The first European sustainable highway is in Italy: graphene, recovered plastics and recycled asphalt for 250km on the A4 Turin – Milan highway


The first European sustainable highway is in Italy – 250km of the A4 Turin-Milan highway is going to be paved with graphene, hard recycled plastics – that come from different types of objects, such as toys, fruit crates and bins – and 70% recycled asphalt. Astm – A4 global operator – believes that this project should reduce the energetical consumes by about 90 million kWh (- 30%), equal to the annual requirement for 30 thousand families. The equal CO2 emissions should be reduced by 18,350 tons, that corresponds to the quantity absorbed by 115 thousand trees. 1,5 million kilograms of hard plastics are going to be reused, 23 million kilos of bitumen and 480 million kilos raw materials from mines are being saved (- 40% of non-renewable materials compared to the traditional technologies).

“The Torino-Milano highway, the road connecting the two main economical and industrial poles in Northern Italy, is going to be the most modern, technological and the greenest in Europe”, promised Umberto Tosoni, CEO of Astm.

The technology

The paving technology is called Gipave and it’s Italian. It was developed by Iterchimica, a Bergamo-based company spread in more than 90 Countries, together with G.Eco (A2A firm), with Milano-Bicocca University and with Directa Plus, a supplier of graphene-based products.

“This work is the first step to render Italy a cutting-edge country that is also aligned with the ecological transaction objectives outlined by the United Nation 2030 Agenda”, said Federica Giannattasio, CEO of Iterchimica. “We’re going to reduce the emissions by 38.5% compared to the traditional maintenance technologies”. Not only is Gipave sustainable, but it should also assure higher resistance and should increase by 75% the flooring durability.

The sustainable highways
The project is part of the Smart Roads plan by Astm. “We’re working on different sides”, declared Tosoni. “Among others, we work with communication systems for infrastructures-vehicles, with the introduction of intelligent accesses with a free flow toll – that means without toll booths –, with anti-fog systems, with against-traffic and dangerous goods detection systems, with hydrogen distributors and with electric charging systems”.

This study was carried out by the University of Bologna. Other Astm societies are going to take part in this project. Itinera, that works on big infrastructures construction, is going to take care of the repaving process. Sina, engineering society, planned the production and performed the inspections on the asphalt. Bitux, a bitumen manufacturer, is going to provide the eco-paving mixtures.