Characteristics of VOCs generated during production and construction of an asphalt pavement
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment. 2020, 87 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trd.2020.102517
The Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) generated during asphalt pavement production and construction have negative impacts on both asphalt workers’ health and atmospheric ecosystem. The characteristics of asphalt VOCs have been partly investigated so far, thus hindering the proper accomplishment of mitigation strategies. To address this issue, this study conducted a comprehensive investigation on VOCs composition and concentration by means of Thermal Desorption-Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (TD-GC-MS). Air samples were collected during the production and the construction of an asphalt pavement located in Inner Mongolia, China, considering the four key locations for VOCs emissions: asphalt laboratory, mixing plant, asphalt storage tank and paving construction site. The analyses detected up to 135 different VOCs types. The asphalt storage tank was responsible for the most abundant VOCs emission, nearly 110 μg/L, which was almost equal to 3 and 27 times the concentration related to asphalt plant (40.08 μg/L) and paving site (4.08 μg/L), respectively. Considering the construction site, the quantity of VOCs was comprised between 2 and 4 times the amount generated in the asphalt laboratory. This study aimed to assess the VOCs concentration quantitatively during both production and pavement construction operations, and the latter stage represents the more relevant scenario for future investigations.