MOSCOW — A Russian company's proposal to create "quiet" asphalt for highways was one of several selected by the EU for further development.
The project to develop silent pavement was launched by the Netherlands' Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and aims to reduce the noise pollution produced by tires speeding down highways by 90 percent (10 decibels).
Unikom, a subsidiary of Rusnano supported by the Russian Academy of Sciences, was selected along with three other firms from the Netherlands and Switzerland that will work together on the project, state nanotechnology company Rusnano said Tuesday.
Unikom proposed modifying the structure of roads by injecting a special form of rubber particle into the hot bitumen that when mixed with crushed stones cools into asphalt.
The additive, called Unirem, is produced from recycled tires and was originally developed to allow a 30-percent increase in road service intervals by improving the durability of asphalt in Russia's harsh winters.
Unikom's studies showed that the material also dramatically reduced road noise.
Unikom has already budgeted $55 million on Unirem production, of which $38 million is being provided by Rusnano.