The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), in partnership with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSRPC), released a third-party validation report of the economic performance of an environmentally friendly USDA biobased certified road preservation product, called RePlay. Specifically, the results of the statistical analysis performed using data from Hutchinson, MN show that RePlay treatment has a deterioration rate that is four times lower than an untreated surface.
“Soybean oil is paving the future of road preservation, all while providing a financial benefit to cities and taxpayers here in Minnesota,” says Mike Youngerberg, senior director of product development and commercialization for MSRPC. “This study confirmed the true benefit and increased longevity RePlay provides to treated surfaces. This is another way Minnesota soybean farmers are adding value to their product and leading the way to a more environmentally friendly, cost-saving future.”
The analysis, conducted by SRF Consulting Group, Inc., was a life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) using the State of Minnesota as a case study. The results show the use of RePlay is a financially viable bituminous surface treatment, and public agencies could use it to reduce the long-term maintenance cost of low- volume roads, which leads to a reduction in the life cycle cost of maintaining asphalt surfaces. In fact, each sensitivity analysis of the life cycle cost study illustrated that RePlay incurred a lower cost over the base case scenario (untreated/do nothing).
The technology is being used successfully in the State of Minnesota as well as other states, including Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Iowa. “Soy biobased pavement preservation products used in the Hutchinson case study are clearly showing benefits in preserving the integrity and life of the roads,” said Harold Stanislawski, AURI’s business development director. “This ultimately saves taxpayer funds and allows dollars to be stretched farther in improving more roads and trails.”
Statistical analysis revealed that segments treated with RePlay have a statistically significant lower rate of pavement degradation compared to untreated segments. SRF combined rates of degradation from the statistical analysis with a model for untreated asphalt pavement degradation to estimate RePlay service life (worst to best-case scenarios). The service life analysis demonstrated that RePlay could increase the longevity of road surfaces by 2-7 years.
“We have used machine learning and advanced statistical analysis on the RePlay performance data to estimate the increase in the service life of a pavement surface treated with RePlay,” said Ali Nahvi, Ph.D. Data Scientist at SRF Consulting Group. “We discovered that the application of RePlay on the pavement surface, depending on the primary condition of the pavement surface, can extend the service life of pavement up to seven years.”
Since the methodology followed in this study provides agencies with a sensitivity analysis that the preferred alternative produces the lowest life cycle cost, recommendations that may result from this research are not only established in fundamental life cycle cost analysis theory but can also provide public transportation agencies with an added level of confidence in predicting the financial results of pavement treatment alternatives.