Leaching of organic contaminants from storage of reclaimed asphalt pavement
Journal article, 2004

Recycling of asphalt has been promoted by rapid increases in both the use and price of petroleum‐based bitumen. Semi‐volatile organic compounds in leachates from reclaimed asphalt pavement, measured in field samples and in laboratory column test, were analysed through a GC/MS screen‐test methodology. Sixteen PAH (polyaromatic hydrocarbons) were also analysed in leachates from the column study. The highest concentrations of semi‐volatile compounds, ‐ 400 μg 1‐1, were measured in field samples from the scarified stockpile. Naphthalene, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) were the most dominant of the identified semi‐volatiles. The occurrence of these compounds in urban groundwater, also indicate high emission rates and persistent structures of the compounds, making them potentially hazardous. Car exhausts, rubber tires and the asphalt material itself are all probable emission sources, determined from the organic contaminants released from the stockpiles. The major leaching mechanism indicated was dissolution of organic contaminants from the surface of the asphalt gravels. In the laboratory column test, the release of high‐molecular weight and more toxic PAH was higher in the leachates after two years than at the commencement of storage. The concentrations of semi‐volatiles in leachates, were also several times lower than those from the field stockpile. These results demonstrate the need to follow up laboratory column test with real field measurements.

Reclaimed asphalt pavement







leaching mechanism


semi‐volatile organic contaminant


Malin Norin

Chalmers, Department of GeoEngineering

Ann-Margret Hvitt Strömvall

Chalmers, Department of Water Environment Transport

Environmental Technology (United Kingdom)

0959-3330 (ISSN)

Vol. 25 3 323-340

Subject Categories

Civil Engineering



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