Pilipinas Shell recently launched Bitumen FreshAir, the environment-friendly asphalt product developed to reduce air quality impact in the construction of bridges, highways, racetracks, roads, bridges, and runways. The product was at Shell's world-class R&D Centre in Bangalore, India, and has been tested in four major locations such as France, United Kingdom, Thailand, and the Netherlands where positive changes in air quality are being reported.

The product has earned the nod of the Department of Public Works and Highway’s (DPWH) Assistant Director, Bureau of Research and Standards Engr. Reynaldo Faustino, as the earth-friendly bitumen product, complies with DPWH’s standard regulations. “The thrust of what we do at DPWH stays the same: we shall build more roads and long-span bridges that connect the mainland to island provinces. The Bitumen FreshAir fits in our projects as it meets R.A. 8749 Clean Air Act.

On record, the local government of Bohol was the first local government unit (LGU) to use the product. Shell Bitumen PH’s Country Business Manager Allan Canedo affirmed that their organization is also reaching out to other regions and their LUGs.

We’re looking to lock in deals with ecotourism destinations just like Bohol where stringent policies in protecting the environment are in place. We are confident that we can cover infrastructure projects in the whole Visayas, Mindanao, and even Luzon with the 17-million kilograms of Bitumen FreshAir that our plants based in Batangas and Mindanao are currently sheltering,” Canedo said.

The use of Bitumen FreshAir has a similar impact on the reduction of nitrogen equivalent to removing an average of 40 cars per kilometer of asphalt laid per year says Shell Bitumen Philippines Technical Manager Janet Marcellana.

It significantly reduced the levels of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide by an average of 40% during asphalt production and road paving when compared to using conventional bitumen.

The same rang true for first-time Bitumen FreshAir users in the Philippines. Soon after Cebu 7H Technochem Industries Inc., Quality Assurance Manager Rhowell Tiu mandated the use of Bitumen FreshAir in their Bohol project, the complaints from the local government unit immediately dropped.

Before using Bitumen FreshAir, we used to get complaints from the local environment agency regarding strong odor in our batching plant. But after using this innovative product from Shell, we no longer received complaints and our working environment has drastically improved,” Tiu said.

Dir. Faustino added that the DPWH encourages stakeholders in the construction industry to “consider the use of environment-friendly construction materials to create a more sustainable tomorrow.

For more information about Shell Bitumen FreshAir, visit this link.