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Plant molecule to make our roads greener

Plant molecule to make our roads greener
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Use of a plant molecule in asphalt and sealant mixtures could make roads environmentally friendly and help roofs hold up better under different...

New York: Use of a plant molecule in asphalt and sealant mixtures could make roads environmentally friendly and help roofs hold up better under different weather conditions, contends a study. The plant molecule called lignin could one day replace bitumen, a by-product of crude oil production which is currently used as the main sticky ingredient in asphalt and roof sealants, noted the study presented at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Denver.

Lignin is a renewable resource that makes up as much as a third of the dry material in trees, where it keeps out water and binds together other components of plant biomatter, like cellulose, the researchers noted. As with other additives, lignin makes sealants perform even better -- but those polymer additives come from petroleum sources, making them just as problematic as bitumen.

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