Advantage 86

Asphalt protects the environment from hazardous materials.

Asphalt is not only used for its adhesive and waterproofing properties, it is also often used to protect the environment from hazardous materials. Landfill sites need to stop leachate (water containing soluble hazardous materials) from contaminating groundwater. Asphalt concrete is an excellent waterproofing material and well established in hydraulic engineering for many decades. Because of its unique properties asphalt concrete is routinely used for lining the landfill sites.

The application of asphalt linings is used in many European countries. 

Whereas the mix design for asphalt concrete for road construction is focused on durability, stability and surface quality, the main point in hydraulic engineering is impermeability. In a fundamental study the water permeability of asphalt concrete under variable to hydraulic pressure has been tested as a function of the voids content. Asphalt with a void content below 3% by volume is impermeable even at high water pressures. For this reason it is often used in landfills to protect the environment from leaching hazardous materials to groundwater.

More information can be found in:
EAPA Paper - Landfill Construction in Asphalt – 1998 *