Reuters reported last week that two paving companies in Poland created a new type of asphalt that smells like floral scents in order to improve the working conditions of road construction workers. The Polish construction firm Budimex and the Polish refining company Lotos teamed up to create flower-scented asphalt.
Lotos added a combination of natural and synthetic essential oils to the bitumen used in paving roads.
In the Budimex press release on August 23, 2021, Cezary Godziuk, President of the Management Board of LOTOS Asfalt says:
“Our company cares about the natural environment and employee comfort, and has been successfully implementing the sustainable development policy for many years through the production, implementation and promotion of innovative ecological road construction products. the product was applied based on our experience with asphalt PS 95/35 S. The additive used in asphalt with reduced odor intensity is a mixture of natural and synthetic essential oils and has a pleasant floral aroma. ”
The words asphalt and bitumen are often mistakenly used to define the same thing. Asphalt is a composite of aggregates, sand, and bitumen; where bitumen acts as a liquid binding material that holds asphalt together. Typically bitumen contains a complex composition of hydrocarbons and elements such as calcium, iron, sulphur and oxygen, but is produced differently according to the specifications of its end use. While it’s usually manufactured industrially, bitumen can also be found in nature.
“At times one could smell the scent of flowers, which made working more pleasant”, Slawomir Szpak, a foreman for Budimex was quoted as saying in a press release.
If you’ve ever driven by a newly paved road in the summertime, you are familiar with the oily, tar smell of newly laid asphalt. Maybe in the future you will smell roses, lavender and peonies instead?