Air Force tests soy-based asphalt sealer on runways.
Capt. Dave Christensen, 95th Fighter Squadron Flight C commander, takes off in F-15C/D tail 072. Photo by Lisa Norman.
RePLAY, a soy-based asphalt sealer and preservation agent
from BioSpan Technologies Inc., is being applied to runways at Tyndall Air
Force Base in Florida. The product was developed with the help of funding from
the United Soybean Board and soybean checkoff, which funds research and
development of potential new uses for soy.
BioSpan reports that the 88% bio-based RePLAY sealer can achieve a “perpetual
road” if applied in the first two years of the pavement’s life and re-applied
every three to five years. According to BioSpan, RePLAY has proven to be
superior to petrochemical products in such areas as traffic control, cure time
and environmental impact.
“Most of the maintenance done on our highway system is reactionary maintenance
after a problem exists,” says Mike Freisthler, a licensed distributor for
BioSpan who installed the sealer at Tyndall last May. “Preserving or
maintaining quality is easier than fixing something once it’s broken.”
RePLAY cures within 15-30 minutes and is not temperature-sensitive, thus it can
be applied year-round. It penetrates up to an inch and a half into the
pavement, introducing 15%-new polymers that repel moisture and strengthen and
restore existing pavement, all without a significant impact on skid resistance.
RePLAY offers environmental benefits as well. A Building for Environmental and
Economic Sustainability (BEES) analysis conducted in March 2009 confirmed that
the sealer has a negative global warming potential, meaning that it reduces
gases in the environment.
RePLAY, a soy-based asphalt sealer and preservation agent from BioSpan Technologies Inc., is being applied to Air Force base runways. Photo by Aschwin Prein.
“RePLAY also helps reduce the CO2
burden on the runways and is CO2
-negative,” says Sheldon
Chesky, BioSpan president and CEO. “Airports are extremely environmentally
sensitive because of jet fuels and vehicle exhausts, and the demand for
electrical power and heating and cooling puts a tremendous stress on the
Freisthler says the cost of applying RePLAY is a fraction of the cost of laying
new pavement on top of an existing surface.
“Pavement preservation has become an industry of its own in the past 10 years
as petroleum costs have more than doubled and it appears prices will continue
to rise,” he says. “RePLAY is usually 10% of the cost of reconstructive
overlays. Its cost has been very competitive with - and sometimes even less
than - petrochemical products.”
“Anything BioSpan can do to offset any airport’s budgetary burdens with eco-friendly
treatments is a plus,” Chesky says. “RePLAY can be applied to more than
runways, taxiways and aprons; it’s also meant for pedestrian walkways and
About the Soybean CheckoffLike
many commodities producers, soybean farmers collectively invest a portion of
their end-of-season profits to fund research and promotion efforts. This
collective investment is called a checkoff.
The soybean checkoff is supported entirely by soybean farmers with individual
contributions of 0.5% of the market price per bushel sold each season. The
efforts of the checkoff are directed by the United Soybean Board, composed of
68 volunteer farmer-leaders nominated by their state-level checkoff
organizations, called Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs). The nominees are
appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
For more information, visit www.unitedsoybean.org.
For more information about RePLAY and other soy-based products from BioSpan
Technologies, visit www.biospantech.com.