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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Zhanping You


The objective of this research is to develop sustainable wood-blend bioasphalt and characterize the atomic, molecular and bulk-scale behavior necessary to produce advanced asphalt paving mixtures. Bioasphalt was manufactured from Aspen, Basswood, Red Maple, Balsam, Maple, Pine, Beech and Magnolia wood via a 25 KWt fast-pyrolysis plant at 500 °C and refined into two distinct end forms - non-treated (5.54% moisture) and treated bioasphalt (1% moisture). Michigan petroleum-based asphalt, Performance Grade (PG) 58-28 was modified with 2, 5 and 10% of the bioasphalt by weight of base asphalt and characterized with the gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS), Fourier Transform Infra-red (FTIR) spectroscopy and the automated flocculation titrimetry techniques. The GC-MS method was used to characterize the Carbon-Hydrogen-Nitrogen (CHN) elemental ratio whiles the FTIR and the AFT were used to characterize the oxidative aging performance and the solubility parameters, respectively.

For rheological characterization, the rotational viscosity, dynamic shear modulus and flexural bending methods are used in evaluating the low, intermediate and high temperature performance of the bio-modified asphalt materials. 54 5E3 (maximum of 3 million expected equivalent standard axle traffic loads) asphalt paving mixes were then prepared and characterized to investigate their laboratory permanent deformation, dynamic mix stiffness, moisture susceptibility, workability and constructability performance. From the research investigations, it was concluded that: 1) levo, 2, 6 dimethoxyphenol, 2 methoxy 4 vinylphenol, 2 methyl 1-2 cyclopentandione and 4-allyl-2, 6 dimetoxyphenol are the dominant chemical functional groups; 2) bioasphalt increases the viscosity and dynamic shear modulus of traditional asphalt binders; 3) Bio-modified petroleum asphalt can provide low-temperature cracking resistance benefits at -18 °C but is susceptible to cracking at -24 °C; 3) Carbonyl and sulphoxide oxidation in petroleum-based asphalt increases with increasing bioasphalt modifiers; 4) bioasphalt causes the asphaltene fractions in petroleum-based asphalt to precipitate out of the solvent maltene fractions; 5) there is no definite improvement or decline in the dynamic mix behavior of bio-modified mixes at low temperatures; 6) bio-modified asphalt mixes exhibit better rutting performance than traditional asphalt mixes; 7) bio-modified asphalt mixes have lower susceptibility to moisture damage; 8) more field compaction energy is needed to compact bio-modified mixes.