Chemical and Rheological Evaluation of Aged Lignin-Modified Bitumen

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As bitumen oxidizes, material stiffening and embrittlement occur, and bitumen eventually cracks. The use of anti-oxidants, such as lignin, could be used to delay oxidative aging and to extend the lifetime of asphalt pavements. In this study, the chemical and rheological effect of lignin on bitumen was evaluated by using a single dosage organsolv lignin (10 wt.% dosage). A pressure aging vessel (PAV) was used to simulate the long-term aging process after performing the standard short-term aging procedure, and the lignin-modified bituminous binders were characterized by an environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM), Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and a dynamic shear rheometer (DSR). From the ESEM results, the uniform microstructure was observed, indicating that the addition of lignin did not affect the worm structure of bitumen. Based on the FTIR test results, lignin-modified bitumen showed that a lower number of carbonyl and sulfoxide compounds were generated after aging than for neat bitumen. Based on the linear amplitude sweep (LAS) results, the addition of lignin slightly reduced the fatigue life of bitumen. From the frequency sweep results, it showed that lignin in bitumen acts as a modifier since the physical interaction between lignin and bitumen predominantly affects the material rheology. Overall, lignin could be a promising anti-oxidant due to its economic and environmental benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4176
Number of pages19
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • rheology
  • lignin
  • bitumen
  • aging
  • microstructure
  • chemistry


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