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Techniques & Tools Gas Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry, Environmental

Thermal Desorption Screening Analysis of Asphalt Binder Samples Contaminated with Automotive Fluids


This application note demonstrates a method for using thermal desorption as a way to screen asphalt binder samples for the presence automotive fluids. Automotive fluids such as gasoline, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and motor oil are added to asphalt samples to qualitatively identify the presence of VOC’s.


In recent years, roadway asphalt has begun to draw attention due to the VOC’s that are emitted from the roadway material. When paved fresh, hot roadway asphalt emits numerous VOC’s that directly represents potential health concerns for the construction workers performing roadway maintenance and development.(1,2) Moreover, even after asphalt has been laid and dried, asphalt still possesses the ability to emit VOC’s as it heats up under the direct sunlight. The VOC’s emitted from both fresh and dried asphalts have the potential to undergo chemical reactions in the atmosphere to form aerosols that can impact both human health and climate.(3)

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