Natural Resources Canada announced over $1.5 million to FPInnovations for an innovative project that aims to develop asphalt that contains wood-derived products from Canada’s forest sector.
“Canada is blessed with immense forest resources. Finding innovative ways of managing and utilizing these resources can provide new pathways for low-carbon solutions. This means lower emissions and good, sustainable jobs for workers. This partnership with FPInnovations is paving the way for a more sustainable Canada,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.
FPInnovations, in collaboration with the construction firm Eurovia and the Ministère des Transports et de la Mobilité durable du Québec, will conduct an on-road pilot in Ange-Gardien, Que. Pilots have also been conducted in other provinces to test the asphalt’s performance in the wide range of climate conditions we see in Canada.
“This testbed represents an important step toward the adoption of lignin by the road construction industry. This key partnership with the Ministère is helping to accelerate the integration of innovative products into the value chain and to demonstrate the benefits of innovations from the forest sector. The contribution of the forest sector to the advancement of low-carbon products remains a major motivator for FPInnovations’ innovative projects,” said Stéphane Renou, president and CEO, FPInnovations.
The new asphalt being tested contains a renewable bioproduct, lignin, which is intended to replace a portion of the petroleum-based bitumen currently found in the asphalt used in roads. This new product would increase pavement preservation and possibly extend service life for pavements and roads in the face of climate change.
The $1.5-million contribution is being delivered through the Forest Innovation Program (FIP), which supports the development of new technologies and practices that improve the environmental sustainability and economic productivity of Canada’s forest sector.
“Today’s announcement is truly thrilling news. Exploring inventive methods to oversee and harness these resources has the potential to open fresh avenues for eco-friendly solutions. Consequently, we can anticipate reduced emissions and the creation of sustainable employment opportunities for our workforce. Our collaboration with FPInnovations is charting the course toward a more environmentally sustainable Canada,” said Stéphane Lauzon MP- Argenteuil La Petite-Nation.
“The road we built on Raymond Boulevard. in Quebec City in 2021 with a lignin-based asphalt showed no signs of weakness compared with conventional mixtures after two years. We are enthusiastic about continuing to participate in this innovative project, since we believe in the importance of decarbonization in the pavement industry, and we are confident that lignin will be one of the solutions enabling us to achieve our carbon neutrality objectives,” said Yvan Paquin, technical director, Eurovia Québec.
Featured image: (FPInnovations)