Evaluating Using Louisiana-sourced Lignin as Partial Replacement in Asphalt Binder and as an Antioxidant
This exploratory research will investigate the effectiveness of replacing asphalt binder with locally-sourced Lignin from a paper mill and lignin sustainably extracted from sugar cane bagasse and rice husks using deep eutectic solvents, a newly-developed method for biomass deconstruction. The binder and antioxidant properties (including Performance Grading) of lignins as a replacement for asphalt binder will be assessed at different mixing temperatures and storage times. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis will be performed on asphalt binders with and without lignin replacement to determine the extent of oxidation from the peak areas of carbonyl groups. This study will contribute to a fundamental understanding of the antioxidant effect of lignin on asphalt. While a very limited amount of research has been performed on lignin as an antioxidant/asphalt binder replacement, lignins from the agricultural byproducts bagasse and rice husks have not been studied. The proposed project will venture into the emerging field of using sustainable agricultural byproducts in new ways. There is a need for local materials to be used as binders and antioxidants in asphalt. Using local and sustainable materials enhances local economic development and is more environmentally-friendly. Recently, several researchers [1, 2] have indicated that as much as 25% lignin may be used as an antioxidant and as volume replacement in asphalt binder. In this study, lignin from local sources, specifically lignin from a Monroe paper mill, Louisiana Sugar Cane Bagasse, and Louisiana Rice Husks (hulls) will be evaluated. The overall objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of using lignin in asphalt binder as a sustainable and renewable paving material. The specific objectives are as follows: a) Investigate and develop chemical treatments necessary for locally available lignin from Louisiana paper mills to be used as a suitable binder material b) Using a novel deep eutectic solvent process developed at Louisiana Tech University to extract lignin from Louisiana Sugar Cane Bagasse and Louisiana Rice Husks for use in asphalt binder c) Investigate suitable lignin mixing methods with asphalt binder d) Investigate antiaging properties of asphalt binder with lignin e) Evaluate partial asphalt binder replacement capacity of lignin f) Evaluate asphalt binder grading improvement, if any, and antioxidant properties with replacement with lignin g) Evaluate thermal degradation and storage capability of lignin additives.
Principal Investigator: Wasiuddin, Nazimuddin -- Civil Engineering
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