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Pavement Construction Can Reduce Greenhouse Gases

Engineers can select the paving projects that will have the biggest impact on fuel savings and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

March 03, 2016

"We are moving into a new era of pavement management systems, which consider not only rider comfort and safety but also the quantitative carbon environmental impact," says MIT professor of civil and environmental engineering Franz-Josef Ulm, faculty director of MIT's Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub)."Road stiffness could make an enormous difference for 40-ton trucks, with up to 4 percent gas mileage savings."

MIT's Concrete Sustainability Hub is studying ways to improve fuel efficiency and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions by changing the way roads are paved. A project between CSHub and Caltrans found that the type of road surface can account for 1 percent of fuel consumption.

"Most of the world is looking from the tires up to understand how to produce less greenhouse gas," said Tom Pyle, a pavement engineer. "But we're looking from the tires down, to the pavement, to achieve efficiencies the public never sees by significantly reducing greenhouse gases."

For an in-depth explanation and video showing how pavement-vehicle interaction (PVI) can reduce greenhouse gases, click here.

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology; PhysOrg.com

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