Additive controls asphalt odors at the plant and jobsite

A.J. Ronyak knew something had to be developed to control odors when he worked as manager of an asphalt plant. The facility received regular complaints from homeowners in a nearby neighborhood. Ronyak had been spraying a water-based material in the exhaust system to cover the odor, but with limited success. After months in the plant’s asphalt lab and after several tests at the National Center for Asphalt Technology in Auburn, Ala., Ronyak found a solution.

“The problem lies in the liquid asphalt itself,” Ronyak said. “AS Cherry is a highly concentrated cherry liquid, but when correctly mixed, it makes the asphalt have zero smell.”

AS Cherry is a chemical suppressant that works by encapsulating the asphaltine in asphalt cement, which retards the evaporation of the lighter petroleum molecules that are responsible for asphalt’s bad odor. The additive is introduced into the asphalt binder at a rate of about 1 gallon per 12,000 gallons of liquid asphalt. The producer of AS Cherry, Asphalt Solutions, suggests the liquid be added to the asphalt prior to loading with metering equipment. The cherry solution, however, can also be added to bulk carriers delivering liquid asphalt. When the tanker is loaded with the cement, AS Cherry can be mixed into the material.

Darrel Goo, vice president of operations for Grace Pacific in Honolulu, said the additive has helped his company reduce asphalt odors since 1999.

“It [AS Cherry] has helped us strengthen our relationship with the neighboring communities by helping minimize one of their major concerns — odors while producing hot mix asphalt pavements,” Goo said.

Since its development in 1998, AS Cherry has been used in more than 80 million tons of asphalt in federal and state projects across the country. Because it is highly concentrated, the liquid costs about 3 cents per ton of finished mix. The solution can be purchased in five-gallon pails at $40 per gallon or in 55-gallon drums. If six or more drums are ordered at a time, the price drops to $33.90 per gallon. For more information on AS Cherry, click on the link to the right.