ROSE Press Release, 2016
– Translated from the Danish Press Release from the Innovation Fund Denmark.
Better asphalt reduces CO2 emissions and saves car owners millions
For the first time ever, Danish researchers have proven that the rolling resistance between tires and roads can be reduced by optimizing road surfaces. Results from a recently completed project in the Innovation Fund shows that the best new developed road surfaces provide a 5 percent saving in fuel consumption. This means that a car will go 21, in stead of 20 kms on one liter of gasoline. The ambition now is to move on in a new project, ROSE, and build even better asphalt pavements.
About a quarter of Denmark’s total CO2 emissions come from road transport, a cut that has been increasing in recent years. Those who have tried to push start a car know that it requires a lot of effort. In fact, up to a third of the fuel consumption of a car goes towards overcoming the resistance between tire and road, the so-called rolling resistance.
“Even with a slight reduction in rolling resistance, Danish drivers will save several hundred million Danish kroner. At the same time, the project will be able to reduce CO2 emissions significantly”, says Jeppe Dyre, Professor of physics at Roskilde University and project manager for ROSE.
As one of many different possible CO2 reducing measures, rolling resistance reduction does not involve a so-called shadow price. This means that the reduction does not cost society anything but, on the contrary, is good for business and good for the social economy. A win-win situation for all parties.
In the past, all international efforts to reduce rolling resistance between tires and roads have been focused on the tire and tire manufacturers have made great progress over the last 20-30 years.
The research project 2011-2015 showed that it is also possible to reduce rolling resistance by optimizing the road surface. The project, which was partly funded by the Innovation Fund, led to new pavement types, which are now to be tested by the Danish Road Directorate.
The new research project ROSE is a continuation of this work, which is now supplemented by research to ensure a basic scientific understanding of rolling resistance. This will be achieved partly by a brand new laboratory and partly by extensive computer simulations of bitumen that is the binder in road pavements. The goal is to work towards pavements with a 6.5% reduction in rolling resistance.
In the consortium conducting the research are; Roskilde University and DTU, the Danish Road Directorate, Greenwood Engineering, NCC Roads and AfterMath as well as German tire manufacturer Continental AG and French road research laboratory IFSTTAR.
In the long term, the ambition is that the research will lead to new and better standards for rolling resistance at the EU level.