This report on decarbonisation options for the Dutch asphalt industry is part of the MIDDEN project (Manufacturing Industry Decarbonisation Data Exchange Network) initiated by PBL and TNO. The project aims to support industry, policymakers, analysts and the energy sector in their common efforts to achieve deep decarbonisation. The report gives an overview of the Dutch asphalt industry and the options for decarbonisation.
The asphalt industry in the Netherlands
Asphalt is a unique commodity in comparison to others, mainly due to the fact that it has a limited processing period but high durability, which makes it fit for use as paving course. Its composition can vary significantly depending on the grading of the aggregates. The main sources for emissions are the drying and mixing steps.
The decarbonisation options studied in this report include the following categories:
Fuel substitution by hydrogen
Hydrogen can be gradually introduced into the fuel mix without changing the standard equipment configuration (up to 30%vol. of hydrogen in the blend). However, equipment adaptations would be necessary for higher concentrations of hydrogen or full substitution.
Heating system electrification
Electrification of the heating system requires reliable renewable electricity supply and significant infrastructural changes on site. One of the fuel substitution options explored is the electrification of the heating systems. For some heating processes, such as bitumen heating, fully electrically heated tanks are already available and used in the market.
Alternative feedstock and recycling
Regarding feedstock substitution, this study focuses on the exploring the opportunities to use a blend of lignin and bitumen. Bitumen is one of the by-products from the refinery sector and it is used as a binding material in the asphalt production. Recycling and repurposing is already a common practice in the asphalt sector.