Thunder Bay Testing New Lignin-based Asphalt

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Thunder Bay – NEWS – “This is a wonderful opportunity for the City of Thunder Bay to take part in this new, innovative solution,” said Kayla Dixon, Director – Engineering & Operations. “If this product is successful and meets the City’s asphalt performance specifications, there would be many long-term economic and environmental benefits in utilizing the lignin-based asphalt.”

Thunder Bay will be the first location in Ontario to trial a new lignin-based asphalt. Lignin is a by-product of the forestry industry and will result in a greener, more environmentally-friendly alternative to the asphalt currently used.

FPInnovations is spearheading the trial. The first trial of the lignin-based asphalt in Canada took place this summer in Sturgeon County, Alberta, and was deemed successful.

In 2019, with support from the City of Thunder Bay’s CEDC, FPInnovations and Resolute Forest Products Inc. commissioned a Thermomechanical Pulp Bio-Refinery (TMP-Bio) in Thunder Bay. The TMP-Bio pilot plant produces lignin for use in innovative products, such as the lignin-based asphalt used for this trial. The lignin substitutes some of the bitumen within the asphalt, resulting in a greener product.

The road paving took place today at the City’s Solid Waste & Recycling Facility.