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Russian gurus create eco-friendly material for road construction in the Arctic

Earlier, it was reported that this project would last until 2020

MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. Researchers from the Tyumen Industrial University (TIU) together with colleagues from the Institute of the Earth’s Cryosphere from the Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) have come up with ecologically friendly material for constructing roads. This innovation can be used to fight frost heaving, which is an upward swelling of the ground or pavement caused by moist soil freezing up. The press office of TIU announced this breakthrough.

The participants in the university’s pivotal project - boosting the efficiency of exploring Russia’s Arctic zone - now implemented as a part of a program for developing the country’s key university, together with researchers from the Institute of the Earth’s Cryosphere are working on this unique technology for manufacturing granulated heat proofing material from the natural raw material diatomite. It can be used for constructing roads to cope with the frost heaving problem.

Now, scientists are carrying out experiments in the South of the Tyumen Region, in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region, and in the Transbaikal Region.

"Granulated diatomite is used in constructing houses, buildings, and facilities. It might also be suitable for building atomic stations and spacecraft. In other words, it is used where thermal insulation and being lightweight are of key importance. However, its main use is for improving the quality of roads. Frost penetration is the main culprit that causes heaving, and if excessive water isn’t constantly eliminated, we will always have to repair Russian roads," Chief of the Department of Earth Cryology of TIU, the Member of RAS Vladimir Melnikov commented.

TIU was established in 2015 after the region’s two largest technical institutes merged. The program of the key university focuses on the ‘new industrialization.’ In total, there are seven large-scale projects at TIU, one of them is devoted to boosting the efficiency of exploring Russia’s Arctic zone.

Earlier, it was reported that this project would last until 2020, meanwhile a center for tackling the issue of efficiently developing the Arctic zone should be created and a complex model of exploring hard-to-reach areas should be devised. Moreover, by the end of this year, a new laboratory of Paleoecology and Geosystems Monitoring will be launched which will be unrivalled in Russia.