Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Renewable Materials Based Bioasphalt – Scale-up and Performance Testing(23603)

United Environment and Energy LLC


Petroleum-based asphalt is widely used in road and other infrastructure construction. In an asphalt mix plant, the asphalt and aggregate are generally heated to ensure that the aggregates are fully coated by the asphalt to produce hot mix asphalt. It takes about 300,000 Btu to heat 1 ton of hot mix asphalt. Each year, about 0.15 quadrillion Btu are consumed in asphalt plants in the U.S. This amount is in addition to the energy used to produce asphalt in refinery plants. Moreover, the use of the petroleum-based asphalt produces odor and volatile organic compounds emissions. Funded by NYSERDA, UEE successfully demonstrated a novel bioasphalt production technology from waste cooking oils and coal-fired power plant fly ash using a 800 tons/year bioasphalt plant. The bioasphalt could be produced in a large quantity at a low cost to replace or serve as a polymer additive to petroleum-based asphalt.

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Project Description

During this project, the bioasphalt production process was fully demonstrated. The bioasphalt produced in the 800-tons/year plant was tested and evaluated by different asphalt producers and end-users. The bioasphalt specifications for different applications were developed. A bioasphalt production cost analysis was conducted, and the bioasphalt energy benefits were quantified.


The success of this technology will lead to the development of a clean bioasphalt product. It will make the hot asphalt mix production process cleaner, energy efficient, and cost effective. It will also provide revenue for coal-fired power plants and provide financial support for cleaner energy production. The application of renewable material-based bioasphalt for highway and other infrastructure construction will ensure sustainable development in the asphalt industry, reduce energy consumption, and benefit New York State and the nation through energy independence. In addition to the performance advantages to the petroleum-based asphalt, the bioasphalt has production costs dramatically lower than the petroleum-based asphalt.

Project Results

The product demonstrated by United Environment and Energy(UEE) in this project is an energy efficient, high performance, environmentally benign, and low-cost renewable bioasphalt from recycled agricultural products – waste cooking oils or other renewable oils – and recycled coal-fired power plant waste – fly ash. The waste cooking oils are polymerized and then interact with the fly ash to produce an asphalt-like material called bioasphalt. Classified as a nonhazardous material, the bioasphalt can replace the traditional petroleum-based asphalt binder for hot mix asphalt production for paving and other applications. Compared to the petroleum-based asphalt, bioasphalt has significant advantages, including substantially lower production costs, utilization of renewable and recycled materials, improved thermal durability, improved low temperature performance, non-hazard materials, and elimination of the odor and volatile organic compounds emissions associated with petroleum-based asphalt. Based on a 12- year paving cycle for New York State (NYS) highways, potential energy savings for NYS are 1.5 million MMBtu annually. This would displace 270,204 barrels of petroleum oil currently used. The estimated annual economic impact on NYS is $1.28 billion. By reducing the energy consumption, 150,000 tons of CO2 reduction can be achieved. The volatile organic compounds emissions from the petroleum-based pavement will be eliminated.


United Environment and Energy LLC
111 Ridge Rd
Horseheads, NY 14845

Principle Investigator

Ben Wen

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Industrial Products
Advanced Materials

NYSERDA Contact Information

Miriam Pye


R&D - Mfg Tech & On-Site Pwr

Contract Details

Start Date: 12/15/2011
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: 23603

Last Updated: 7/30/2014