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The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Developing a Laboratory Protocol for Asphalt Binder Recovery
Stacey D. Diefenderfer
Stacey D. Diefenderfer
Year: 2014
VTRC No.: 15-R7
Abstract: Asphalt binder extraction and recovery are common laboratory procedures used to provide material for research and quality assurance testing. The most common methods of recovery performed today include the Abson method and the rotary evaporator (or Rotavap) method. The purpose of this study was to compare the Rotavap method proposed for use at the asphalt binder laboratory of the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research to the Abson method currently in use at the asphalt materials laboratory of the Virginia Department of Transportation Materials Division to provide for continuity in test results.

Blank determinations were produced, recovered, and tested to provide comparative data for the two methods of recovery. In addition, base binders used in the production of the blank  determinations were tested under the same conditioning protocols as those for the recovered binder to provide baseline data. Analysis of the test data indicated that using both the Rotavap and  bson methods affected the resultant binder properties; however, the impacts were similar for both methods. There were few significant differences between the test results using the two methods, and neither method was found to result in any change in the resultant binder grade of a recovered binder as compared to that of the base binder.

Based on these findings, it was concluded that the Rotavap method provides recovered binders that are comparable to those recovered using the Abson method. It was recommended that VCTIR continue to use the Rotavap method to recover binders and proceed with efforts to become accredited by the AASHTO Materials Reference Laboratory in the use of Rotavap recovery