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Puma Energy’s first public trial of new crumb rubber binder OLEXOCRUM

Aerial shot of Puma Bitumen’s OLEXOCRUMB trial.

Puma Energy’s bitumen business has announced its first, successful demonstration of the new OLEXOCRUMB, a crumb rubber binder on a public road.

The trial organised by Transport for Victoria saw the introduction of OLEXOCRUMB, the most recent product innovation from Puma Energy’s Global Bitumen Technology Centre in Altona, Victoria. The new asphalt binder was trialled in close collaboration with Boral Asphalt, as part of the Boral/Puma technology program.

OLEXOCRUMB was specifically formulated to comply with existing Australian road polymer modified binder (PMB) specifications.

As a hybrid binder, OLEXOCRUMB combines both tyre-derived rubber with styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS). Meeting trusted existing specifications is expected to give authorities and end users the confidence to use purposely designed crumb rubber in high-traffic applications. It is Puma’s hope that this will grow the use of recycled rubber in bitumen and subsequently reduce the environmental impact of end-of-life tyres.

Dr. Erik Denneman, Puma Bitumen Technical Manager, Middle East and Asia Pacific said we are committed to solving industry and governmental challenges and finding beneficial uses for waste tyres.

“Our asphalt binder solution incorporates 10 per cent recycled tyre rubber. For every tonne of OLEXOCRUMB binder produced, the equivalent of 15 passenger tyres will be recycled. This trial is part of the effort to drastically reduce the volume of tyres accumulating in landfill sites across Australia,” he said.

The production method for OLEXOCRUMB results in negligible crumb rubber residue, meaning it can be used in the same way as conventional bituminous binders.

“This can only be achieved because we have the support of industry-leading, advanced manufacturing equipment, which is unique to Puma Energy”, Dr. Denneman said.

OLEXOCRUMB also includes warm mix additive allowing asphalt to be produced at lower temperatures, reducing the amount of emissions emitted and fuming on site.

Monitoring emissions during the trial with Transport for Victoria will be a key metric that is measured to ensure the safety of the workers. Puma Bitumen stated the asphalt pavement industry has an excellent track record for sustainability, as asphalt is 100 per cent reusable, and the OLEXOCRUMB formulation responds to the sector’s drive to even more sustainable use resources.

Following the success of this initial demonstration, Puma Bitumen will offer this binder in Victoria and Queensland, and later this year in New South Wales.

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