A large share of noise from traffic comes from the contact between tyre and pavement and the wear of car tyres significantly contributes to the flow of microplastics into the ocean. The novel asphalt materials will be able to reduce rolling noise and collect microplastics in the asphalt layer pore network minimizing the runoff into the oceans.
Due to the different priorities and technical requirements of urban and peri-urban roads, specific novelty road pavement solutions are proposed for each case.
In the case of peri-urban and rural roads the main priority is the mitigation of microplastics coming from tires’ wear and tear, followed by noise. Car tyres release wear particles through mechanical abrasion that contribute significantly to the flow of microplastics into the environment. Due to the lack of water collection and treatment systems in these zones, these contaminants are uncontrolled. It is estimated that the amount of tire wear makes up 5-10% of the total amount of plastics that end up in the oceans. In search of potential solutions, it has been estimated in the Netherlands that up to 95% of microplastics could be collected and stored within the layers of a porous asphalt. As urban roads are already provided with systems for the proper collection and treatment of water runoff, the priority in this zone is not to deal with microplastics but to enable the reduction of noise as the main source of nuisance.
This solution in action
NEMO is also testing the solutions – see how in our demo projects