Shell looks into the highways of the future
Nov 23, 2016
Shell Bitumen fast-forwards thirty years to 2050 to envision the future of the world’s highways.
Global trends suggest that the world will continue to see continued population growth and rapid urbanisation, which as a consequence will see increased traffic volumes on road infrastructure. At the same time,new, stricter emissions regulations will be implemented and new technologies will be more commonplace to power the world’s vehicles. What kind of innovations can we see on the world’s roads and highways to help meet these challenges?
Professor John Read, General Manager for Bitumen Technology at Shell, said: “We are continually pushing the boundaries of bitumen. Today, from our global R&D centre in Bangalore, we have scientists working at a molecular level to make bitumen have the properties necessary to make more durable, sustainable and energy-efficient roads.”
“Our investments in R&D are set to transform the humble highway into smart surfaces of the future. Some of these innovations will take a decade or more to come to the market, but others are already on-stream. Take Shell Bitufresh, which removes smell from bitumen, rather than simply masking it. This is done by chemically converting the mercaptans, the smell generating compounds within the bitumen, by attaching really heavy molecules from the Bitufresh to the mercaptans, making them incredibly heavy and dense, so that they sink to the bottom of the bitumen, preventing their release,” said Read.
John and his team of experts have been developing new technologies that can transform the world’s roads into surfaces that glow in the dark, charge electric vehicles while you drive and prevent harmful emissions from polluting the air.
Smart surfaces of the future
Lighting up highways: Shell Bitumen has started to explore the technical feasibility of changing the visual appearance (phosphorescence) of road pavement surfaces in order to provide ambient lighting, alert traffic to changes of road driving conditions or even danger. It has partnered with suppliers of phosphorescent products and several universities to investigate the feasibility of scaling up phosphorescent asphalt mixtures.
Generating electricity from our roads: Shell is working with Pavegen, a technology company that has developed paving slabs to convert energy from people. It is also possible that it could be used to generate electricity to feed the grid.
Shell is also conceptualising how this technology could act as a means to inform local authorities and their contractors that a road is failing: as the road deforms, the pressure exerted by the vehicle would give out a higher electrical current which could then be converted into an indication of damage.
Improving air quality: Another development that will be within reach is a road surface that can take harmful substances like nitrogen dioxide or particulate matter out of the air. It is working on bitumen technology that can absorb PM101 particulates like smoke, soot, dust, other materials generated by gases emitted from motor vehicles.
1 Particulate matter 10 (PM10) is a major component of air pollution that threatens both our health and our environment. (PM10) pollution consists of very small liquid and solid particles floating in the air. Of greatest concern to public health are the particles small enough to be inhaled into the deepest parts of the lung. These particles are less than 10 microns in diameter - about 1/7th the thickness of the a human hair - and are known as PM10. (California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board)
Shell Bitumen Global: Oliver Lim + 65 6477 7499 email@example.com
Notes to Editors
- Shell is a leader in bitumen technology, and recently published the “Shell Bitumen Handbook, Sixth Edition”, which covers the latest topics in bitumen technology and application.
- Shell Bitumen operates a network of Regional Technical Centres located in key regions (Beijing, China; Strasbourg, France; and Bangkok, Thailand.) Shell has also established its global bitumen R&D Centre in Bangalore, India.
- Shell supplies a wide range of high quality bitumen products, from standard-grade bitumen to special polymer-modified bitumen (PMB), which are marketed under the brand name Shell Cariphalte. Shell Cariphalte has been used in a number of iconic projects for applications such as highways, urban roads and porous asphalts for urban drainage systems. It is ideal for use in heavily trafficked locations such as airfields, racetracks and bus lanes. It can be particularly beneficial in heavy duty applications such as rail, ports, bridge decks, crack relief systems or overlaying concrete pavements and expansion joints.
- Shell is the world’s largest international bitumen marketer, and delivers enough bitumen to pave a one-lane kilometre road every four minutes.
- Shell Bitumen’s solutions have also been used on a number of Formula One racetracks: Sakhir (Bahrain), Marina Bay Street Circuit (Singapore), Hockenheim (Germany) and Yas Marina (Abu Dhabi) and Sepang (Malaysia). Shell has also recently paved the Bugatti Circuit in LeMans, France.
Royal Dutch Shell plc
Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 70 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit www.shell.com
The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate legal entities. In this press release “Shell”, “Shell group” and “Royal Dutch Shell” are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to refer to subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies. ‘‘Subsidiaries’’, “Shell subsidiaries” and “Shell companies” as used in this press release refer to companies over which Royal Dutch Shell plc either directly or indirectly has control. Entities and unincorporated arrangements over which Shell has joint control are generally referred to “joint ventures” and “joint operations” respectively. Entities over which Shell has significant influence but neither control nor joint control are referred to as “associates”. The term “Shell interest” is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect ownership interest held by Shell in a venture, partnership or company, after exclusion of all third-party interest.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Royal Dutch Shell. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Royal Dutch Shell to market risks and statements expressing management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as ‘‘anticipate’’, ‘‘believe’’, ‘‘could’’, ‘‘estimate’’, ‘‘expect’’, ‘‘goals’’, ‘‘intend’’, ‘‘may’’, ‘‘objectives’’, ‘‘outlook’’, ‘‘plan’’, ‘‘probably’’, ‘‘project’’, ‘‘risks’’, “schedule”, ‘‘seek’’, ‘‘should’’, ‘‘target’’, ‘‘will’’ and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Royal Dutch Shell and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this press release, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for Shell’s products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserves estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments including regulatory measures addressing climate change; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; and (m) changes in trading conditions. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Additional risk factors that may affect future results are contained in Royal Dutch Shell’s 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2015 (available at www.shell.com/investor and www.sec.gov ). These risk factors also expressly qualify all forward looking statements contained in this press release and should be considered by the reader. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this press release, 23 November 2016. Neither Royal Dutch Shell plc nor any of its subsidiaries undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.
We may have used certain terms, such as resources, in this press release that United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) strictly prohibits us from including in our filings with the SEC. U.S. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 20-F, File No 1-32575, available on the SEC website www.sec.gov.