Asphalt can cause more air pollution than cars in big cities

Asphalt can cause more air pollution than cars in big cities

The authors of the study, after analyzing the chemical compounds provided by Camphol in different cases under different conditions, came to the conclusion that the substance reveals high concentrations of certain particles, especially on hot sunny days. This may seem hard to believe, but a new study published in the journal Science Advances suggests that roads can actually release more harmful air pollutants than cars they drive.

One such source is asphalt, which is mostly used on road surfaces and roofs. As such, it has always been abundant in large cities, leading the study author to speculate that it may play a major role in air pollution in urban areas.

Emissions such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and intermediate / semi-organic compounds (I / SVOCs) act as precursors to both PM2.5 and ozone and are usually released by fuel combustion as well as other chemical sources. When we talk about air pollution, we often refer to PM2.5, which is the name given to tiny particles with a diameter below 2.5 micrometers.

The results showed that the emission was increased by a sequence of emissions during lifting at 140 degrees Celsius (264 degrees Fahrenheit) – this is usually the case when it is applied to new roads – compared to 80 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit). For the investigation, they used a technique called high-resolution mass spectrometry to analyze the VOCs and me / SVOCs expressed by asphalt at different temperatures.

After determining the air pollution levels provided by asphalt, the researchers consulted emissions data from the Southern California Air Basin (SCAB) on how to compare it with vehicle emissions.  Moreover, even after keeping the temperature constant, asphalt is found to emit 300 times more of these compounds after coming in contact with solar radiation.

The authors write, “Overall, the annual potential air pollution production from pulses-related sources at SOAB is higher than that of petrol and diesel on-road motor vehicles,” the authors write. This is especially true in hot, sunny weather, where high levels of solar radiation and higher temperatures trigger asphalt to release more dangerous compounds into the air.

As noted by the authors of the study, great efforts are currently being made to curb vehicle emissions, but new roads continue to be built. So if we really want to improve air quality in urban environments, it may be time to look for alternatives to dumps.