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?