The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), in partnership with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC), released a third-party validation of the infrastructural and economic performance of an environmentally friendly USDA certified biobased road preservation product, RePlay™. RePlay Agricultural Oil Asphalt seal and PRESERVATION AGENT® is a patented product created and manufactured by BioSpan Technologies, Inc. SRF Consulting Group reviewed 24-years of data from the City of Hutchinson (Minnesota) that included eight years of RePlay use to determine that asphalt road service life could be extended 3.5 to 11 years with RePlay applications. BioSpan Technologies indicates RePlay has also been applied and demonstrated in other states including Nebraska, Oregon, Iowa, and the Dakotas.
AURI worked with SRF Consulting Group, Inc., to initially model RePlay use scenarios for determining the effectiveness and to build a Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA.) The results of the initial modeling showed that RePlay use reduced asphalt distress by up to four times relative to roads that received standard maintenance. With the model application scenarios showing a strong benefit, the SRF team revisited the initial study with three years of additional data. With the new data, two additional models were used to determine asphalt road service life extension. Taken together, the two model approaches indicate the asphalt is very likely to see years of additional service life from RePlay treatments. This new study underscores the financial viability of asphalt preservation, and public agencies could use it to reduce the long-term maintenance cost of low-volume roads. The team completed a sensitivity analysis based on accepted Minnesota Department of Transportation (DOT) methodology as a part of the life cycle cost analysis. The sensitivity analysis further showed RePlay use incurred a lower cost over the base case scenario (untreated with standard maintenance).
The technology has been used successfully in the State of Minnesota as well as many other states, including Oregon, Nebraska, and Iowa. “This soy biobased pavement preservation product clearly shows a high level of long-term benefits to a city’s infrastructure and its budget by significantly preserving the integrity and life of the roads,” said Harold Stanislawski AURI’s business development director. “The end result being tax dollars stretched further or redirected into other municipal needs, ultimately benefitting the entire community.”
Public transportation agencies can have confidence in predicting the financial return of RePlay pavement preservation treatment since the methodology followed in this study includes a sensitivity analysis, established in fundamental life cycle cost analysis theory. The financial benefits of adopting soy-based asphalt preservation products do not end at the city line but extend to regional soy farmers as another value-added market opportunity.
“The Council is proud to partner with AURI and invest checkoff dollars into this ongoing study,” said MSR&PC Director Jim Willers, who farms in Beaver Creek, Minnesota. “Biobased road treatment technologies present a unique opportunity to reduce overall maintenance costs by extending surface life and delaying costly repairs. These studies provide Minnesota transportation officials with an added level of confidence in predicting the financial results of this soy-based pavement treatment method. They also help to add value and drive demand for soybeans.”
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The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute’s mission is to foster long-term economic benefits through value-added agricultural products. It accomplishes this by using science and technology to help develop new uses for agricultural products. It partners with businesses and entrepreneurs to generate economic impact in Minnesota communities by helping businesses take advantage of innovative opportunities in four focus areas: biobased products, renewable energy, coproducts, and food. AURI provides a broad range of services, including applied research and development, scientific assistance, and a targeted network of resources to develop value-added uses for crops and coproducts.
The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council oversees the investment of soybean checkoff dollars on behalf of the nearly 28,000 soybean farmers in Minnesota. The Council is governed by the rules of a federally mandated checkoff program that requires all soybean producers to pay a fee on the soybeans they sell. This money is used to promote, educate, and develop market opportunities for soybeans.
SRF Consulting Group, Inc is a 100 percent employee-owned, full-service civil engineering, planning, and design consulting firm headquartered in Plymouth, MN. Founded in 1961, SRF provides award-winning services, from designing roadways, trails, and bridges, to planning statewide transportation systems, which results in the revitalization of neighborhoods and urban spaces.