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New road material paves the way to net zero

Natasha Boulding - LCM's new decarbonisation solution, ACLA®, has been used in a road resurfacing project for the first time.

A new road resurfacing material which enables the production of net zero asphalt has been used in the UK for the first time, in County Durham.

Durham County Council is using a new type of asphalt incorporating a carbon negative aggregate designed to lower the carbon footprint as part of its resurfacing works at Elvet Hill in Durham.

Working with the council’s road surfacing and planing partner Rainton Construction, part of MGL Group, the works are the first time that the product, ACLA, designed and manufactured by County Durham based climate tech company Low Carbon Materials (LCM), has been used.

The product utilises the carbon removal technology of sequestration to permanently remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Sequestration is a process whereby a material captures and stores carbon dioxide, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of the resurfacing works. 

Being used the binder course of resurfacing, ACLA will be used 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.

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.”