Volume 31, Issue 5 (September 2003)
Development of a Procedure to Determine the Effectiveness of Asphalt-Removing Solvents
Due to environmental protection requirements, most state and federal agencies are now required to use biodegradable solvents instead of diesel fuel or other hydrocarbon solvents. A variety of environmentally friendly and safe asphalt-removing solvents are available in the market. However, there is no quantitative standardized procedure to compare the efficacy of these solvents. This paper outlines the development of a procedure used to evaluate the cleaning efficacy of various solvents. The goal was to develop a standardized procedure that would yield quantitative and repeatable results. After evaluating various alternatives like metal and glass plates, ceramic tiles, and aluminum foils, the aluminum dish was found most suitable for the study. Test results obtained for solvent comparison were found to be consistent and repeatable, with the coefficient of variation for asphalt removed less than 10% for most solvents. Further, this study provides an outline for cost-effective analysis of solvents used in relation to diesel fuel and the procedure is able to rank solvents quantitatively.