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New County Durham road material paves the way to net zero – and it’s a UK first

Apr 2, 2024 | Local News

A new material which enables the creation of net zero asphalt has been used in a road resurfacing scheme in County Durham – and it’s a UK first.

Durham County Council and roads resurfacing partner Rainton Construction – part of the MGL Group – are using a new type of asphalt for the resurfacing works at Elvet Hill in Durham.

The asphalt mix incorporates a carbon negative aggregate product, ACLA, which is designed to lower the scheme’s carbon footprint.

The product, designed and manufactured by County Durham based climate tech company Low Carbon Materials (LCM), utilises the carbon removal technology of sequestration.

This sees the material capture and store carbon dioxide, permanently removing it from the atmosphere and significantly reducing the carbon footprint of the resurfacing works.

ACLA is being used in the binder course of the resurfacing, alongside other circular carbon-saving materials such as recycled plastics, rubber, and Recycled Asphalt Planings (RAP), all sourced within the county. Low carbon additives will also be used to enhance the fuel efficiency of the haulage fleet involved in the works.

Alan Patrickson, Durham County Council’s corporate director for neighbourhoods and climate change, said: “As part of our commitment to reducing the county’s emissions and achieving our net zero targets, we strive to be at the forefront of innovation in reducing our environmental impact.

“We are pleased to be working with two county-based companies on this innovative project. This new material will play a key role in carbon reduction and, when used in conjunction with other sustainable materials, allows the whole project to be significantly lower in emissions than standard resurfacing works.”

David Elliott, MGL Group’s joint chief executive, said: “Working in partnership with Durham County Council and LCM, we’ve delivered a resurfacing scheme using net zero asphalt produced by Tynedale Roadstone and laid by Rainton Construction, both of which are part of MGL Group. The material incorporates a carbon negative aggregate and recycled asphalt planings from another scheme in County Durham, contributing to a circular economy and demonstrating our commitment to sustainable solutions.”

Dr Natasha Boulding, Low Carbon Materials CEO, said “I’m proud to have collaborated with County Durham pioneers, Durham County Council and MGL Group on this first-of-its-kind scheme to see ACLA used to unlock Net Zero asphalt.

“LCM develops low-carbon, next-generation construction material alternatives to combat climate change – seeing ACLA used in such a project is significant for us and our mission. It presents a simple and scalable solution for the industry to decarbonise road networks.”