/extender to obtain bio-asphalts. Physical and chemical characterizations of biochar were carried out using scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis. This was followed by rheological characterization of asphalt binders (from two sources) modified with various concentrations of biochar (0, 5, 10, 15, and 20% by weight of binder). Flow behaviour, permanent deformation, and fatigue characteristics of bio-asphalts were evaluated and compared with control binders (no biochar). Aging susceptibility of biochar modified binders was also evaluated and compared for biochar contents and binder sources. Permanent deformation behaviour evaluated through multiple stress creep and recovery (MSCR) test indicated that the use of biochar improved the rutting resistance of binders. Improved binder performance against the effects of aging and deformation with the use of biochar makes it a promising asphalt modifier, especially for the warm tropical climatic conditions prevalent in India.
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