TOKYO, JAPAN — Kao Corporation ("Kao") developed NEWTLAC 5000, an asphalt modifier made from discarded PET materials (waste PET) through proprietary processing. While conventional asphalt modifiers improve the durability of asphalt pavements, NEWTLAC 5000's durability is several times longer, which ensures it produces less microplastic. This unique technology supports Kao in achieving its sustainability goals through "positive recycling"—creating a new business through recycling.
Kao's researchers found that resin plastics improved the affinity between asphalt and aggregates (Figure 1). Building on our prior expertise in developing surfactants, Kao succeeded in creating NEWTLAC 5000, whereby waste PET is transformed into a new functional substance, as opposed to simply pulverizing waste PET (Figure 2).
Mixing NEWTLAC 5000 in asphalt improves the durability of pavements by several times compared to ordinary pavements (Figure 3). NEWTLAC 5000 also ensures pavements produce less microplastics than usual.
Asphalt pavements with NEWTLAC 5000 are darker than conventional pavements (Figure 4), making the white lines on roads more visible for drivers and greatly increasing safe driving. It also improves a store's long-term appearance when used for their parking area (Figure 5).
In January, Kao used NEWTLAC 5000 for the pavement in the parking lot of a drugstore in Japan, in line with our corporate ESG initiatives to expand NEWTLAC 5000 in asphalt pavements globally.
In the approaching era of fully automated driving, the deterioration of asphalt pavement is expected to accelerate due to cars being programmed to routinely drive along the same area of a road. Kao plans to spread its cutting-edge technology globally, contributing to improved road safety, more durable roads, and a more sustainable society.
NEWTLAC 5000 drastically improves the durability of asphalt pavements, while also encouraging active recycling. Kao Corporation will keep contributing to the preservation of our global environment and the realization of a safe automated driving society, by launching this technology in Japan, and across the globe, including the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Kao creates high-value-added products that enrich the lives of consumers around the world. Through its portfolio of over 20 leading brands such as Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries, and Molton Brown, Kao is part of the everyday lives of people in Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe. Combined with its chemical division, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,400 billion yen in annual sales. Kao employs about 33,000 people worldwide and has 130 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao Group website for updated information.