Bitumen FreshAir Debuts in Bohol

Bitumen FreshAir Debuts in Bohol

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By Pilipinas Shell on May 21, 2020

Paving the Way to Cleaner Air and Greener Highways

In 2019, Pilipinas Shell introduced Shell Bitumen FreshAir, a new bitumen product to help reduce the environmental impact of asphalt production and paving on local air quality, in the Philippines. It inhibits emissions of every stage of the asphalting process: from storage to transport, to asphalt mixing at very high temperatures, to compaction and early pavement life.

Odor reduction, with fewer emissions

Shell Bitumen FreshAir was developed in the Shell R&D Centre in Bangalore, India with test laboratory results validated by the Shell Statistics and Data Science team in Leiden, Netherlands. It was originally intended to neutralize bitumen odor and was later found to also minimize significant air emissions and particulates. Initial field trials were conducted across the globe, including in conditions similar to the Philippines such as Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong and mainland China; and Singapore

Compared to conventional bitumen, Shell Bitumen FreshAir offers a 40% reduction, on average, in the levels of sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx); volatile organic compounds (VOCs); particulate matter (PM); and carbon monoxide (CO). Its landmark achievement is keeping the environment safe from noxious gases not only during the production stage, but also two weeks from when the pavement is laid.

Based on the trials, the reduction on the amount of particulate matter is equivalent to planting an average of 16 trees per kilometer of asphalt laid every year, whereas the reduction on the amount of nitrogen dioxide is equivalent to removing an average of 40 cars per asphalt laid every year. Active odor neutralization registered at 95-99%.

Early users of the product indicate that using Shell Bitumen FreshAir not only helps meet health-based standards but also results in improved productivity.

Bitumen FreshAir debuts in Bohol 

Shell Bitumen FreshAir is already approved for commercial use in the Philippines as it meets local specifications for penetration- grade (PEN 60/70 bitumen), which is the standard for road construction and the production of asphalt pavements with superior properties. The bitumen is being locally produced in the Tabangao, Batangas and Villanueva, Misamis Oriental plants.

Pilipinas Shell has already landed the Company’s first customer for Shell Bitumen FreshAir in the province of Bohol, ahead of its grand launch in Q1 2020. Bohol is considered the “ecotourism capital of the Philippines,” and is meant to be a model of sustainable tourism, hence it is the perfect venue for showcasing the merits of the country’s first eco-friendly bitumen product. The launch, “Paving the Way: The Shell Bitumen Tour,” includes a visit to the worksite of the pioneer local user of Bitumen FreshAir, and will showcase the product innovation to government officials, business partners, potential customers, and media.

“Customers are concerned for their workers and the residents near their construction sites, so they’re very interested in Bitumen FreshAir. We also hope that the government will champion this pioneering innovation as a means to improve the urban environment. If the goal is to build greener highways, then we are here to help."

- Janet Z. Marcellana, Shell Specialties Application Advisor

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