On March 4, representatives from 22 organizations met at the Tech Park in Delft, Netherlands, for the official start of the biobased asphalt cooperation program. The name of the program is CHAPLIN. That stands for ‘Collaboration in aspHalt Applications withLIgniN’. The cooperation aims to stimulate the development and commercialization of lignin-containing asphalt, thereby contributing to the greening of the road construction industry and thus reducing CO2 emissions.
Biomass instead of fossil raw materials
The innovative CHAPLIN program develops asphalt based on lignin.
"There is a lot of interest worldwide for lignin as a sustainable raw material for bio-asphalt," said lignin expert Richard Gosselink of Wageningen Food &Biobased Research, partner in the CHAPLIN program and CHAPLIN TKI project manager.
“The sector wants to gradually move away from the use of bitumen from petroleum. Bio-asphalt is sometimes already mentioned as a condition in tenders from the government. It is a good replacement for fossil bitumen, the natural supply of which will eventually run out. Lignin is released in enormous flows in processes of paper production. It remains as a residual stream that can be used much better than as ‘burner fuel’. By adding lignin, we can currently green the asphalt for 50% and produce and apply it around 30 °C less hot. That already saves around 20% CO2 and half of fossil fuels. Moreover, lignin is interesting because, like bitumen, it gives structure and strength to asphalt and fixes CO2 for a longer period of time. "
Value-chain broad cooperation
The unique thing about the CHAPLIN program is that the entire value-chain is represented. From raw material supplier to road construction and authorities such as Rijkswaterstaat, provinces and municipalities.
Joop Groen, initiator and program leader from the Circular Biobased Delta foundation, said, “Both the kick-off of the recently started CHAPLIN TKI sub-project and the official start of the broad program on March 4 in Delft were inspiring. A great deal of energy is consumed by the great common interest that is being experienced: making asphalt more sustainable and creating a healthy business case that can be scaled up and commercialized. The research results of the small-scale applications so far indicate that this is feasible. The partners can be the first parties to participate in the sub-projects around biobased asphalt and thereby create new markets.
“I cordially invite parties who want to join in to report to me. The condition for participating in CHAPLIN is that you can add something to our collaboration. ”
The driver of CHAPLIN is Circular Biobased Delta
Circular Biobased Delta is a Triple Helix organization in which companies, knowledge institutions and governments actively work together to seize the opportunities that the biobased economy offers the unique and growing ecosystem in the Delta region. The foundation has a coordinating role in this network and its mission is to accelerate the transition towards greening with healthy economics. CHAPLIN is one of the flagship programs initiated by the Circular Biobased Delta foundation. Biorizon and Sugar Delta are other examples of projects with which the foundation inspires and facilitates. Circular Biobased Delta focuses on the construction / infrastructure, food, packaging and biofuel sectors with the ultimate goal of reducing 10 megatons of CO2 emissions in 10 years.