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It’s All Green: Award-Winning ‘Biophalt’ Uses Vegetables to Pave Roads

Amidst the constant struggle toward a better future, we tend to see a lot of odd stuff fly by the proverbial window. 

We’ve read about France’s eco-friendly race track, which is slotted to carry a massive on-site solar park and debut in the next four years. 

We’ve also covered Italy’s current testing phase for a charging highway, designed to work with a mounted battery to the machine of choice for the ultimate juice-on-the-go equation.

You know what we haven’t heard of yet?

Asphalt made from vegetables.

Biophalt, a substance created by French company Eiffage Route that uses a vegetable binder over the traditional crude oil alternative. Media sourced from Eiffage Route's website.
Biophalt, a substance created by French company Eiffage Route that uses a vegetable binder over the traditional crude oil alternative. Media sourced from Eiffage Route’s website.

You heard right – the product has been christened ‘Biophalt,’ and according to RideApart, French company Eiffage Route makes use of a vegetable-based binder that replaces the sticky stuff typically harvested from crude oil to create the asphalt we know today. 

Biophalt, a substance created by French company Eiffage Route that uses a vegetable binder over the traditional crude oil alternative. Media sourced from Ambition 4 Climate.
Biophalt, a substance created by French company Eiffage Route that uses a vegetable binder over the traditional crude oil alternative. Media sourced from Ambition 4 Climate.

*Sidenote: Asphalt uses the heaviest part of crude oil – whatever’s left after the light fractions are distilled off for gasoline and other such products (via VAasphalt). If this information is correct, this also means that cutting back gasoline-powered machines in France will eventually result in less crude oil for asphalt – theoretically, in any event.*

Biophalt, a substance created by French company Eiffage Route that uses a vegetable binder over the traditional crude oil alternative. Media sourced from RideApart.
Biophalt, a substance created by French company Eiffage Route that uses a vegetable binder over the traditional crude oil alternative. Media sourced from RideApart.

“In terms of traffic volume, climatic resilience, traction, and durability, Biophalt has similar attributes to conventional asphalt,” comment the report.

“It is also applied at mild temperatures and has a reduced production temperature requirement, both of which provide energy savings.”

“With all of this, Biophalt claims to have a carbon-neutral footprint.”

Biophalt, a substance created by French company Eiffage Route that uses a vegetable binder over the traditional crude oil alternative. Media sourced from Ambition 4 Climate.
Biophalt, a substance created by French company Eiffage Route that uses a vegetable binder over the traditional crude oil alternative. Media sourced from Ambition 4 Climate.

The technology comes as a slight disadvantage, given that we don’t know much about the ease of production, and that this material will likely cost 5-10% more than the traditional stuff – but the percentages are a far cry from the fiscal disparity between fossil-fuelled motorcycles and gasoline machines. 

With one mile paved in Biophalt and a further 3,836 potentially available for paving (following successful testing), we look forward to seeing the results of this particular experiment. 

Biophalt, a substance created by French company Eiffage Route that uses a vegetable binder over the traditional crude oil alternative. Media sourced from Eiffage Route's website.
Biophalt, a substance created by French company Eiffage Route that uses a vegetable binder over the traditional crude oil alternative. Media sourced from Eiffage Route’s website.

What do you think?

Drop a comment down below, and as always – stay safe on the twisties. 

*Media sourced from Ambition 4 Climate, RideApart, CarSifu, and Eiffage Route*

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